PortCities London
UK Bristol Hartlepool Liverpool London Southampton
You are here:  
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Art and architecture
The working river
Docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Science and discovery
Historical events
Death and disaster
War and conflict
Fun and games
Matching games
Timeline games
Send an e-card

Will Thorne.

Will Thorne.
Leader of the gas workers.
Unique ID: C579
Description: William Thorne (1957-1946) was originally from Birmingham, but moved to London in 1882. He found work at the Beckton Gasworks and soon joined the Canning Town branch of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF). Thorne was appointed secretary of the branch and by the late 1880s he was one of the SDF's best known public speakers. In 1889 Thorne helped to establish the National Union of Gasworkers & General Labourers. Thorne led the successful negotiations for an eight-hour day in the industry. Thorne's success also inspired other workers to demand better pay and conditions, particularly the London dockers, whom Ben Tillett led to victory in 1889. In 1894 Thorne was elected to the Trades Union Congress Parliamentary Committee (a position he held until 1933). Thorne was also active in local politics and in West Ham served as a Town Councillor (1891-1910), Alderman (1910-46) and Mayor (1917-18). He became MP for West Ham at the 1906 General Election. In the 1918 election Thorne won the Plaistow seat for the Labour Party. He held this new seat until his retirement before the 1945 election.
Creator: Unknown
Date: c.1890
Copyright of object: Out of Copyright
Credit line: Newham Archives and Local Studies Library collection.
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
Legal & Copyright Partner sites: Bristol Hartlepool Liverpool Southampton About this Site Feedback Text Only