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Women Urged To Share Miners' Strike Memories

Wednesday January 22 2014

BARNSLEY women are being urged to share their memories for a special exhibition to mark 30 years since the miners' strike.

Women are invited to go to Experience Barnsley this Saturday between 11am to 2pm.

The impact of the strike of 1984/85 had a huge effect on the lives of many miners and their families in Barnsley. 

It's now 30 years since the strike took place.

Many women were involved in campaigning on the picket lines, running soup kitchens and looking after their families.

The Women Against Pit Closures movement started in Barnsley and spread all over the country.

Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for development, environment and culture, said: "The WAPC movement empowered many women to take a public role in what was a male-dominated community.

"What started out as the communal feeding of families soon gave women a political role and their resolve was strong - even during times of extreme hardship.

"I'm sure there are some fascinating stories throughout Barnsley and I encourage people to share them with the Experience Barnsley team."

The exhibition will open on Monday, March 3 and will run alongside a whole programme of events and activities in 2014.

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Reply Posted by lee on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 13:27
would be interesting to go along and listen to their stories. so many peoples lives were ruined because of the miners strike, people from these backgrounds must never forget that it was the same government in 84-85 that is in power today putting hardship on the normal working class who strive to earn a decent living but get knocked down by the Tories. they need to think hard about who they vote in the next general election, wages today are pathetic.

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 17:10
Don't forget Lee, Labour shut down more pits than the Tories, three times as many in fact.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 18:45
Don't forget Fred the Tories decimated the UK Manufacturing industry to the tune of 54% GDP since the Thatcher years....

Reply Posted by Fred on Thursday January 23 2014 at 09:45
Steveo, she got this country back on its feet to make us one of the wealthiest Countries in the World. One thing is for sure, she did nowhere the damage that the previous Labour Government did to this once great Country of ours.

For all the people that knock her, you never hear them say that when she became Prime Minister this country was bankrupt, left a total basket case by the Callaghan Government. It took years of difficult decisions to get this Country solvent again.

To this day, you still have the good people of Barnsley blame Margaret Thatcher and the Tories for the destruction of the mining industry, this is not true. The decline began under Labour and never recovered. Thatcher even tried to save the industry, but the damage was already done by Labour.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Thursday January 23 2014 at 16:26
Thatcher also introduced stringent anti union and employment legislation and that is why we find ourselves in the dark ages as far as employment in this country is concerned.
This continues to this day whereby the Tories are constantly watering down employment legislation and that is why we find ourselves in the era of zero hours contracts and the scrapping of the right for people to claim compensation for damages against unscrupulous employers.
Before the employer had to disprove that injuries sustained at work were not the fault of the employer, now the employee has to prove otherwise, the Tories changed this legislation last year and not a lot of people know this.

Reply Posted by june on Friday January 24 2014 at 14:53
well said fred am with you on that margret thatcher did some good for this country.

Reply Posted by JJ on Friday January 24 2014 at 15:16
Ok you can like Thatcher or whatever but you clearly like her based on a bunch of made up stuff. She deliberately closed down all the pits as a politicised decision to destroy the workers unions, at the time N.U.M was the biggest, hence why she destroyed all industry jobs in the UK, this is proven in something called the Ridley plan, look it up and read it, it was drawn up by Nicolas Ridley under the Heath government. She didn't try to save the pits at all, she wanted them ALL shut down so the unions would have significantly less power allowing the outsourcing of all industry jobs to china and the middle east where wages and oil were significantly less, how does that benefit Barnsley? Were not share holders of these companies so what good is it to us? Barnsley used to have nearly 100% employment and was self sufficent before the industry was destroyed now it's heavily relient on welfare and has huge unemployment problems. Thatcher made the financial market rich, Barnsley never gained any positives from it, its only the economic incentives later on that improved the state Barnsley and the most of South Yorkshire was in, but lets face it a hell of a lot more needs to be done and i can gurantee it wasent a tory incentive to invest in Barnsley. The tories seriously considered abandoning the whole of Liverpool and i bet they thought the same with Yorkshire. Labour may have sold out there traditional grass route values after Thatcher and continued what she set in place but that doesn't make her any better, as it stand Thatcher gets too much credit anyway a lot of the plans for the dismantling of industry were already drawn up by the Heath goverrment, she didn't come up with any of it.

Reply Posted by jane on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 14:09
I ran from wakefield to end of cortonwood pit lane to raise money for striking miners.it was a pleasure to do it for the community

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 17:14
It's a shame Scargill and the Union men were not as charitable Jane.

They were living the good life im affraid while the miners were struggling.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 18:51
Its a pity the Tories aren't more charitable to the people that create the "true wealth" for the country, the people on low wages rather than giving millionaires tax cuts....

