Accounts of events at the Midland Cold Store from one of the Five and two of their supporters.
Micky Fenn (swearing): “It’s Pinky and Perky!” (3:47)
Two police inspectors mocked and chased; the shop stewards restrain their fellow dockers; the spontaneous decision to picket Pentonville.
Ian Olley (swearing): “No way is anyone gonna get nicked here today” (2:43)
Many of the dockers want the arrests to be resisted but the shop stewards decide to let the law take its course.
Tony Merrick: “this . . . feeling of how big this thing was" (1:23)
The police escort "shaking like a leaf" and the van being rocked before departure for Pentonville.
The picket of the prison was the hub of campaign operations and grew to be a phenomenon of London life. It was clearly a memorable episode in the lives of these dockers who participated in it.
Colin Coughlin: “this was the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me industrially” (1:59)
The heady atmosphere on the picket, with visitors including Dr Rose Dugdale (active supporter of Irish republicanism), Bernadette Devlin (Irish republican MP) and sight-seers in Rolls Royces.
Maurie Day: “it was electrifying” (1:58)
Sympathisers from all walks of life arrive and dispense refreshments.
Ian Olley (swearing): “it was like a market!” (2:01)
Food and drink stalls spring up in the street; local squatters’ provide hospitality; a bus is stopped and dismantled.
Ian Olley (swearing): “you really thought something was gonna happen” (1:25)
Working-class solidarity rattles the Establishment.
Colin Ross: “five days when . . . this country was turned upside down” (1:26)
The “moving experience” of the picket; squatters’ hospitality; the need for action.
Eddie Prevost: “a lot of things become more clear to you” (2:44)
The dockers’ horizons widened by conflict with the state and by help from squatters, including gay actors.