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History > 20th century > UK > Margaret Thatcher (PM 1979-1990) > The Miners' strike    1984-1985

 

 

 

An arrested and injured miner

being taken to an ambulance

during the 1984 Battle of Orgreave.

 

Photograph: Rex Shutterstock

 

Miners' strike:

IPCC considers unredacted Orgreave report

G

Wednesday 4 May 2016        08.54 BST

Last modified on Thursday 5 May 2016        23.11 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/04/
miners-strike-ipcc-considers-unredacted-orgreave-report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1985

 

The aftermath of the miners' strike

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/
miners-strike-1984-85
 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/arthur-scargill  

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jul/01/
children-colliery-towns-not-learn-miners-strike

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/15/
orgreave-police-inquiry-foot-dragging-clashes

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/may/07/
coal-not-dole-the-miners-strike-in-pictures

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/07/
women-miners-strike-1984-wives-picket-lines

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/28/
in-search-of-arthur-scargill-miners-strike

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/03/
margaret-thatcher-secret-plan-army-miners-strike

 

 

 

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-22068640 - 8 April 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The miners' strike        The Battle of Orgreave        South Yorkshire        1984-1985

 

 

 

The battle of Orgreave, South Yorkshire,

during the 1984-85 miners’ strike.

 

‘What I remember,

and what I discussed with my students,

was that the early evening BBC news coverage

was filmed from behind police lines,’

writes Michael Weller.

 

Photograph: Photofusion/Rex

 

The BBC and its coverage of the battle of Orgreave

G

Thursday 23 July 2015        19.24 BST

Last modified on Friday 6 May 2016        00.27 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/23/
the-bbc-and-its-coverage-of-the-battle-of-orgreave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Union of Mineworkers leader

Arthur Scargill

in front of riot police during clashes

at the Orgreave coking plant in Yorkshire in 1984.

 

Photograph: Don McPhee for the Guardian

 

G

Thursday 15 October 2015        23.00 BST

Last modified on Friday 6 May 2016        00.08 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/15/
modern-politicians-better-spin-miners-strike-margaret-thatcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arthur Scargill is arrested at the Orgreave picket line.

 

Photograph:

Daily Mail/Rex Shuttershock / Alam

 

Theresa May to heed campaigners'

call for inquiry into battle of Orgreave

G

Tuesday 15 December 2015    09.00 GMT

Last modified on Thursday 5 May 2016    23.52 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/15/
theresa-may-to-heed-campaigners-call-for-inquiry-into-battle-of-orgreave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Following the battle,

95 miners were charged with riot,

an offence which can carry a life sentence.’

 

Photograph: Mike Forster/Associated News/Rex

 

The lies binding Hillsborough to the battle of Orgreave

G

Thursday 5 May 2016        19.59 BST

Last modified on Thursday 5 May 2016        23.08 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/05/
lies-bind-hillsborough-battle-orgreave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police and pickets

at Orgreave, South Yorkshire during the miners strike in 1984

 

Photograph: Don McPhee for the Guardian

 

G

Tuesday 24 February 2015        16.25 GMT

Last modified on Thursday 26 February 2015        12.54 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/24/
uk-miners-strike-30-years-on-share-your-photos-and-stories

 

 

Related

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/dec/06/
photographers-scrum-winning-image-picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maerdy Womens’ support group

marching to Maerdy Colliery

after the strike ended on 5 March 1985

 

Photograph: John Barnes for the Guardian

 

UK miners' strike 30 years on:

share your photos and stories

G

Tuesday 24 February 2015        16.25 GMT

Last modified on Thursday 26 February 2015        12.54 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/24/
uk-miners-strike-30-years-on-share-your-photos-and-stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protests outside the NUM headquarters in Sheffield

during the miners’ strike of 1984.

 

Photograph: Tony Prime/The Observer

G

Wed 10 Jul 2019    13.36 BST

Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019    13.42 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/jul/10/
tony-prime-obituary
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miners' strike - 30 years since the pit crisis of 1984        Channel 4 News        Added 6 March 2014

 

 

 

 

Miners' strike - 30 years since the pit crisis of 1984        Channel 4 News        Added 6 March 2014

 

Thirty years ago today,

miners at Cortonwood colliery in Yorkshire

walked out in protest at plans to close their pit.

