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Thread: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

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    Default Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    Hi its Keith Davies R773021 20 years at sea but now PhD ( thesis, The decline of the British Shipping:Some New Perspectives) researching for a book on the period 1946-1970 including the unofficial strikes and the 1966 official strike. The last of which I took part in. So anybody with original letters, documents, newspapers or indeed memories though I realise this would be unrealistic in the case of the 1947 &1955 strikes. I already have access to the official records of the NUS and The Shippinng Federation, so I'm looking for unofficial records that some people may have kept for personal reasons. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Mike Hall; 23rd July 2023 at 02:56 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    The only 2 strikes I was involved or could have been involved in were I beleive the unofficial strike of 1960 . I was home on official leave and one of the company’s ships was held up in the Manchester ship canal and held up for lack of crew . The company as most company’s did called upon its company servants better known those who signed the A agreements to express their loyalty by stepping into the breach . I used my infirmities at the time as had twisted my ankle jumping over the wall at Smiths drydock in North Shields for getting home at midnight . However did hear from those who had answered the call to arms that they were pelted with Rotten fruit from the banks of the canal and where answering the fire with spuds out of the ships locker . I did answer the call once when was woken up in bed at home by the ships personnel manager actually sitting on the bed shaking me and having to go down to a shipyard on the Tyne to bring a ship out of drydock and put her on a buoy in the River, this however was not a Seamans strike but shore labour.
    The Seamans strike of 1966 I sat out on the Ravensworth in Port Talbot , before arriving I was mate on the ship and had various deputations from the crew who did not want to strike but had to. They told me if it lasted more than a week they would not be back at sea and they weren’t .Those who did come back from the very first day was the start of cutbacks . To me it appeared a very controlled fiasco well planned to bring all these ready cutbacks into force. The seamen were no better off by my reckoning . It was a labour government in at the the time and they have every right to feel guilty together with the Seamans Union who both appeared to orchestrate the whole fiasco. I felt that bad about it I resigned 2 months later and went foreign flag. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 24th July 2023 at 01:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    The 1947 strike was lead by AB Billy Hart.Unofficial strike.
    The Companies wanted to abolish the War Bonus. of 14 a month back from 28 a month.
    A few years later Billy Hart Emigrated to TEXAS as a Steel erector on a new Oil Refinery.
    T
    Tom Yates , boss of the NSU, told the US Immigration that Billy was a Communist and so he was deported back to UK
    Tom was reported to be not a little corrupt
    He owned a night Club near Dover. He made his son, who had never been to sea, the Union boss of the NSU in Sydney and a free house in the best part of in Sydney overlooking the Bay.


    The 1960 unofficial strike was lead by Paddy Neary, who was gaoled for six months. Cunard put a Hiogh Court Injunction on him if made another speech at the strike he was surrounded by the waiting Cops, and arrested.meetings. He did and the
    I believe the Communist Party suported his family, He had 6 [6]?] children and a wife.
    Paddy did his six months and then took his family to He Belfast to liv he dB RR RRR---------ied not long after
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 24th July 2023 at 04:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    FROM ABOVE CHAPTER [ Wife called me for dinner.

    The 1960 unofficial strike was lead by Paddy Neary, who was gaoled for six months. Cunard put a High Court Injunction on him if made another speech at the strike meetings he did he was surrounded by the waiting Cops, and arrested.
    I believe the Communist Party supported his family, He had 6 [6]?] children and a wife.
    Paddy did his six months and then took his family to Belfast to live, he died not long after


    Brian
    L

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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    #2 The night before the strike finished I met the ships carpenter ashore he was destitute with no where to go , I smuggled him back through the gates which were guarded by NUS guards to prevent such happening , but were a bit more laid back with. The strike to finish the following day. Nevertheless he had to keep his head down and not show his face until the hour the guards were lifted . He must have been one or near enough last of the proper carpenters as not too long after all that was needed was an AB/Handyman. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 24th July 2023 at 11:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    Tom Yates was corrupt as, why else was he knighted for his services, not to British seamen but to the shipowners. He went to live in Tasmania, as far away as he could get from the wrath of British seamen, say what you like about who or what the strikes were about, British Merchant seamen were the most hard done workers after what they went through during the war to save Britain while the shipowner still made money.
    Des

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    Default Re: Help needed on research for book on unofficial strikes 1947,1955 & 1960

    For Keith Davies to have the courage to write a book about the Various strikes for better living and working conditions in an island seafaring community and asking seafarers for their responses , must take a bit of backbone.
    Whatever he decides to write will no doubt be used in the future for those looking for answers , so we owe it to the Industry ,to all those who gave their lives to it , and to ourselves to give him our honest opinion of the justifices and the injustices they produced . Otherwise we are giving up the ghost , and the you cant kick against the pricks , will once again reign supreme , your input will or maybe help to keep the bastards honest . JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 25th July 2023 at 03:34 AM.
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