Leeds nostalgia: September 1984: Miners’ Strike comes to Allerton Bywater

police and pickets on the ground when an unmarked van left Allerton bywater colliery. miners strike. 21st August 1984.
police and pickets on the ground when an unmarked van left Allerton bywater colliery. miners strike. 21st August 1984.
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STRIKING MINERS from the Yorkshire pit where the national strike began earlier in the year marched through Brighton to lobby delegates to the Trades Union Congress.

Men from Cortonwood Colliery led about 3,000 demonstrators who marched from town centre to the conference centre on the seafront.

National Union of Miners president Arthur Scargill addressed the Congress and received a standing ovation. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Leeds, miners erected barricades in the street.

One of a series of photographs taken by the late Richard Clarkson, during the 1984-1985 miners’ strike shows one barricade was erected in Allerton Bywater to stop strike breakers going to the pit and to slow down the police charges and deter police horses.

The Miners’ Strike of ‘84 was the beginning of the end for the big unions in the UK. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher smashed the NUM, which was used to winning double-digit pay rises for its members. In 1983, the UK had 173 pits but since privatisation in the 1990s, all have since closed.

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