Dockers Union Banner

Image credit: People's History Museum

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Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers Union of Great Britain and Ireland, Dockers Union Export Branch banner, 1890s. This union was formed in 1889 after the Great Dock Strike. This banner design and the mottos it uses reflect the militancy of new unions that arose in the 1880s. The other side of the banner depicts Hercules wrestling a serpent, which can be seen as him waging 'holy war' against 'Destitution, Prostitution and Exploitation'. The words have been taken from the speeches of Cardinal Manning, who was the mediator for the Dockers in their successful 1889 strike. The design was taken from Walter Crane's 'Hercules and the Old Man of the Sea' drawing published in 1892. The banner makers George Tutill frequently used Walter Crane's images as inspiration for their designs.

People's History Museum



Dockers Union Banner




oil on silk


H 200 x W 190 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift, c.1980

Work type



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People's History Museum

Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, Greater Manchester M3 3ER England

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