Reply Posted by Maria on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:08
I can assure you Fred not all union men were living the good life, I was married to one, we had a 2 year old and a 6 month baby, believe me we struggled as much as any other miner

Reply Posted by Zoe campbell on Thursday April 10 2014 at 14:04
Hi jane, I'm a broadcast journalism student in Leeds and I'm doing a radio documentary on the role of women during the strikes, would you be willing to do an interview with me on your experience?

Reply Posted by angela on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 15:11
we used to run coffee mornings from the barugh green club. we had collections raffles bring and buy sales. anything to raise money for the single lads who got nothing from anywhere. my biggest memory was going round the village collecting food for them and the only one who refused was a deputy's wife who had a single lad working at the pit. all the pensioners gave us something but not her. needless to say the parcels stopped going to her house.

Reply Posted by Zoe campbell on Thursday April 10 2014 at 14:06
Hi Angela, I'm a broadcast journalism student in Leeds and I'm doing a radio documentary on the role of women during the strikes, would you be willing to do an interview with me on your experience? It would be greatly appreciated and you wouldn't have to go out of your way I can drive to you.

Reply Posted by Julie on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 17:11
I cut miners and there families hair free of charge every Thurs all through the strike,and some of them are still clients today.

Reply Posted by .... on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 17:35
Get some new material Dicky, are you stuck on repeat? Or is it part of your condition? What you gone a go on about next those 47 labour MP's?

Reply Posted by Jane on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 21:08
I remember mounted police at the end of my street, bus shelter been broken down because the bricks had been used as weapons, free school dinners & a duffle coat, dad getting arrested at Orgreave, helping mum open food parcels at the miners welfare club, Brampton & not knowing what it was because it came from France & Russia, my mum & I even went to Russia with a group if women courtesy of the Russsian Miners Unión....

Reply Posted by anon on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 21:35
I KNOW SOME STUFF ABOUT THE STRIKE. Some of it quite alarming. Too distressing to report on WAB. Its a political minefield.

Reply Posted by Bushy on Wednesday January 22 2014 at 22:37
Where was the picture taken?

Reply Posted by Fred on Thursday January 23 2014 at 09:51
I think it was Rotherham Bushy

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Thursday January 23 2014 at 10:06
Maltby Coll I think.

Reply Posted by Muso on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:10
The picture is taken from Brampton looking towards Wombwell. The entrance to Cortonwood is on the left hand side.

Reply Posted by Tosh on Thursday January 23 2014 at 00:42
It was a male dominated industry because women weren't allowed underground. I don't agree that WAPC empowered women. My late Mother was involved in doing a lot for those on strike and was proud of my Dad for sticking it out for 12 months. Like many of her friends she was already more than capable of fighting her corner and was a regular attendee at NUPE meetings before the strike. I accept the point that was made by refering to WAPC but I think that shows a poor appreciation of just how resilient women from the mining community were.

Reply Posted by .... on Thursday January 23 2014 at 10:42
They want stories from women who lived through the strike, not bizarre fantasists that weren't even born at the time , that hijack every thread like this posting what they read on google.

Reply Posted by .... on Thursday January 23 2014 at 11:52
That sounds just like you Richard. Your opinions are just repeated tory claptrap. Why don't you post under your real name on thesr type of threads? After all that's where Fred came from, the story about the film of the strike if I remember correctly. Firstly because you know nothing about it because you were not born. Secondly anyone that praises Thatcher and the torys like you do, can only be A true blue tory. Something you have always denied.

Reply Posted by Anon on Friday January 24 2014 at 14:40
Pic above is knollbeck lane/pit lane, cortonwood

Reply Posted by Jpatti on Friday January 24 2014 at 14:40
The picture is taken in Brampton bierlow....itss of the end of cortonwood pit lane .

Reply Posted by Luke on Friday January 24 2014 at 14:52
Regardless of people's opinions on the politics surrounding the miners strikes . This isn't about that . It's about sharing the experiences of the women during the strike and not about who's fault it was . Let's listen to them , and talk about what really matters , how it affected people . Surely that's the most important ! What was done has been done and we are all aware of how it's affected each and every ones of us in the community . Embrace the stories ..

Reply Posted by Dawn on Saturday January 25 2014 at 07:50
Why is he an idiot Observer? For having an opinion?

Its quite clear that if you have an opinion the Barnsley public don't agree with they have to revert to insults, chidish, I know.

This happend to me last year when I was insulted for having an opinion on the digraceful scenes in Goldthorpe celebrating Thatchers death. One of the comments I made was about how she smacked the militant unions of the 70's, yes the 70's, back into the gutter. Now I was on about unionism of the 70s which is totally different to the unions of today. I kept getting insulted thoughtout the thread btw( If they only knew that they were wasting their breath, they wouldn't have bothered, but we had a laugh at work that day). :)

Some of the Barnsley public need to get a grip because it's quite obvious they don't like to hear some home truths.

