The Air of Freedom, by Steve Bond and Philip Taylor

The Air of Freedom, by Steve Bond and Philip Taylor

Subtitled 'A story of hard times and striking boot and shoemakers in Ayam and Stony Middleton 1918-1920'

Published by the authors in 2019, 113 pages. Paperback (N7771)

Brand New Book

From the rear side cover: An extraordinary story began in the Derbyshire villages of Eyam and Stoney Middleton in 1918, when workers in local boot and shoe factories started a strike that was to last nearly two and half years. It was one of the longest strikes in the footwear trade in Britain, and one of the longest involving a group of women workers in any industry. At the end of the strike, the workers set up their own co-operative factory.

"It is remarkable", wrote local author Doris Coates, that "such a large percentage of working people should have the courage to continue to struggle during the period of ... privations brought about by the Great War, the subsequent shortages and the influenza epidemic which followed"

This book tells that story, and asks some key questions. How and why did the strike begin? What was village life like at the time of the war? Who was involved in the dispute and why did it last so long? And what was the legacy of the strike? We are fortunate to be able to illustrate the book with some wonderful photographs from the time.