It seems that yet another train strike is looming. On the back of Northern Rail pledging a walkout, Southwestern Railway workers have announced nine further strike days this autumn.

This brings back memories of May 1924, when a strike was causing a big public transport headache in Southend. But this time it was the trams.

Back when Southend was hugely dependent on the smooth-running of its tram services, a one day lightning strike by conductors and drivers brought the town to an eerie standstill.

The walkout was sparked over the treatment of a conductor, who had been suspended over claims he allowed four passengers to ride without paying the proper fare.

The Southend Pictorial Telegraph issued two special editions to cover the strike, which occurred on Saturday May 17 1924.

Reports told how “much inconvenience was caused by this cessation of means of travel for a period of about six hours.

“Stoppage of the service was from 11.45am-6pm. Passengers and users of the trams were taken completely by surprise, despite rumours of a strike circulating in the early morning.”

The strike has been caused over the treatment of a tram conductor named L. Loyd.

Mr Lloyd has been working on a route from the local Gas Works some four days earlier, when four passengers got on and bought one penny tickets.

When the men didn’t get off when they were supposed to an official from the tram corporation, who had also boarded the tram, questioned Mr Lloyd about why he had not told them to get off.

The conductor informed the official he had just been about to and was on his way up to the front of the tram to question them, when he was stopped.

The saga blew up after Mr Lloyd was called to a meeting and suspended for a week.

Enraged by the injustice of their colleague’s suspension over such a trivial matter, conductors and tram drivers began talking about a strike.

By 12pm on the Saturday all of the Southend-on-Sea Corporation Tram cars had returned to their depot in London Road.

Passengers were left high and dry, although many supported the strikers in their actions.

Some members of the public even helped the striking tram workers collect for charity while the issue was thrashed out by union officials.

By 2.30pm the bigwigs had been called in – Alderman Morris, of the General Workers Union came to Southend from Islington to help negotiate an end of the strike.

After much wrangling Mr Lloyd was re-instated and the strike came to an end just before 6pm.

Back in 1924 Southend was served by a fleet of tramway cars, powered by overhead electrical wires.

Lines ran from Victoria Circus, at the top of the High Street, to Leigh-on-Sea and Southchurch.

In 1925, the Corporation looked at replacing the trams with more efficient trolleybuses and by December 1928, trolleybuses had all but replaced the trams.

Check out our photo gallery from the strike. The images were taken from the scene by a Southend Pictorial Telegraph photographer.