And before you start, I know a hell of alot about the miners strike. For a starters, my mentor at work was an ex-miner. I have heard about it and lived through it.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:03
isn't this the same Dawn that said her union , Unison wasn't it? Was rubbish and she was so badly done to as a union member because she didn't win her case?
Hmm one to slag the unions off but alas the first to complain when things don't go her way.
OOps if it hadn't been for Thatcher and the Tories you would have won your case a long time ago, ooh silly me I nearly forgot Thatcher and the Tories stripped every workers rights away from the workers.
I'm sure its tough being a nurse dawny poos.

Reply Posted by mmm on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:12
You are right STEVEO good memory!

Reply Posted by Dawn on Sunday January 26 2014 at 09:35
Now then mr know it all you. Yes I did have a problem with a union rep, I later found out I was right,it's safe to say he is no longer a union rep. And yes I ended up winning my case when another Rep took over it. So are you saying I was wrong to be angry big lad?

Are you saying the Tories were not rigtt to change the union laws after what happend in the late 70's?

So yes, I was right stevie baby to be annoyed at said Rep. Steveo Right mmmm? Don't be so stupid a joke yes. If you saw the faces of my work colleagues that day reading the drivel that was posted you would be so red faced. Mmm, stop licking his backside and speak for yourself. I suppose you're ....?

Steveo -you need to stop being so judgmental and get your own house in order first. Oh nurse you say? I've moved up the NHS ladder since then. Shame a few folk on here don't get on with their lifes, im sure you know the who im on about.

Reply Posted by Grim on Sunday January 26 2014 at 11:03
STEVEO must think it is alright for a Union to hold this country to ransome. Anyone who lived though the strikes of the late seventies will no what I mean. Did you all enjoy the power outages or maybe a family member not getting burid or how about not being able to use the telephone, need I go on.

Do you not think the union law had to change after the nightmare of 79.

Reply Posted by Fred on Sunday January 26 2014 at 12:53

I remember one airlines stewards going on strike because they didn't like their new uniforms.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Sunday January 26 2014 at 14:01
No I don't Grim, all I am interested in is protecting our fellow brethren from unscrupulous employers and idiotic Tory government that has watered down employment legislation to eye watering levels.
This is why we find ourselves in the realms of zero hours and annualised contracts.

Thatcher and the Tories changed union laws because the unions had gotten too strong, the only good thing that has come out of the legislation is the postal ballot system.

Dawn, I don't really know what it is you are banging on about as your post is all over the place.
You complained about your rep not doing the job you expected him to do and slate your union mercilessly but you are still a union member?
I am glad that you finally won your case but just remember, for the most part union reps are unpaid (unison may be different, don't know cos I have never dealt with them) and to be brutally honest the job of union rep be it local, regional or national is a poisoned chalice, believe me I know.

Reply Posted by .... on Saturday January 25 2014 at 09:08
Try posting in your own name Richard, and stop trying to force your opinions on to everyone else.

Reply Posted by Anon on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:08
I wAs a child of the strike and remember hardship, free school dinners and tears, I also remember the immense pride miners had in fighting for what they believed in, never again would I wish what we went through on anyone else in the future

Reply Posted by Kfc on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:16
The Miners of yesterday are what this country is lacking today. Politics to one side.

They were hard working honest and true to there beliefs and was so near to over throwing the Conservatives.

The Day the miners went back to work. Was the day every working man and women in this country lost there working rights.

The Miners were fighting for all the working class of our country.

I salute each and everyone of you. You can be very proud of yourselves.

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:21
Well said kfc.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:14
We will always have our pride, they will NEVER take that away from us.
Barnsley is often called a backwater between Leeds and Sheffield, which to certain people is ,remarkably true but this town was built on the blood sweat and tears of hardworking people toiling in unbelievably hard conditions underground for a few quid and for those people I will ALWAYS take my (flat) cap off to you, yes our town is a shithole but it is our shithole.

The miners did indeed fight for every working person in this country, Thatcher may have broken the spirit of the union movement but she will never break our hearts.

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:21
Man after my own heart. But, I do think we have had a good hiding! As we have said before, look at the employment laws. I'm sticking to the old ways, but I fear I,m on my own! The new employment laws are cruel and degrading. I must say,its hurting me to think we are being ....well..down graded.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:26
sid is the kind of guy I would most definitely buy a few pints for.
You and the (fictional) wonderful Mr Khan.....

