New banner for the NFWW

With unemployment rising steeply in 1920, an expanded Unemployment Insurance Act was introduced. A campaign for equalisation of men's and women's benefits under the Act was rejected. Moreover, women were refused benefit if they rejected work in domestic service. The National Federation of Women Workers (NFWW) set up its own unemployment benefit scheme, offering 18 shillings per week instead of 12 shillings under the Government scheme. This photograph shows the NFWW banner designed by Walter Crane.

Tom Mann

Tom Mann (1856-1941) was a skilled engineer who moved to London from the Midlands in 1877. Over the next ten years, he worked in many different jobs in London and New York, joining the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1881. In 1884, he joined the Battersea Branch of the Social Democratic Federation, to which John Burns already belonged. He became an eloquent and well known speaker, campaigning in particular for the 8 hour day.

General Strike 1926

General Strike 1926. Despatch riders wait for instructions outside TUC headquarters in Eccleston Square, London. All postal services were disrupted and very few local union or trades council officers had telephones in 1926 so a communications network using despatch riders was established. These messengers carried instructions and news reports from the TUC and union offices out into the country, at the same time collecting accurate news of the strike's effectiveness. The couriers travelled by bicycle or motorcycle, occasionally by car.

Postcard of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Emmeline Pethick was born in 1867, and became a socialist during the 1890s. She married Frederick Lawrence in 1901, becoming Mrs Pethick-Lawrence. Emmeline joined the Women's Social and Political Union in 1906, but was expelled in 1912 after a disagreement. In 1907, Emmeline and Frederick began publishing Votes for Women and their London home served as both the Union's office and a suffragettes' recovery centre.
Emmeline served six prison sentences for her socialist beliefs and died in 1954.