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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:19950603003 |
|Title:||Remember The Miners Strike|
|Author:||Ron Richardson |
|ID & Publication:||19950603003 ~ The Armthorpe Villager |
There were two groups of people that I should like to make special reference to, and the part that they played in the miners strike.
First, the young miners, many of whom had never taken part in a national strike before. They soon realised, more than most that the strike was about their future and the future of the mining industry.
Those young miners, who were not married, could not claim any financial support from the D.H.S.S. and they had to depend on help given to them by other members of their family. Young married miners, found it very difficult indeed, especially those with young families. It is true to say that many people got into debt with the repayment on mortgages and cars and other HP commitments. It was very difficult for us all, especially those with families, where the father and maybe two sons were on strike and living in one household. Their savings soon ran out and some had to surrender their insurance policies in order to try and make ends meet. Nevertheless, it was the young miners who were at the forefront on all the picket lines and trade union demonstrations. They soon learned the true meaning of trade union solidarity and became more politically aware than ever before.
Another group of people, who will always be remembered by me, were those women, who took part in the campaign, known as the 'Women Against Pit Closures' and those women who started the 'Woman’s Support Groups' in almost every mining village in the country. In the early days of the strike, such a group organised a special public meeting in Rossington and they invited representatives of the Department of health and Social Security to speak to them and explain in detail the benefits that they could claim for their families whilst their husbands were on strike. Regular meetings of the Women’s Support Group were held in Rossington and other places, committees were formed to organise the collection of food and money.
Members of the WSG also took part in every trade union demonstration, alongside their husbands and sons. I will always remember, the massive demonstration that was held in Barnsley, where thousands of women, supporters of the 'Women Against Pit Closures', marched through town to attend a rally that was addressed by Arthur Scargill and women’s leaders. They also attended a massive May Day demonstration in Mansfield, and also other demonstrations in London and Doncaster.
Later in the year some women joined their husbands on the picket lines, I also recall a little girl, who should have been at school, telling me, that watching the activities of the miners and the police was much better than attending a humanities lesson in school. To use her own words she said to me, 'I am watching history in the making'.
The strike was a difficult time for us all, but without a doubt, the people who deserve a special thank you, were the women in the village, who in times of great adversity continued to support the miners during the year long strike. We must never forget, those women, some of who worked very hard indeed to collect money and food in all weathers and those women, who worked in the kitchens to provide meals for miners and their families.
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