Tom Higdon was born on 21st August 1869 in the parish of East Pennard, Somerset – As the son of an agricultural labourer, he was raised in a tied cottage. And, although married in 1896, it was not until Tom and Annie first came to Norfolk in April 1902 to take up the appointment at Wood Dalling County School, that the Higdon’s were not living either in lodgings or an agricultural tied cottage.
Little is known about the original production of the pamphlet; bound in a red cover, without a publisher name and date, it was according to the British Library produced by the Labour Leader Press in 1912. Engagingly, it is written in narrative form, in a Somerset dialect, and is a bitter tale on the theme of tied accommodation.
Produced two years before the start of the Burston School Strike and the Higdon’s own eviction from the Council schoolhouse by Norfolk Education Committee, the cause of decent housing was a long term fight, not just for Tom Higdon but for the Agricultural Labourers Union from its first inception.
Bodies without Abodes has now been republished by the Strike School Trustees to raise funds for the upkeep of the school.
- Posted by BurstonStrikeSchool
- On March 23, 2017