People across Yorkshire are being asked to dig into their memories of an industrial dispute that left scars which still run deep in the county’s communities.
Wednesday, March 5, is the 30th anniversary of the start of the year-long miners’ strike that brought with it scenes of violent confrontation unprecedented in modern Britain.
The anniversary will be marked with a number of special features in the Yorkshire Evening Post looking at the impact of the strike on the White Rose county.
And, as part of our coverage, we want you, our readers, to give us your memories of the titanic struggle between the Thatcher government and union leader Arthur Scargill’s pitworkers.
It began when local miners’ leaders were asked to support the men of South Yorkshire’s Cortonwood colliery following the announcement of its closure. The Yorkshire coalfields ground to a halt and the action quickly took hold in other areas such as Scotland, Wales, Kent and the North East. Within the space of seven days, most of the industry’s 183,000 miners had downed tools.
The fall-out was incendiary, with towns, villages and even families split according to their stance on the striking workers who became known as Arthur’s Army.
Miners and police clashed on picket lines, with the largest confrontation, at a coke plant outside Sheffield in the summer of 1984, now occupying a notorious place in the history books as the ‘Battle of Orgreave’.
Margaret Thatcher would eventually triumph in her epic tussle with Scargill, as hardship forced large numbers of miners back to work in early 1985 before the strike was called off on March 4 that year.
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