Grenadier Guardsmen, soldiers of one of Britain's most famous regiments, were ordered by the Government on Saturday (October 24) to clear away mounds of rotting refuse left by striking dustmen.
SV Troops clearing rubbish
SV Army officials & police
GV Troops clearing rubbish (2 shots)
GV Police & Officers PAN TO troops clearing rubbish (2 shots)
GV & SV Police & Army in streets
SCU Rubbish cleared by front end loader
GV Rubbish loaded into truck
Initials BB/PN/SGM/0138 BB/PN/SGM/0153
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Background: Grenadier Guardsmen, soldiers of one of Britain's most famous regiments, were ordered by the Government on Saturday (October 24) to clear away mounds of rotting refuse left by striking dustmen.
Twenty Guardsmen, famous for their Bearskin headdress worn on ceremonial occasions, and 12 men from the Royal Engineers were ordered to Petticoat Lane - a street market in London's East End - to clear away piles of putrefying rubbish.
It was the first time that troops had been called in since the nationwide council workers' strike, now four weeks old, began.
The troops, armed with mechanical shovels and several tipper trucks, set to work clearing mounds of mouldering rubbish reported to be up to 10 feet (three metres) high. The move to send in the soldiers came after local officials had declared the rotting refuse a health hazard.
Expected opposition from strike pickets never materialised. Instead the troops were greeted with shouts of "Thank God" from local residents who have lived with steadily growing heaps of waste for almost a month.
British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling ordered in the troops after striking Municipal Workers had rejected a final plea to clear the streets.
Troops have not been used in an industrial dispute since 1955 when they delivered long distance mail during a postmen's strike.