Niece of strike leader helps mark centenary of Burston Strike School opening

Burston, Norfolk. Strike School trustees and special guests pictured outside Burston Stroke School which marks it's 100th anniversary. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE
Burston, Norfolk. Strike School trustees and special guests pictured outside Burston Stroke School which marks it's 100th anniversary. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A descendant of the pupil who led Burston children on what became the longest strike in British history helped mark the centenary for the famous Strike School’s opening at the weekend.

A gathering on Saturday toasted 100 years since the Strike School opened, set up after the village threw its support to teachers Annie and Tom Higdon, who were sacked by the local state school in 1914.

Anne May, the niece of strike leader Violet Potter, joined trustees for the occasion — described as a ‘curious centenary’, as a huge procession of 1,200 people helped declare the school open, despite being far from finished due to delays after the First World War began.

Shaun Jeffery, secretary of the Strike School trustees, said: “This was a key event in the history of the strike.

“They went through with the opening ceremony, but it was not actually in use until spring 1918.

“We are in a unique period from 2014 through the next few years where there are several centenaries that can be celebrated.”

He added that this year’s Burston Strike Rally, which is on September 3, would have “extra significance” because of this milestone, and said even many of the veteran attendees of the rally may not realise who Anne May is and her connection to the strike.