Queen Coal: Women of the Miners' Strike


Queen Coal: Women of the Miners' Strike

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Over twenty years ago the miners' strike changed the industrial landscape of Britain forever. The battle between the miners' leader, Arthur Scargill, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher effectively killed off Britain's mining industry. The impact spread well beyond the headlines. In this timely and important book Triona Holden, one of the BBC correspondents who reported on the 1984/85 strike, revisits some of the wives, daughters and mothers of the miners. These unsung heroes found the strength and courage not only to stand and fight alongside their men but to become political activists in their own right. But what happened when the strike collpased?

Jackie Keating thought she was, in her own words, 'thick and stupid'. Yet as she became involved in the demonstrations and political rallies she realised this wasn't true. She says the strike 'woke her up'. She became and adult student and now writes as a reflexologist. Betty Cook - 'Cookie' - also made a complete transformation from downtrodden housewife with little education or ambition to a university graduate and respected public speaker. Jenny Evans was an outspoken figure in the women's support network during the strike and even took her two-year-old daughter to the picket line. She holds on to her memories and is palpably angry with those who didn't support the miners. Her deceased brother-in-law broke the strike; she still cannot forgive him and still refers to him as a 'scab'. These and other remarkable women share their personal experiences of the strike and its aftermath.

Queen Coal marks the passing of a way of life but also celebrates the irony that this brutal rupture was very often the beginning of a new and better life. What is good and inextinguishable about the mining communities lives on in these women's articulate, funny and frank stories.

- From the inside cover

 

Additional product information

Author Holden, Triona
Binding Hardback
No. of Pages 236
Publisher Sutton Publishing
Date of Publication 2005
ISBN 9780750939713

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