QR 1984 Miners Strike

‘Daddy what did you do in the strike’ by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seegar vocalises some of the tensions and support which ran through the 1984 miners’ strike.

Press ‘play’ on the video to listen to ‘Daddy, what did you do in the strike’. Scroll down for more information and images.

Song list 1) the media, 2) villains chorus, 3) holy joe from scabsville, 4) miner’s wife, 5) only doing their job, 6) daddy, what did you do in the strike?

‘Daddy, What Did You Do In The Strike?’ is available for streaming by kind permission of the estate of Ewan MacColl

The lack of national ballot meant that in some areas of the country, such as Nottinghamshire, miners continued to go to work.  It also meant that those who did strike were not eligible for strike pay or benefits so many relied on help from support groups. Predominant among these was Women Against Put Closures, groups of local women who supported miners and their families by running soup kitchens, raising money and joining pickets.

These picket lines were the scene for clashes, sometimes violent, between striking miners and policeman. The worst was at Orgreave, Rotherham on 29 June 1984 when police on horseback charged crowds with their batons, seriously injuring several people. The BBC inaccurately reported that the miners began the violence. This was later apologised for but is one of many reasons for the strikes deep legacy of bitterness.

Miners’ strike posters from the Working Class Movement Library bring further life to these issues.

Click on the slideshow to see pictures from the 1984 Miners’ strike

And this tape and these posters give just a hint at the wealth of material relating to the 1984 miners’ strike at the Working Class Movement Library. Amongst its shelves can also be found more posters and cassettes of music and interviews, as well as badges, contemporary newspaper articles and books ranging from 1984 right up to the present day.


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