Miners strike 1984-1985: 30 Years On

North Staffs Miners’ Wives Action Group riot shield installation

Heritage Grants

STOKE-ON-TRENT, West Midlands
North Staffs Wives Miners Group
Thirty years after the 1984-5 miners' strike, North Staffs Miners’ Wives Action Group collected and shared the memories of local people.

To explore the heritage of the 1984-5 strike, the North Staffs Miners’ Wives Action Group hosted several events, talks and film showings. Local people were invited to bring along objects and photographs, to be interviewed and discuss the various perspectives of the strike.

To ensure the miners' strike is remembered, the interviews were transformed into an exhibition, book, dvd, schools’ pack and a theatre piece called ‘Digging in’. The performance toured schools and allowed children to get involved by learning miner’s songs and making marching banners. It also inspired local artist Amy Johnson to create a riot shield-inspired installation at the local art centre. People could experience both sides of the shields and read words from the most moving interviews.

Brenda Proctor, group secretary, said: “We wanted to make history feel local and recent to schoolchildren. Many of them lived next to an old pit but did not even know what a piece of coal looked like.”

Watch the project's film on Vimeo.

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