Reply Posted by Nicky WAB on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:32
While I don't doubt the fictional Mr Khan is undoubtedly amusing to those who have been corresponding with him, WAB is a news website. It's unfair on people coming on here for news to have to trawl through scores of nonsensical posts. We posted our user guidelines on our facebook page earlier this week and ask people to read and respect them. Sorry Mr Khan but it is not the right place for your admittedly very creative posts. We wish you well but ask you to respect that

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday January 25 2014 at 23:35
Cheers mate. You know,when you and I are older, there will be no one left to fight for the working man. I am an employer,but I work harder than my guys, and I'm the last paid from the till, to be honest its been a long toil. My boys will take over soon with me on the side lines. I hope they carry my flag and treat everyone as they would want to be treated themselves. It seems me and mine live in a little old fashioned bubble, and its bloody lovely. In the real world though I think the working man are losing the fight. The ba!!Ards!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Sunday January 26 2014 at 13:43
Nicky WAB, about time that everyone had their own user name and log in really isn't it?
Not hard in this day and age is it?
Perhaps then it may stop the imposters.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Sunday January 26 2014 at 14:02

Reply Posted by diane conway on Saturday January 25 2014 at 20:41
Unless you lived through the strike don't comment because you don't know how hard it was. My now deceased ex husband was a miner and he worked twelve hour shifts crawling on his hands and knees through water,later in life he was crippled with a bad back,so all of you who think you are badly done to in your job think of those men.we were so proud of the men for fighting for their rights,thatcher got shut of the unions so people today don't have any rights,and as for Arthur scargill having plenty of money during the strike isn't that what the government is doing now yet again keeping the rich rich and the poor poor.

Reply Posted by Fred on Sunday January 26 2014 at 12:56
.... likes to be called Diane.

You have a lot in common.

Reply Posted by Greatfull on Saturday January 25 2014 at 21:15
Two of my close friends, just kids, died on goldthorpe pit bankings collecting coal for their family's to keep warm during the strike, godbless I still remember you xxx

Reply Posted by Juliesq on Saturday January 25 2014 at 21:19
My grandma used to work a days shift and a night shift in 24hrs to pay her and my mums mortgage clothe us and feed us, at that time there were 5 adults 2 children, 2 were striking minors and stood proud on the picket line! If it wasn't for my gran, Joan smith of goldthorpe, I dread to think what would have happened to us!

Reply Posted by TC on Saturday January 25 2014 at 22:36
I was a teenage girl in 84 in a typical Barnsley patriarchal household. Seeing my bigoted father, brothers & their cronies being told "no" by Margaret Thatcher was an inspiration. I regard that period in my life as definitive. We're it not for her example, which inspired me to rebel against the gender stereotype, my life would have been very different now & most certainly not for the better.

Reply Posted by anon on Saturday January 25 2014 at 22:39

Reply Posted by Dawn on Sunday January 26 2014 at 09:52
Most definatley, and not bad bad word said about Arthur Scargill who brought the miners out to strike knowing full well that they were going hungry while he and the unions where living a life of luxury.

I mean, who bring them out on strike when the coal stocks where high and it was the sping/summer?

The miners ( not all may I add) were brainwashed by the fool. Poor souls.

Reply Posted by Fred on Sunday January 26 2014 at 12:23
Correct Dawn.

The NUM have realised what a crook he is now. If they only listened to me in the first place.

Reply Posted by lyn on Thursday January 30 2014 at 10:12
i was one of the women involved in the strike as i was against pit closures and the catastophic effects it would have and as had on our communities and on mining families in general . in our community shops, closed 3 public houses closed,drugs are rife and plenty of young men who are now approaching 30 that have never worked only in crime .if pits had still remained open these youths would have had jobs to go to and been too tired to go out vandelising and burgling ect

Reply Posted by x on Thursday January 30 2014 at 18:38
those miners had more grit,backbone and pride than you set of mamby pamby,everything at the touch of a button brigade will ever have,you wouldnt know hard graft if it jumped up and smacked you in the face.and anyone who agrees with a government who was letting children starve just so they could win is a disgrace to the human race

Reply Posted by sarah on Thursday January 30 2014 at 19:25
yes the government of the day was dodgy but so was scargill he had the miners out without a proper ballot ive said it before and will stick by it he knew what was going on and played with peoples lives because he wanted to win against a woman doesnt matter who that woman was he wanted to say im the big man i will win and i dont care how i do it. Michael Duger was on the daily politics show today after an apology from the tories but not scargill,he knows the suffering he caused but he doesnt have to apologise.

Reply Posted by x on Thursday January 30 2014 at 23:07
sorry sarah but that was thatcher who had the i will win and don't care how i do it attitude, and i think the papers found recently prove that,she was prepared to go to any length to win

ipso Regulated