Durham Miners’ Banners On Display in Central London

A Packed Programme of Activity on the Miners’ Strike.

Four floors of an underground car park in the centre of London will be the dramatic setting for 50 of the Durham Miners’ Association banners. The venue is Leicester Square Car Park, 39-41 Whitcomb St, London WC2H 7DT.

The banners will be on display from 18 June (the 31st anniversary of the infamous display of police brutality at the battle of Orgreave) through to the 4 July. The banners will be on one floor. On another a dramatic art exhibition on the theme of the miners’ strike, Ashes and
Diamonds, will be on display.

Another floor will have videos projecting onto the walls of the car park. On the fourth floor will be a bar run by the Workers’ Beer Company, exhibitions and a series of talks, debates and films on the miners’ strike.

The event is free and is being organised by the Durham Miners’ Association with the support of a number of unions, including Unite and the GMB.  Watch out for further details about the programme of events or go to www.durhamminers.org.

IPCC Conditions on access to its Orgreave report effectively a ‘gagging order’

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) believes the police watchdog, the IPCC, has put the organisation in an impossible position as a result of its recent decision on access to its report on policing at Orgreave in June 1984. At its monthly meeting on Tuesday 14 April it agreed this statement.

IPCC  Conditions on access to its Orgreave report effectively a ‘gagging order’
The IPCC report setting out its decision on whether there should be an investigation into the policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984 was completed earlier this year.
However the IPCC has decided that access to the report, and the documents providing the rationale for the decision, should be severely limited, and the people who read it bound by strict terms of confidentiality. Some interested parties, and an individual complainant, have read the decision and rationale documents and complied with the IPCC conditions.
For the OTJC this would have meant that a small number of its members would have access to information but effectively they would have signed a ‘gagging order’ preventing them discussing it with other interested OTJC members and more widely.
The OTJC has therefore decided not to comply with these onerous conditions.
The OTJC strongly condemns this situation and reiterates its demand for a full transparent public inquiry into police actions at Orgreave in June 1984.
In addition the IPCC decision means that not only OTJC members but the media and the wider public will be also kept in the dark. As a strong Yorkshire Post editorial (13/04/15) commented: “Given that it is difficult to think of a more serious possible misconduct by police officers…it is inconceivable that this approach should be taken.”


How mining communities inspired Paul Heaton

Paul Heaton, former singer in the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, tells how the Miners’ Strike influenced him.

The Miners’ Strike taught me a lot about politics, about class and solidarity. The people at Hatfield Main, the men and the women on the picket line, inspired me. I took their politics and took their dignity with me wherever I went.

Read more on page 4 of Hope Not Hate here: Rotherham-TABLOID-2015-04

With Banners Held High (2015)

With Banners Held High is a short documentary film (31 minutes) that celebrates the resilience and humour of miners and women who went through the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike.

The yearlong strike was one of the most defining industrial actions in recent history. A Conservative government who labelled the miners ‘the enemy within’ planned to undermine the trade union movement and cripple an industry, decimating not only the collieries but the whole infrastructure and culture of mining communities.

The solidarity of striking miners and the emergence of a new feminist movement ‘Women Against Pit Closures’ inspired a humour and camaraderie which is apparent still today. This strength of spirit and resilience now forms an important place in the living heritage of mining communities some 30 years after the Strike.

In a series of personal interviews with ordinary people from the Strike and with the use of music, photographs, and archive material, With Banners Held High is an insightful, moving film that brings the experience of the Strike into perspective 30 years on.

You can buy the film price £12.50 inc P&P from the Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom at www.cpbf.org.uk/withbannersheldhigh or by cheque made out to ‘CPBF’ from CPBF 29 Orford Road London E17

Also, this is the piece just published in the latest issue of Cold Type, on With Banners Held High.

The Davy Jones and Joe Green Lecture

The Davy Jones, Joe Green Lecture on Saturday (14 March) at the NUM Headquarters in Barnsley. Another excellent event in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Miners Strike.

In Loving Memory Of Work: A Visual Record of the UK Miners’ Strike 1984-85

In Loving Memory Of Work is a visual record of the UK Miners’ Strike 1984-85. Bringing together myriad political graphics and cultural ephemera alongside first-hand testimonies, the book is by turn a celebration of the creativity of the working class, as well as a vital re-appraisal of the collective aesthetic of one of most important social and political events in recent history. Moving, witty and shocking in equal measure, In Loving Memory of Work explores the immediate effects of the strike, while vividly demonstrating its continuing political and cultural relevance.

With high-production values throughout, the book features a limited edition dust-jacket printed using coal dust taken from the old site of Barnsley Main Colliery, South Yorkshire; itself a once industrious and successful pit before it’s closure. And is set throughout using a bespoke typeface, Liaison, inspired by the Liaison Committee For The Defence Of The Trade Union (LCDTU) placards which were distributed and held aloft at various demonstrations during the strike, most notably during the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton, September 1984, six months into the dispute.

All proceeds go to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

View the promotional video here.


Well what a fantastic day Saturday was, probably like everyone I’m incredibly proud to be there and involved in it.

Thank you all for your support after the technical disaster and as gutted as I was, even that couldn’t take away the success of a great day. But onward and upward … We’ve planned a new screening (A4 poster below).

Please try and come, share, promote it – whatever you can do will be appreciated.

We’ll do a collection for OTJC and hopefully make some more funds

Best wishes all

Judi Alston
Creative Director and CEO
One to One Development Trust

PDF version: WBHH Poster 25th March A4


OTJC Barbara on Sputnik

Last Thursday Barbara went down to London to be interviewed by George Galloway and his wife on his orbiting the world programme about the strike.

Here is the link to episode 68 of Sputnik, George Galloway’s Russia Today programme, containing Barbara’s  interview regarding the OTJC campaign.

On the video timeline Barbara’s section starts at 38 seconds and runs through to 13 minutes 7 seconds. The second half of the video is Galloway’s interview with Seamus Milne regarding the situation over Ukraine. It is well worth watching too!

Sputnik with George Galloway.