WOMEN IN THE COAL MINERS' STRIKE
The 1984/5 Miners’ Strike pitted the National Union of Mineworkers against Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in a struggle for the future of Britain. The story of the strike has often been told from the perspective of men, but in a brand new exhibition at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield open until the 3rd January 2-21, visitors will be able to see how the women of the coalfields also played a vital part in making history during this year of struggle.
Whether they made up food parcels, or went out to work to bring in a wage – whether they stood on picket lines or supported husbands behind the scenes – indeed, whether they gave their support to the strike, or came out in opposition against it – women were as important as men in this dispute.
In 2018 and 2019, a team of researchers from University College London and the University of Reading conducted interviews to record women’s experiences in the strike. These interviews form an important new archival collection at the National Coal Mining Museum, recording not just women’s experiences in the strike, but all aspects of coalfield women’s lives.
Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite from University College London said “This special exhibition at the Museum allows visitors to hear from these women, in their own words, about life during the strike.”
Admission to the Exhibition is free but the Museum welcomes the contributions, financial and otherwise, that the public make to help continue to tell the stories of coal mining.