Greetings card: the banner of Hatfield Main Branch
The branch organised mineworkers at Hatfield Main Colliery at Stainforth, north east of Doncaster. Originally opened in 1911, the colliery was closed by British Coal in 1993. A group of managers bought the pit and production re-commenced in 1994 but the company closed in 2001. It was bought by Coalpower in 2001 and closed again in 2004. The pit reopened in 2007 and is now called Hatfield Colliery. In 2014 the NUM provided a £4m loan to enable coal production to continue. As o July 2015 its future is now in doubt and it is understood that it will close prematurely.
The banner was probably painted in acrylic on polycotton by John Midgley at Chippenham Studios in 1980 and is 180cm wide and 220cm high. The inscription on the front of the banner, “Their vision is our inspiration”, was taken from an earlier banner, which still exists. The images are of A. J. Cook and Keir Hardy.
Another banner has been produced recently, again by Chippenham Designs.
The banner is stored at the NUM Offices in Barnsley.
Thanks to Chris Kitchen Jnr, Richard Riggs and Danny O’Connor for assistance and Dave Douglas (ex-Hatfield Main NUM) and Jane Murphy (Chippenham Designs) for information.
Thanks to the Yorkshire Area of the National Union of Mineworkers for permission to photograph and reproduce this banner. Image copyright NUM.
If you have any information about this or any other banner please tell the NUM or Past Pixels.
The Miners’ Strike of 1984/5
The Miners’ Strike of 1984/5 was in defence of the coal industry, to protect jobs and communities.
By the end of the strike in March 1985, 200 mineworkers served time in prison or custody, 20,000 people had been injured and 966 mineworkers had been sacked by the NCB. Two members of the National Union of Mineworkers were killed on picket lines; David Jones on the 15th March 1984 and Joe Green on the 15th June 1984. Three people died digging for coal
during the winter.
The National Justice for Mineworkers Campaign
The National Justice for Mineworkers Campaign was formed at the 1985 Labour Conference and was launched at the Albert Hall, London, in October 1986.
The objectives of the campaign are to keep the issue of those victimised miners to the forefront of the labour and trade union movement and to raise money to alleviate hardship among the families of the victimised men.
The 966 men were originally sacked for no more than honouring picket lines, defending their jobs and pit communities, their class and the future of their children. Only a small number had been dismissed for offences against the person or damage to property. Many miners subsequently cleared by the courts were not re-instated and neither were many more who successfully won their cases for unfair dismissal at Industrial Tribunals. Many were even blacklisted from getting any work outside the coal industry.
The Justice Campaign is supported by the NUM, Labour Party, TUC conferences and many national & regional unions.
National Justice for Mineworkers Campaign
103 Cliff Road
Phone: 01964 532954 & 07816 030236
A minimum of 10p of the purchase price of this card is donated to the NJMC.
Photography by Martin Shakeshaft.
Photography, design and print by unionised labour.
www.martinshakeshaft.com www.kavitagraphics.co.uk www.russellpress.com