Was superior to that of their self-esteemed leaders. The workers knew that a modern state depends on centralization and concentration of power and that centralized power could only be effective by the use of intricate communications, electric power, telephones and telegraphy, railways and road transport. So the strikers and the unemployed formed themselves into mass road and rail pickets.
The road pickets were particularly effective in the mining areas for the miners did not need to picket their blackleg-proof pits. No student ever went down a mine to scab on a miner; they preferred sitting in the driver's seat of a car with a big policeman each side to stop the bricks. A glance at the map will remind us that the chief communication arteries of Britain run north to south and near the Border are narrowed down by the waist of Britain and the Pennine Chain, so that two slim sets of railways and roads skirt to the east and west coast. One of these, the east, runs through the Northumberland and Durham coalfields, and there took place the most effective picketing of the strike.
Throughout the country buses and lorries were overturned and often petrol bowsers were fired. In some town huge car parks were formed of blacklegs' vehicles by the pickets and their drivers were often "taken prisoner". On the railways a scattered warfare was carried on and the B.B.C and the "press' reported damage to points, blackleg plate-layers running for their lives, telegraph wires cut and signal boxes successfully attacked. The Flying Seotsman express was derailed by miners at Cramlington, Northhumberland. The B.B.C. gave a stirring account of the workers' attack on the central railway station of Middlesbrough. At 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 6th, the workers stopped a train at a main line crossing in the middle of the town and then in one spirited charge captured the station and blocked the live with heavy wagons.
We must not suppose that the general Council had the slightest sympathy with such robust action. At the beginning they had urged the workers to stay