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In 1889 dock workers in London struck over pay and conditions. One of the largest collections relating to this event resides not in London, but here in Manchester at PHM.

18 September 2014

Amalgamated Watermen and Lightermen Greenwich Branch banner, c.1889 © People's History Museum

This collection forms a central part of the displays which show British people’s fight for a more equal world.

One of the most striking dock strike objects is the banner of the Amalgamated Watermen and Lightermen Greenwich Branch.  Framed in the banner’s centre is a portrait Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, a celebration of the Cardinal’s successful mediation of the 1889 strike in the trade unionists’ favour.  Although religious imagery was common on early trade union banners, Cardinal Manning remains the only known depiction of an identifiable Catholic leader on a trade union banner.

Unfortunately the banner is in poor condition.  Therefore before we can put the banner on display it will require around 8 months of conservation work, costing in the region of £15,000.  If you would like to help with this effort please get in contact with the museum’s curator Chris Burgess on 0161 838 9190 or make a donation online using the reference ‘Cardinal Manning’.