Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Harry Gillingham - Mapperton - Dorset - Farmworker - Honoured 1958

Harry Gillingham born July 1878 at Okeford Fitzpaine he left school at the age of 11 to earn 2 shillings and 6 pence a week on the land, there was no overtime, no Saturday half day and no paid holiday

He moved to Mappleton in 1906 and worked on the same farm for fifty years 

He joined the National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union,  in 1917, being elected branch secretary in 1919 . at one time the the branch had 50 members on the branch register but during bad years when wages were reduced, membership declined until he was the only member

In his early days as secretary he frequently cycled to Blandford to attend union meetings and recalls the first Dorset County National Union of Agricultural Workers conference convened in Dorchester in 1921

in 1956 he received a Royal Agricultural society in recognition of his loyal service

Blandford Corn Exchange Mr Harold Collinson General Secretary of the National Union of Agricultural Workers presented him with a gold badge in recognition of forty years as Branch secretary of the Almer branch of the  National Union of Agricultural Workers. George Shute Dorset County Chairman  (Tolpuddle) National Union of Agricultural Worker presided stating " We are not only honouring a man but a generation" "He is the type of person who kept the flag flying in the darkest days of our union history"

"Not only do i feel proud, but i feel humble in the presence of such people as Mr Gillingham who kept the spirit of Tolpuddle right through to the present day"

Mr Collinson general Secretary stated " it was a pleasure for him to meet one of the early pioneers of the union who laid the foundations for all they had been able to do as a union. Mr Gillingham had a wonderful record

Arthur Jordan stared "at 80 years of age he is still a darn sight keener than some of the members of 18 and 28 years of age"

aged 79 - 80 in July

George Shute had taken over from the popular Dorset County Chairman Jess Waterman (Spetisbury) who had not sort election after nine years as chairman, agreed to be Vice Chairman. Mr E. Sales (Studland) was re elected Dorset County Secretary

104 Branches in Dorset

30 years membership

S Carter, J Crichel and G. Freak of Puddlestwon branch
W. Butt and P. Moore Milborne St Andrew branch
C. baker Martinstown branch
R. Fowler Bradford Abbas branch

C. R Baker (Martinstown branch) worked for 46 years at Ashton farm near Dorchester member of the union 36 years, putting in 30 years with Mr Arthur Burch and 16 years with Mr A.F. Waterman

F. G. Rolls (Martinstown branch)34 years membership

Mr C. Clothier branch Secretary at Maiden Newton  National Agricultural Labourers and Rural Workers Union,  for 36 years and a union member for forty

Martinstown branch Secretary Mr J. Belt
Tarrant Hinton branch secretary Mr A.H.F. Fooks
Mr E.A. sales (Studland Branch Dorset County secretary)
Mr L.A. Shears (Winterbourne Kingston)
George Shute (Tolpuddle)
G. Roper Hampreson)
C. White Pulham branch
C> Boyte Puham branch
j. Beck (Sherborne)

Mr R. Fowler a road-man, union member and branch secretary at Bradford Abbas branch got a silver badge

B. Amey of Farnham branch  badge for enrolling 50 members and a badge for enrolling 25 to E. Chandler of Hinton Martell branch

Dorset forestry workers reported at near 100% and high amongst road-man