Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Programme and timetable of the Scottish Miners March to Edinburgh, 11 June 1928

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In November 1927 a Welsh Miners March from the Welsh Valleys to London was organised by the NUWM. The marchers were demanding a decent level of unemployment relief, the dropping of the Unemployment Bill and an adequate Government response to the problems of the coal industry. Although well supported along its route the marchers had to face the prospect of no official support as the TUC had circularised Trades Councils advising them not to give any help to marchers and their organisers.

The Scottish NUWM conference of 1928 concluded that the Welsh miners march of the previous year had been a success in terms of highlighting the economic situation which prevailed throughout British coal communities and the high levels of unemployment which was occurring in these communities. Based on this the Scottish branches of the NUWM decided to hold a similar march of Scottish miners, to Edinburgh, to meet the Scottish Board of Health and to demand full relief for the large number of unemployed miners in Scotland.

Led by NUWM leader, Wal Hannington, a crowd of over 250 men marched form the coalfields of Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire and Fifeshire to Edinburgh. The march attracted a lot of support along its route and the Scottish co-op provided food for the marchers. The 1928 Scottish Miners March won the NUWM in Scotland important gains in terms of recognition and dealt a blow to the perceived wisdom of the Parish Councils in Scotland that the unemployed had no rights and could expect only charity.