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA-76QeiuSQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1984-1985

 

The miners' strike / The Battle of Orgreave, South Yorkshire

 

 

 

 

What happened at the 'Battle of Orgreave'? – video explainer

G        Tuesday 1 November 2016        17.46 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2016/nov/01/
what-happened-at-the-battle-of-orgreave-video-explainer

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/miners-strike-1984-85

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/society/industry_coal06.shtml

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/
54ec5f02e4b0d1cbcab7bbc5#contribute

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/12/
newsid_3503000/3503346.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/society/industry_coal06.shtml - 15 August 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3494024.stm - 4 March 2004

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/arthur-scargill

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/jul/10/
tony-prime-obituary

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/dec/16/
battle-orgreave-lesley-boulton-photograph

 

https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2016/nov/01/
what-happened-at-the-battle-of-orgreave-video-explainer

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/14/
john-lyons-obituary

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/05/
lies-bind-hillsborough-battle-orgreave

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/23/
the-bbc-and-its-coverage-of-the-battle-of-orgreave

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/22/
bill-sirs

 

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/may/03/
shafted-review-john-godber-east-riding

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/the-northerner/2015/mar/06/
miners-strike-1984-num-yorkshire-archive

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/guardianwitness-blog/2015/mar/05/
miners-strike-30-years-on-i-fought-not-just-for-my-pit-but-for-the-community

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/24/uk-
miners-strike-30-years-on-share-your-photos-and-stories

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/03/
miners-strike-thatcher-real-enemy-within-extremism

 

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jun/15/
orgreave-police-inquiry-foot-dragging-clashes

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA-76QeiuSQ - Channel 4 - 6 March 2014

 

http://www.theguardian.com/gnmeducationcentre/women-miners-strike-1984-85-
jean-stead-teaching-resource-gnm-archive

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25549596 - 3 January 2014

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2013/apr/09/
arthur-scargill-wife-margaret-thatcher-evil-video

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/
margaret-thatcher-death-orgreave-coal-miners

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/09/
margaret-thatcher-miners-society

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/dec/01/
miners-strike-1984-met-police

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/gallery/2010/sep/12/
miners-strike-1984-85-david-peace

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/12/
david-peace-miners-strike 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/29/
margaret-thatcher-undermine-miners-union

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/29/
margaret-thatcher-soviet-aid-miners

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/from-the-archive-blog/2011/jun/03/
guardian190-miners-strike-1984

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/04/
peter-heathfield-obituary

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/oct/28/
norman-west-obituary

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2009/feb/23/
don-mcphee-miner-strike-photography?picture=343709083

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/from-the-archive-blog/2014/jun/17/
orgreave-how-they-rewrote-the-law-1985

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/18/
from-the-archive-october-1984

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/society/
industry_coal06.shtml - 15 August 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against (the) backdrop

of high unemployment,

the Coal Board

announced

in early 1984

that 20 uneconomic pits

would have to close,

putting 20,000 miners

out of work.

 

It was

the government's

second attempt

to close these pits,

after a climb-down

in 1981.

 

Miners

at the endangered

Cortonwood colliery

in Yorkshire

walked out

on 5 March 1984

in protest

at the plans.

 

Within a week,

more than half

the country's miners

were on strike.

 

The dispute

lasted a year

and led to conflict

not only with police

but between miners

who supported

the strike

and those

who did not.

 

When the miners

returned to work,

the pit closure programme

continued.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-22070491

 

 

 

The trigger for Britain's

most bitter industrial

dispute of recent times

was the announcement

that one Yorkshire pit,

Cortonwood

near Barnsley,

was to close.

 

On 5 March 1984

the men at that pit

and those all

over Yorkshire

walked out,

not realising

that it would be a year

before they returned.

 

The next day

the unions were told

that Cortonwood

was only the first

of a wide-ranging

programme of closures

that would see 20 pits shut

and 20,000 miners

lose their jobs.

 

Scottish miners

joined the action

and by 12 March,

half Britain's

187,000 miners

had downed tools.

 

But the kindling

for the strike

was laid long before

the National Coal Board

and the National Union

of Mineworkers

jointly lit the match

that spring.

 

A coal strike

in 1974

had brought down

Ted Heath's

Conservative

government.

 

Five years

into her stride

as prime minister,

Margaret Thatcher

was not about

to let the same thing

happen to her.


Furthermore,

a nationalised coal industry

requiring massive subsidies

was anathema

to the Thatcher government's

long term economic goals.

 

Mrs Thatcher

knew that confrontation

with the powerful

and militant NUM

would come about

sooner or later

and she had appointed

Ian MacGregor,

who had a reputation

as an industrial hatchet man,

as head of the Coal Board.

 

She also made sure

to stockpile coal

at power stations

so that the miners

would have

to wait many months

before they came close

to holding the country's

energy supply to ransom.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3494024.stm - 4 March 2004

 

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-22070491

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/12/
newsid_3503000/3503346.stm

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3494024.stm - 4 March 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Lyons        1926-2016

 

John Lyons (...)

was a moderate

and influential

trade unionist

who virulently opposed

Arthur Scargill’s

handling

of the 1984-85

miners’ strike.

 

As general secretary

of the Electrical Power

Engineers Association

(EPEA)

at the time of the action,

he was in a position

to call out junior managers

and effectively close down

power stations.

 

But he steadfastly

refused to back the strike

because he thought Scargill

was misleading his members.

 

As Lyons wrote

in an incomplete book

that he was working on

after his retirement:

“The EPEA could have won

the dispute for Scargill

without lifting a finger

if we had decided

to back him.

