Tony Benn heading for Burston

IT'S the time of year again, when we prepare to commemorate the biggest act of socialist defiance to have occurred in East Anglia - the Burston strike school.

Graham Dines

IT'S the time of year again, when we prepare to commemorate the biggest act of socialist defiance to have occurred in East Anglia - the Burston strike school.

And those who head for the Norfolk village next month to join the festivities are in for a treat of good old fashioned Labour values in the form of speeches from Tony Benn and Luis Marron, who is political counsellor at the Cuban embassy in London.

East of England Euro MP Richard Howitt and the assistant general secretary of Unite Diana Holland will also be speaking as the years roll back to April 1914 when Kitty and Tom Higdon, teachers at the village school at Burston, were sacked for their socialist and trade union views.


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The pupils walked out in support and from then until 1939, the Higdons and the villagers ran a strike school, providing an education for local children.

This year's celebration of social justice will highlight the working conditions of migrant workers, especially those from Portugal and Poland who have settled in the Norfolk-Suffolk border area and without whom much of the back-breaking harvesting of fruit and vegetables would not be possible.

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There will be a coach from Ipswich for anyone interested in going to Burston on Sunday September 4. The fare is �5 and further details are available from Ipswich Community Resource Centre, 16 Old Foundry Road, Ipswich (telephone Monday-Friday 01473 433244 or email sarah@sarahsansford.orangehome.co.uk). Children can travel for half price.

PAUL Routledge, the convivial and irascible former political editor of The Daily Mirror will be the main guest of honour at a Clacton Labour Party constituency dinner on September 10.

He'll be joining forces once again with Ivan Henderson, MP for Harwich from 1997 to 2005, who is hoping to defeat Douglas Carswell in the new constituency of Clacton at the next election.

CONGRATULATIONS to the borough council authors of Ipswich's draft development strategy for coming up with this nugget in the section headed The Vision: “That a wide range of development types should be provided across the period to 2025 to meet local and sub-regional needs.”

A WORD of appreciation to Yvonne, the ace jam maker of Felixstowe, whose home-made delights have made breakfasts a bit more special for the Dines household.

She passes on her wares to fellow members of Corncockles, a group of tea-drinking patchwork needlers and gossipers, most of whom also seem to be members of Women's Institute groups in the town.

Nothing to do with politics, of course, but this is August. And I must say I am taken especially with Yvonne's rhubarb jam.

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