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Clydebank's Rents Protest

1973 Rent Protest by Clydebank Factories

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Extracts from a news item featuring shots of demonstrators with placards, protesting in support of Clydebank Town Council. Jimmy Reid reads a Declaration of Intent written after a meeting of all the convenors of factories in Clydebank, protesting the Rent Act.
The protest took place on 5 November 1973 and shots show the convenors of the factories in Clydebank outside Clydebank Town Hall protesting against the Rent Act. The placards read "High Rents Low Wages = Tory Policy". Policemen walk down the street and speak to the Protestors. Another banner reads "Singer Shop Stewards". Jimmy Reid talks to colleagues and then signs the document in the street. Two men hold up a placard stating "UCS Joint Shop Stewards Committee". Shots of the town hall clock. Jimmy Reid proposes to present the Declaration of Intent to the Council and gives a brief statement at the doorway explaining how the 'Declaration of Intent' came to be drafted after a meeting of 'all the convenors of all the factories in Clydebank". He reads it out.

Questions & Activities


  • Who was Jimmy Read?
  • What was / is Singer? What was the importance of it to the area around Clydebank?
  • What is a shop steward and what do they do?
  • What are they protesting about?
  • What are they intending to do?
  • What was the rent act and what was it intended to do?


History: Research the 1972 Housing Finance Act. Why was this important to the workers and why was it important for the companies and workers to unite to fight?.

History: Post-war Scottish History: Research the anti-trade union laws that Margaret Thatcher introduced in the 1980s and what impact this had on industrial relations.

MIE: Re-edit this clip and add narration to produce a comprehensible news report about the rent protest against the Housing Finance Act. Or using other clips about Jimmy Reid, produce an audio visual guide about this working class hero. You can find out more information about Jimmy Reid from Learning and Teaching Scotland's resource on Jimmy Reid.

Modern Studies: Research trade unions today and the types of activities that they carry out, the issues that they protest against and examples of recent activities.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-189-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T0002
Date 1973
Genre TV News Insert
School Subject Politics
Subject Matter Citizenship, Literacy
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where Clydebank
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 6:55
Film Length 06:55