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Last updated:29 June 2016

Miners strike, cards of support

March's object was chosen by Bethan Murray, volunteer:

miners' strike support cards“I chose this collection of 5 cards, created by the group Artvists from Barnsley, Yorkshire, as I feel they are a great way to show support and to make the public aware of the situation in the mining communities. With their eye-catching images of the events through out the strike and bold colours, they draw people in to look at the contents inside. Once inside there are a number of different forms of literature from short facts to poetry on the subject of the strike and issues concerning the striking families."

Miners' Strike 1984- 1985

In March this year it will be 25 years since the miners’ strike of the mid-1980s came to an end. The strike started in March 1984 when the conservative government announced that they were to shut twenty pits with the loss of 120,000 jobs.

This caused outrage amongst the miners leading to the president of the National Union of Miners’ (NUM), Arthur Scargill, describing the move as a ‘savage butchery’ of the industry. Within a week of this announcement, all of Yorkshire’s miners were on strike, with many other mining areas following their example.

The strike lasted for twelve long months, with miners and their families feeling the effects of losing part of the family income. Many were living on the food parcels donated by the general public. The strike came to an end with the miners’ defeat by the Thatcher Government; it was seen to have weakened Britain’s trade union movement.

March 2010

Click here for more information about the Miners' strike


Resources about the Miners' Strike in the library collection

Personal accounts including:

  • Norma Dolby, Norma Dolby's diary: an account of the great miners' strike (1987) - Shelfmark: FR01
  • David John Douglass, A year of our lives: a colliery community in the great coal strike of 1984/85 (1986) - Shelfmark: H32
  • R Forbes, and D Smithson, Feelings alive '84/85: poems of the miners’ strike in Durham (1986) -  Shelfmark: AE Miners Strike Box 1
  • Jackie Keating, Counting the cost: a family in the miners' strike (1991) - Shelfmark: S45

A large box containing a pasted-up collection of locally-generated leaflet material, press cuttings etc - Shelfmark: AE Miners Strike Box 7

A collection of over 100 posters

Our mining periodicals collection includes copies both of The Miner, produced by the National Union of Mineworkers, and The UDM Miner, produced by the Union of Democratic Mineworkers

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