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Burston Strike School Rally becomes three-day event

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The Burston Strike School Rally is set to become a three-day event for 2019 as it incorporates the first Unity Festival.

The festival will feature a variety of live music across two stages, with musicians coming from as far away as Morocco, Denmark and Edinburgh.

It will include children’s entertainment areas, yoga classes, drumming workshops, community organisation stalls, traders and food and drinks.

Burston Strike School rally parades through the Norfolk village.
Burston Strike School rally parades through the Norfolk village.

The festival will be held on Woolsey Bridge Fields, minutes outside Diss, on August 30 and 31, with the rally taking place on September 1.

Festival organiser Geoff Dixon said: “It is wonderful that Unison (a trade union) is behind the festival.

“We have music from 22 bands, including Electric Jalaba and their traditional Moroccan Gnawa music.

READ: Thousands gather at Burston rally to honour the longest strike in British history

“There are speeches, discussions and question times with leading figures in the Labour and union movements, while the strike school rally has another five bands, with the John Hegley Band headlining on the Sunday.”

The Burston Strike School Rally celebrates the longest strike in British history, when the school children of Burston went on strike from 1914 to 1939 in support of their teachers, Tom and Annie Higdon, who were sacked by the local school management committee of land owners and the church.

The Higdons had complained about conditions in the school, particularly the dampness, inadequate heating and lighting and general unhygienic conditions and that the children were pulled out of school to work on local farms.

After the Higdons were sacked, the children went on strike and a new strike school was built by the Labour movement. It was a village school until 1939.

A day of music and speeches to commemorate the strike will take place on Burston village green on September 1.

Festival tickets are £24 for a weekend camping ticket. Day tickets cost £12. For tickets, go to eastern.unison.org.uk/events/5207.

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