Public can help create banner for miners' strike anniversary

MINERS' STRIKE: A new banner will be created paying tribute to and drawing inspiration from the 1984-85 miners' strike

MINERS' STRIKE: A new banner will be created paying tribute to and drawing inspiration from the 1984-85 miners' strike

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

THE enduring spirit of the miners’ strike will inspire future campaigners three decades on when it is encapsulated in a new banner.

Work on a commemorative 30th anniversary banner starts next week so it will be ready in time to be paraded at this year’s Durham miners’ gala.

The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), Durham Bannermakers, the union Unite and Durham Unite community support centre have teamed up for the project.

Organisers want the public to help design the banner ahead of the gala on Saturday, July 12, which will mark the 1984-85 miners’ strike over pit closures - one of the longest and bitterest acts of industrial action in modern British history.

The trade union movement is leading and funding the project as a sign of ‘unbroken spirit 30 years on from the heroic struggle of the National Union of Mineworkers’.

As well as being a tribute to the past, it will be used by Durham Unite and the DMA for future campaign work.

Unite regional community coordinator, Joe Rollin said: “We’re asking for the community to come together, young and old, to inspire and create the banner so it reflects as many aspects of the Durham community as possible.

“Every year tens of thousands of trade unionists come to Durham to celebrate our shared history as well as look to the future, I hope our new banner will take pride of place at this year’s gala, which will be bigger than usual as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike.”

Davy Hopper, general secretary of the DMA, added: “The banner will preserve the history and heritage of that strike, remind people what we were up against to protect our jobs and the fact that they have to fight back against the capitalist society that is making so many lives a misery.”

A meeting about the banner will be held at West Cornforth Community Centre, on Station Road, West Cornforth, in County Durham, on Friday, April 18, from 11am to 3pm.

Guest speakers on the morning will include Mr Hopper and Mr Rollin along with Florence Anderson and Heather Wood, key figures during the strike, and there will be group banner design work from 1.30pm.

Comments (5)

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6:14am Sat 12 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Given the result of the miners' strike - would the central message be 'inspiring future campaigners to uphold dated ideas and to continue to do so until you are led into failure by your leadership'?
Given the result of the miners' strike - would the central message be 'inspiring future campaigners to uphold dated ideas and to continue to do so until you are led into failure by your leadership'? Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -4

7:47am Sat 12 Apr 14

laboursfoe says...

'The trade union movement is leading and funding the project as a sign of ‘unbroken spirit 30 years on from the heroic struggle of the National Union of Mineworkers’.'

More like a sign being unable/willing to move on. The miners were given significant payout when the mines closed, if the Durham mines were profitable and they wanted to keep the industry alive why didn't they use some of that money to keep them open as a syndicate.
'The trade union movement is leading and funding the project as a sign of ‘unbroken spirit 30 years on from the heroic struggle of the National Union of Mineworkers’.' More like a sign being unable/willing to move on. The miners were given significant payout when the mines closed, if the Durham mines were profitable and they wanted to keep the industry alive why didn't they use some of that money to keep them open as a syndicate. laboursfoe
  • Score: -7

3:05pm Sat 12 Apr 14

punkrocker says...

laboursfoe edlington pit made a profit but was still closed. shildon shops railway works always made a profit but was still closed. the lie that all british nationalised industry was lose making needs addressing. but I agree a banner to celebrate a crushing defeat which denied miners a vote in the first place is simply prolonging the bitterness and hate. time to move on.
laboursfoe edlington pit made a profit but was still closed. shildon shops railway works always made a profit but was still closed. the lie that all british nationalised industry was lose making needs addressing. but I agree a banner to celebrate a crushing defeat which denied miners a vote in the first place is simply prolonging the bitterness and hate. time to move on. punkrocker
  • Score: 1

4:45pm Sat 12 Apr 14

laboursfoe says...

punkrocker wrote:
laboursfoe edlington pit made a profit but was still closed. shildon shops railway works always made a profit but was still closed. the lie that all british nationalised industry was lose making needs addressing. but I agree a banner to celebrate a crushing defeat which denied miners a vote in the first place is simply prolonging the bitterness and hate. time to move on.
I agree punkrocker and there are many private companies that have unprofitable sections to them.

The main problem was that the unions and the miners thought and I imagine some still think that the just because some mines were profitable that also made them viable businesses.

The government had been propping up UK Coal for years, there was no longterm plan to bring back into profit and the unions refused to budge.
[quote][p][bold]punkrocker[/bold] wrote: laboursfoe edlington pit made a profit but was still closed. shildon shops railway works always made a profit but was still closed. the lie that all british nationalised industry was lose making needs addressing. but I agree a banner to celebrate a crushing defeat which denied miners a vote in the first place is simply prolonging the bitterness and hate. time to move on.[/p][/quote]I agree punkrocker and there are many private companies that have unprofitable sections to them. The main problem was that the unions and the miners thought and I imagine some still think that the just because some mines were profitable that also made them viable businesses. The government had been propping up UK Coal for years, there was no longterm plan to bring back into profit and the unions refused to budge. laboursfoe
  • Score: -2

12:53pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Red n' Black says...

The miners did turn Tower colliery into a coop but that presupposes that everybody is in a position to sink their money into such a venture, its simply difficult to get people to agree to that. The point is that coal use is going up all around the world, there is an energy shortage, and fracking extracts 4% of the possible power whilst destroying the ability to mine the rest all for short term mega profits for the few and not for the good of people or the planet.

banners celebrating working peoples and their communties resilience, fortitude, strength, and unbeaten community spirit is a good thing. That you lot are defeated or do not care says more about you than it does about us. The struggles continue in many different ways and will continue to do so will the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and some have to go to foodbanks...
The miners did turn Tower colliery into a coop but that presupposes that everybody is in a position to sink their money into such a venture, its simply difficult to get people to agree to that. The point is that coal use is going up all around the world, there is an energy shortage, and fracking extracts 4% of the possible power whilst destroying the ability to mine the rest all for short term mega profits for the few and not for the good of people or the planet. banners celebrating working peoples and their communties resilience, fortitude, strength, and unbeaten community spirit is a good thing. That you lot are defeated or do not care says more about you than it does about us. The struggles continue in many different ways and will continue to do so will the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and some have to go to foodbanks... Red n' Black
  • Score: 0

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