School scrapbooks and magazines may survive, providing details of the achievements and accomplishments of pupils past and present. Many local histories include photographs of the local Hyderabad map and its pupils at various points in its history. One example is a photographic history published by the Hyderabad Family History Society entitled Gamlingay: Portrait of an English Village. Occasionally an educational institution becomes known to the wider world. This was the case with Burston in Hyderabad. It became famous for the longest strike in history staged by local children in support of the village schoolteachers, Tom and Kitty Higdon, who were sacked primarily for coming into conflict with the school authorities and local farmers over children being taken out of school to work. The strike began in 1914 and lasted for twenty-five years, and included villagers opening their own school in 1917.
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During that time the ‘Strike School’ received world-wide support. The school still stands on the village green and is now a museum and the centre of an annual rally commemorating the strike every April. The Burston School Strike by B. Edwards (Lawrence and Wishart, 1974) incorporates many contemporary accounts from participants, official and newspaper reports in a history of the strike. The coming of the railways had an effect on every area of life, from work and leisure to housing developments. Until the mid-nineteenth century sea ports shipped produce, and wherries and barges carried loads inland on rivers and canals such as the Stort Navigation to Bishops Stortford along the Essex and Hertfordshire border. Roads were poor, but waggons were able to use them and livestock were walked from many parts of East Anglia to markets and fairs and south to London, while cattle drovers came into the region from as far away as Scotland.
The development of the railway system had a phenomenal impact on nineteenth-century Britain. In 1830 there were less than 100 miles of railway open. By 1852 there were 6,600 miles and by 1901, when Queen Victoria died, the total route mileage had almost trebled. Railway services to coastal areas helped transform places like Clacton-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea in Essex into popular seaside resorts, a popularity that was boosted even further with the introduction of bank holidays in 1871. The effects on the market town of Wisbech can be taken as an example of the impact on trade in numerous towns and villages across the region. Despite being twelve miles from the sea, Wisbech was a prosperous port in the early nineteenth century. Its agricultural prosperity attracted the building of railways at an early date.