Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

Community, Class, and Identity: An Analysis of The Harle Syke Strike, 1915

Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire (2021), 170, (1), 131–151.

Abstract

This article analyses the Harle Syke strike, 1915. Although the incident was understood to be significant by contemporary observers, the strike has been overlooked when examining tensions between trade unionism, class, and local autonomy in Lancashire at the time of the Great War. Using a combination of cotton industry records and newspaper archives, the article examines the relationship between Harle Syke and the rest of Lancashire, with specific focus on the local rivalry between the village and its closest neighbour, Burnley. It provides a narrative of the strike, as well as analysis of the dynamics of the relationship between trade unionism and the village. It also examines local community input into industry, local protectionism, and responses to county-wide standardisation and centralisation.

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Author details

Southern, Jack