Free event to mark 170th anniversary of The Great Preston Lock-Out

Posted on - 1st May, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Preston City Centre, UCLan, What's On in Preston
Depiction of striking workers in the Great Preston Lock-Out
The lock-out paralysed the cotton industry

A free event is taking place to mark the the 170th anniversary of The Great Preston Lock-Out.

The University of Central Lancashire History team will host the evening, which will examine the Preston lock-out of 1853-54 – one of the most significant industrial struggles of the 19th century.

What began as a series of isolated strikes at a small number of mills in the August and September of 1853 became a general lock-out involving most textile operatives that October. In February 1854, it once again became a strike but on a bigger scale, and this continued until May 1854.

The lock-out was inspiration for Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, with many others influenced by the workers’ actions and the famous cry of ‘ten per cent and no surrender’.

Read more: Preston artist Shawn Sharpe creates mural celebrating city’s Docks and textile heritage

The anniversary event will feature a series of short talks focussed on new research to be published in a special edition of Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire

There will be a screening of a short film by Sarah-Ann Kennedy, followed by a performance by Gregg Butler and Tom Walsh, who have searched out authentic tunes as they were sung at the time.

Greg and Tom researched and presented the songs and ballads of Preston to produce the Old Lamb and Flag Concert for the 1992 Guild. They later did 10% and No Surrender for the Harris in 2011, and Teetotal Song in 2013.

The Great Preston Lock-Out 170th anniversary event will take place on Tuesday 14 May from 5.45pm to 8pm at Central Methodist Church in Lune Street.

Tickets are free but booking is required and can be done via TicketSource.

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers, and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an event or arts project in the city we should be covering, send details to

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