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


Scott for Kinning Park, 6 Feb 1915

image from Red Clydeside collection

The Labour press in Glasgow and especially the ILP newspaper Forward were quick to lend support to the aims of the rent strikers and championed their cause at almost every opportunity. This article, whilst criticising a landlord supported candidate for a municipal election also gives an open platform to the Labour and pro-rent strike candidate.

The strike culminated in one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in Glasgow on 17th November 1915. Thousands of women (nicknamed 'Mrs. Barbours Army by Willie Gallacher) accompanied by shipyard and engineering workers converged on the Sheriff's Courts in the centre of Glasgow.

This show of solidarity by rent striking housewives and Glasgow workers allied to the political exploitation of the situation by the ILP resulted in Lloyd-George's government quickly pushing through the Rent Restrictions Act of 1915. This Act, at a stroke, significantly improved the legal position of working class tenants throughout Britain in their dealings with private landlords.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives