Page 11 - May 2014
P. 11

and paid her, as they said, 'within an ace'     sound. Some of us picketed the lodgings in
of the T.A. rate. She was offered (it was        ones and twos, at a liƩle distance and when
alleged) T.A. membership, but refused it.       the conveyance arrived converged on them.
This encroachment of the chapel and the         A few of us (I was one) mixed with blacklegs
branch, and the local FederaƟon, would not      and entered the house and into the room
stand, and aŌer fruitless conferences, all the  where their guide led them. It was dusk and
employees (except apprenƟces) tendered          we had not been noƟced. The guide leŌ the
strike noƟces and ceased work. All FederaƟon    room and we quickly and earnestly explained
members were organised into pickets, and        the posiƟon to these poor chaps, most of
we persuaded many would-be employees            whom looked so down-and-out that it was
to return whence they came, oŌen buying         hard to believe they were skilled craŌsmen
their railway Ɵckets for the journey. We        or other than poor street-guƩer beggars. We
marched in noisy processions behind the         persuaded three of four of them to come to
blackleg O. from his work to his lodgings,      the branch secretary, much to the chagrin of
and argued with those who had accepted          the guide when he returned to the room. Out
employment with the firm, but mainly kept        of branch funds we bought their Ɵckets and
out of trouble with the police, who looked      packed them back to London, with an extra
on without interfering. Tonypandy was not       bob or two in their pockets. It took a long
far away, where Mr Winston S. Churchill,        Ɵme, but eventually the firm came back into
then Home Secretary, had recently called out    the fold, aŌer their former employees had
the military. So we were careful. Most of us    dispersed themselves far and wide. Oh what
were English, though there was a sprinkling     trouble one woman can cause!...
of hot-headed Welshmen in our ranks who,
when we received an offer of help from the                   ...ConƟnues next month
Dockers' Union, clamoured for accepƟng it.
Thankfully, they did not prevail or arson or    ٛ¥›Ù›Ä‘›Ý
worse, might have resulted. The 'Fair Wage
Clause' was invoked in the Council Chamber      14. A size of type, now 10-point.
in local authoriƟes governing public-uƟlity     15. Lower-case type.
undertakings, and others for whom the firm       16. Lines of type as cast from the linotype machine.
did the prinƟng and the firm felt the pinch.     17. Compositors who prepare type pages ready for prinƟng.
                                                18. The established, or ordinary, wage-rate.
Up Ɵll then I had met only two London           19. Overseer.
comps, neither of whom had impressed me         20. Alcoholic drinks allowed.
favourably. I was soon to see and talk to some  21. A machine casƟng single leƩers.
more. These had been recruited in London,       22. Strips of wood, not type-high.
locked in 'engaged' compartments on the train   23. A tool used to secure type in a chase.
and released at the staƟon before Newport,      24. An iron frame surrounding type
to be brought by cars from there to their
lodgings, which had been provided for them
in a common lodging-house not far from their
work place. How we learnt this informaƟon
I don't now know, but it very likely was from
the apprenƟces, who were very helpful in
passing inside informaƟon to us. But it was,

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