 

All we would

have had to do

[was] announce cuts

in the power supplies

if a settlement

had not been reached

by a certain date.”

 

Lyons’s defiance

put him in a minority

on the Trades Union

Congress

general council,

on which he sat.

 

While many other members

also disagreed with

Scargill’s tactics,

in particular his decision

to strike without

holding a national ballot,

they decided to back him

nonetheless.

 

After the strike ended

in failure in 1985,

Lyons was angry

that the TUC

did not apologise

to the working miners

and their communities

in the Midlands

for the way

they were treated by those

in the National

Union of Mineworkers

who backed Scargill.

 

His opposition

to aspects of the strike

won him respect from people

who opposed him politically,

but also made him the focus

of much vitriol.

 

Years later,

Scargill characterised

the actions of Lyons

– and other like-minded

union leaders

such as Eric Hammond –

as “class collaboration”.

 

Although Lyons

won himself

fame and notoriety

for his stance

during the miners’ strike,

he believed

his greatest achievement

lay in another area

– saving the pension rights

of power workers

and managers

when Cecil Parkinson,

energy secretary,

prepared to privatise

the industry in 1988.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/14/john-lyons-obituary

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/14/
john-lyons-obituary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The demise of UK deep coal mining:

decades of decline

 

We chart the decline of the industry from 1960

 

The Guardian        18 December 2015

 

 


 

Start of the decline    1960-69

 

 

The industry produced

177m tonnes of coal a year

from deep mines

and employed

over 500,000 miners

at 483 facilities

in the mid-century.

 

But coal

was under threat

as railways were cut back

and moved to diesel

and electric power.

 

 

 

 

Strikes and blackouts    1970-79

 

Deep mine output

had slumped

to 114m tonnes

by the mid-1970s

with only 240 deep mines

and 300,000 workers.

 

The industry was hit

by two damaging disputes

in the early years:

 

the 1972 walkout ended

in electricity blackouts,

factory closures

and industry

on a three day week.

 

 

 

 

Miners v Margaret Thatcher    1980-89

 

The steady decline

in the industry’s fortunes

continued into the 1980s

and reached a low point

in 1984/5

when the most bitter

confrontation

took place over wages

and pit closures.

 

At this stage

there were only

133 deep mines left

which produced

133m tonnes of coal

with 180,000 workers.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/dec/18/
the-demise-of-uk-deep-coal-mining-decades-of-decline

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/dec/18/
the-demise-of-uk-deep-coal-mining-decades-of-decline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The miners’ strike        other resources

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/mar/09/
buy-your-own-guardian-classic-photograph-miners-strike-football-match-1984

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Jenkinson        1947-2012

 

(...) former steelworker

whose love of photography

combined with his politics

and his belief

in social justice,

fairness and equality.

 

He was responsible

for some of the most

striking images

to have emerged

from political

and industrial struggle

in Britain

over the last 30 years.

 

Martin captured steelworkers

as they fought for survival,

and was the official photographer

on the People's March for Jobs,

in 1981.

 

He was commissioned

by the National Union

of Mineworkers'

newspapers the Miner

and the Yorkshire Miner,

and was at the heart

of the epic strike

against pit closures

of 1984-85.

 

His enduring images

include the arrest

of Arthur Scargill;

the launch of the Women

Against Pit Closures movement;

and a smiling pit striker

named Geordie Brealey

wearing a toy policeman's helmet

as he "inspects"

battalions of police officers

ined up against pickets

at Orgreave cokeworks.

 

He was also commissioned

by many other unions,

notably the National

Union of Teachers,

to cover their conferences,

galas and other events.

 

An active member

of the National

Union of Journalists,

he served on its national

executive committee.

www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/jul/01/martin-jenkinson-obituary

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/dec/06
/photographers-scrum-winning-image-picture

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/nov/27/
who-we-are-by-martin-jenkinson--in-pictures

 

www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/jul/01/
martin-jenkinson-obituary

 

http://www.epuk.org/news/
martin-jenkinson-photographer-
with-a-sympathetic-eye-for-northern-working-traditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Newton Neurotics

 

In the 1980s

the Neurotics recorded

John Peel sessions

for BBC Radio 1,

released a critically lauded

debut album,

Beggars Can Be Choosers,

and saw their third single,

Kick Out the Tories,

become an anthem

as they played

an exhausting schedule

of benefit gigs

throughout the 1984-85

miners’ strike.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/aug/24/
colin-dredd-obituary

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/aug/24/
colin-dredd-obituary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Loach's Which Side Are You On?        1984

 

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/530268/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > History > 21st, 20th century > UK

 

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) (PM 1979-1990)

 

England, United Kingdom, British Empire

 

20th century > Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia

 

politics > UK

 

 

energy > commodities > coal

 

 

jobs > unions

 

 

jobs > unions > strikes

 

 

terrorism, global terrorism, militant groups,

intelligence, surveillance

 

 

myths and heroes