The coalmining lock-out of 1926, with particular reference to the co-operative movement and the Poor Law
This study is largely concerned with the experiences of the locked-out miners and their families during the national coalmining dispute of 1926 . Enthusiasm for the stoppage amongst rank-and-file miners varied considerably from one mining district to another and an attempt is made to identify and account for both intra and interregional variations in solidarity . From quite early in the dispute the danger of widespread destitution in the coalfields presented perhaps the most immediate threat to solidarity. Particular attention is therefore paid to the efforts made to overcome this threat and to the sources of relief available to mining communities in 1926 . Various forms of community and individual self- help are looked at in some detail as is the operation of the Poor Law, which played such a crucial and controversial role in the dispute. In some districts local co-operative societies provided considerable relief to mining families in the form of extended credit both to the miners ' unions and to individual members . In others, retail societies demonstrated little or no apparent sympathy for the miners . Relationships between the co-operative and trade union movements during the General strike and continuing mining dispute are examined at some length and an attempt is made to account for the differing responses of co-operative societies called upon to assist the miners in their struggle.