The banner of National Women Against Pit Closures
As the Miners’ Strike of 1984/5 progressed, the mining communities created the means to sustain themselves without wages. Groups led by women came to the fore and a network was built. Their role stretched from fund raising and running kitchens to lobbying and picketing. A rally of 5,000 women in Barnsley during May was followed by a national march in London during August. The name, WAPC, was adopted at the national conference in Chesterfield in December 1984. The lives of many women were transformed through their fight to protect families, jobs and communities. Theirs was a critical and unique contribution to maintaining the strike until the return to work in March 1985.
The banner, painted on fabric, is stored at the offices of WAPC in the NUM Offices, Barnsley.
Photograph of the banner on the third side
Photograph of the the National Women Against Pit Closure banner on the NUM Centenary Demonstration and Gala in Barnsley, 17th June 1989. Photography copyright Martin Jenkinson.
Barnsley Miners Wives Action Group
Barnsley Miners Wives Action Group formed in the Miners’ Strike of 1984/1985 and consisted of groups from South and West Yorkshire.
We ran soup kitchens, supplied food parcels, attended rallies, spoke at support meetings both at home and abroad, picketed, were often arrested and supported other workers in struggle. We gained the attention of the media, giving interviews and participating in television documentaries.
In the second round of pit closures of 1992/93, as part of Women Against Pit Closures, we fought against the destruction of a viable coal industry, a way of life and our communities. We organised pit camps, including one outside the DTI in London where we were again arrested, and joined the occupation of Parkside Colliery.
We continue to support the NUM and provide medical aid to Cuba.
Barnsley Miners Wives Action Group,
2 Huddersfield Road,
A minimum of 10p of the purchase price of this card is donated to the BMWAG.
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Photography by Martin Shakeshaft.
Photography, design and print by unionised labour.
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