Normally held at Church Green, Burston, near Diss, Norfolk

110 years since the school strike

The Burston Strike School was, and remains, a living consequence of what was latterly to become known as ‘the longest strike in history’. During the spring of April 1914, the young pupils at the Burston village Council School walked out of their school building in protest at the sacking of their beloved teachers Tom and Kitty Higdon, who were being punished by the local gentry and church authorities for Tom’s trade union and Socialist views. The strike and boycott lasted for some 25 years. 

Since 1984, the Burston Strike School Rally has been an annual event, with the day now being fixed to the first Sunday in September, although the event was scaled down in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis.  The event is completely funded by trade unions which allows it to be free of any ticketing and charging (except for those wishing to have a campaign stall). Although today the trustees are not exclusively members of Unite, as the inheritor of the ‘rural and agricultural tradition’ Unite remains the key organiser of the rally. 

The 2023 Burston Strike School rally featured Hank Wangford and friends, speeches from Marlene Sidaway, actor and president of the IBMT, Daniel Kebede from the NEU, Clive Lewis MP, and Nick Troy, Unite leader of 13th Note restaurant dispute as well as speakers from the doctors' dispute. To find out more on the 2023 event visit the Burston strike school Facebook page of the Burston strike school website or download the flyer below. Check back nearer the time for details of the 2024 event. 

"The Burston rebellion was a revolt born in the fields, and fought by those that toiled in them."