1980s miners strikes?(291 Posts)
I'm watching Pride, which is set 1984-5, which is before I was born, and it's made me realise I know nothing about the miners strikes.
If you remember it, were affected by it, what was it like? Or are there some things I can read to find out more? There's very little online
I'm in the north, and some communities are still impacted, third generation of people out of work. My parents used to collect food parcels up for the strikers.
I don't remember much about it - being a young southener at the time - but I do remember the collections of food at the supermarkets for the miners and their families.
I'm surprised there isn't much online - it was a huge news item for quite a long time and had lasting consequences.
Is your google broken? Googling 1984 miners strike brings up nearly 300 000 links including a detailed wikipedia
My dad was a striking miner so we had a year without his wages and obviously not entitled to benefits as on strike. DM was mainly a SAHM and I was the eldest of 5 DCs.
She did a bit of extra work in the shop she worked part time in and I think my grandparents helped them pay the mortgage. My dad also did a bit of work on the side like gardening, gutter clearing, window cleaning etc to put food on the table.
Others weren't so lucky and people lost homes, marriages broke up due to the strain and there was a lot of falling out as some people broke the strike, often because it was that or lose their homes.
We got food parcels and Christmas presents from German miners associations and were familiar with the weird and wonderful Aldi and Lidl style food 20 years before everyone else in the UK . But we survived.
My family were very keen on supporting the miners as fellow unionists and we used to go on support marches. I was about 6 at the time. I actually wrote to Arthur Scargill saying I was collecting money for the miners and their families and he wrote back and sent me a signed photo and an NUM badge.
It was a bad time locally and there are still raw wounds because Orgreave is still being covered up.
You really understand the venom when you saw first hand what happened.
Very little online? Not my experience. A couple of pages for an overview:
I'm Northern and old enough to remember it well. Our town wasn't a mining town though there was a pit on the outskirts. I remember the womens protect group setting up a camp at the pit entrance.
I think that's a bit unfair Barbara, first hand accounts are fascinating.
I'm a tad cynical re the third generations out of work: would be interested in hearing more.
hahahaIdontgetit Indeed, mainly the ex pit villages of South Yorkshire (and possibly further up in the north east) have suffered with deprivation, drugs and lack of jobs, especially for working class men, who would probably have joined all their previous male relatives down t'pit rather than go to university etc. There are some warehouse type jobs now but still problems.
My Dad was very involved. I was 10/11. Went to a lot of benefit gigs, on marches. Visited South Wales, lots of Yorkshire. Met Arthur Scar gill, who was just amazing.
The police violence on the picket lines was shocking and covered up while the striking miners were vilified in the press and made out to be awful people.
Nothing new there though. We saw the same thing with Hillsborough.
Sorry, you're right. There is more online than I realised. I searched earlier whilst doing something else and saw mainly Wikipedia and newspaper things talking about it being 30years on.
I wasn't sure how accurate the film was re food parcels and buses taking people to actual protest, day in, day out.
My husband is from a mining community, near one of the largest coal sites in the UK (perhaps even Europe). A major employer, a key strategic site, a focus for union action.
At only 9/10 years old, he remembers with childhood memories (I was younger and remember only that 'it was happening'). His parents had/have far clearer memories - starving, filthy children, infighting between family men, rifts that would never heal, whole communities left to rot. His grandfather, a gentleman in all senses, used to hate with ferocity the industry that he gave his working life and eventually his life to.
The place is still a shell. Low aspirations, high social problems, etc.
For that, I know his father would never back reopening the pits.
I wasn't born til the era Pride is set in and am a Londoner, but went out with a guy 15 years older, so born early 70s, who had older brothers. My ex was the academic one in the family and got out of his tiny mining village where there was no work and got a professional job and moved to London after uni. His brothers weren't so lucky- they followed in the footsteps of their out of work Dad... the community was left to rot. The older brother died from a heroin overdose at 29. Tragic. Communities and families are still suffering now.
Is your google broken?
Who rained on your parade this morning?
My MIL used to take food out to the striking miners and to their families.
I remember watching it on the news but it all seemed unreal (we were northern lite I guess, not in a mining area). The picket lines on the news are my main memory.
I was very young. My mum remembers being cold with no coal for the fire, and using an electric bar fire instead.
This might out me but I got badly burned by said fire so I have a lifetime reminder of sorts.
I now live in another community that was also badly affected and relied so much on the pits, but everyone old enough remembers the community spirit and how everyone mucked in.
A couple of workmates also benefitted hugely from the strikes due to police overtime payments, but they learned not to be too smug after a fairly heated argument in the office.
I was a toddler but my dad (mechanical engineer in pit) says i went to the union hut every day with him. Remember all of us walking in a march, on his shoulders and to be honest it was probably that situation that made me have such a good bond with him.
My brothers all went to the local miners welfare for their dinner, as did many families. Luckily my dad was always a saver and so it could have been worse. The good thing about the pit closing was a good pension package as he put every penny he could i to his pension which was matched. He often tells me stories about the pit and i never really appreciatdd how tough a job it was until now.
I've found the community spirit aspect of it really interesting, it's not something I see in the area I'm in now.
If you're in London get going to the newspaper archives in Hendon to look at the horrendous coverage in the papers. Newspaper bias etc, Battle of Ogreave etc.
I did my dissertation on the strike and it was hideous but the industry was costing a fortune as a whole. Very murky and lots of external influences and politics.
Also look into the Wapping Dispute and moving all the papers and printing from Fleet Street to the central hub. I think it was the Times (?) didn't print an edition for almost a year and there are still people in my husband's work marked as scabs to this day over it (Dh in a totally different industry!)
My nanny used to send up parcels as she came from a family of miners
Her nephew had to return to work and was attacked and intimidated this happened to many my family knew the situation spilt communities and had a terrible impact
My dad voted not to strike and was a member of the UDM in the Notts coalfield which didn't strike unlike south Yorkshire etc.
When going to work he had to lay on the floor of the bus which had metal grilles on the windows etc. People would ignore my Mum at the local shops, Scum was graffiti ed on our neighbour's house (mistook which house was who's). Was an entirely nasty affair for everyone. Was made redundant when the pits closed, spent 17 months wih no support from the authorities. Got a job in a supermarket until he died in the noughties aged 58 of industrial related cancer.
He went in the mines in 1980 for more money but if I had a choice i'd have lived in poverty so he had never had to go down the bloody thing.
It's a bit far from London but I'll look it up when next there. It think it was too recent history to be talked about at school and I've always lived a long way from a mining area.
My grandad and uncle were striking miners. I remember being taken to the picket lines by my grandmother to wave banners and collect money with the women, and meeting at the social club to collect food parcels. I was about 4 or 5. My grandad had moved from South Wales when my dad was small so that he would grow up with better prospects than the pit.
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