Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Women of the Working Class ( animated short film to mark the 30th anniversary 0f 1984/85 Miner's Strike)

An animated short film made by young women  from the youth panel at Experience Barnsley Museum to mark the 30th anniversary  of the 1984/85 Miners Strike. The young people re-wrote verses of the song ' Women of the Working Class' that the Women Against Pit Closures used as their anthem on the picket lines. They then recorded their version with some of the original women.

The animated film is part of an exhibition Coal Not Dole:Women Against Pit Closures, held at Experience Barnsley Museum in Barnsley Toen Hall from 3 March to 1 June 2014.

More information here:-


As many mining families faced increasing hardship, the Women from traditional working class backgrounds, found new roles to take on, finding themselves at the heart of the struggle. They set up Soup kitchens in pit village communities, raising money,organisng demonstrations, speaking at rallies, standing shoulder to shoulder with the miners, as well as raising and supporing their families becomming committed political ctivists  in their own right. Proudly providing backbones of solidarity, many   joined the picket lines, risking arrest or injury as miners clashed with Thatcher's boys in blue.
Thatcher had naively thought  that the women  would get the men back to work,  but in fact it had the opposite effect, it galvanised them with a strong will and determination, turned them into a mighty force.  
For all the great hardships that were suffered many positive resulted in the outcome of the strike. It provided new opportuities for them to flourish.
For many the impact of  the strike on their lives would change their worlds forever. Finding inner confidences that would carry them with strength.
These  are the unsong heroines of the bitter 1984/85 battle to save Britains pits from closure. We should not forget them.

Click on picture below to enlarge



  1. Is it Barnsley in Yorkshire or somewhere else? I stayed up there just 4 miles away from Barnsley a couple of times in 1982 and 83 and was impressed by the poor life of the unemployed miners's families.

  2. No you are correct.....it is in South Yorkshire..... you were there just before the tumultuous times of the miners strile, but you would have witnessed the hardships, and their daily struggle. all the best.

  3. True. The social situation in that mining area was really bad. I remember having seen some children in rags. My Yorkshire friend, who was a teacher in a primary school there, told me so much about the problems of the miners' wifes and the difficulties in bringing up children. It had to explode in some way. Thank you Maggie Tatcher!