E13: Women in the miners’ strike

Episode about the crucial role played by women in the great miners strike in Britain, 1984-5, in conversation with Heather Wood, chair of the Easington women’s strike support group.

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This is our short video history of the miners’ strike: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOucUVz4AYw
This is a short history of Women Against Pit Closures, an umbrella group of miners’ wives and women supporting the strike: https://libcom.org/history/women-against-pit-closures-1984-5


– Neil Kinnock – leader of the Labour Party at the time
– Tony Benn – a long-term left-wing Labour MP
– Greenham Common – a legendary women’s peace camp
– The book by local women was called The Last Coals of Spring and is currently out of print
– The 1926 general strike – this is a short history: https://libcom.org/history/articles/british-general-strike
– Battle of Orgreave – a mass picket of the Orgreave coking plant by miners was viciously attacked by huge numbers of police. Large numbers of miners were then arrested and charged with bogus crimes as a result, while the BBC was complicit by faking the sequence of events. There is a campaign for enquiry into the events here: otjc.org.uk/
– Arthur Scargill – the left-wing leader of the NUM
– Play in Manchester: Queens of the Coal Age, about a women’s occupation of a pit in 1993: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/jul/05/queens-of-the-coal-age-review-maxine-peake-shines-light-on-womens-fight-for-the-mines
– Women’s banner group at the Durham Miners Gala article here: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/16143458.First_all_women_banner_group_to_take_part_in_Durham_Miners__Gala/
– Keith Patterson’s photographs – see some referred to in this podcast here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/gallery/2010/sep/12/miners-strike-1984-85-david-peace
– Jack Dormand was the local Labour MP
– Peterloo – this was a massacre of protesting workers by British security forces in 1819, this is our episode about Peterloo: https://workingclasshistory.com/2018/11/07/e15-the-peterloo-massacre-with-mike-leigh/


– Speech recording courtesy of Amber Films and Can’t Beat it Alone. The full film in multiple parts can be seen at www.amber-online.com
– Intro music, and music during the podcast from the Kellingley Colliery Brass Band from www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnt1JqOJQqE
– Outro music is the Banwen miners marching band in Wales, playing during the march back to work after the end of the strike from www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGQtyj9t5BA
Edited by Jesse French