In the 30 years since the start of the year long 1984–85 Miners’ Strike the stance of the Nottinghamshire miners has always courted controversy. For some it was (and still is!) in the Nottinghamshire coalfield that the ‘heart and soul’ of strike-breaking could be found, their image being stained for eternity because of the links with 1926 and the breakaway ‘Spencer Union’.
However, when the evidence is assessed, the image of a coalfield of ‘natural blacklegs’ can be challenged and a picture painted of a moderate mining trade union acting within its own understood custom and practices against what was viewed as a national union acting in a dictatorial fashion.
Dr David Amos from the University of Nottingham has published a book, The Nottinghamshire Miners, the UDM and the 1984–85 Miners Strike: Scabs or Scapegoats?, based on the findings from his research degree, where he tries to dispel some of the myths and folklore which surround the Nottinghamshire miners and the 1984–85 strike. Dr Amos’s book is available from the author, c/o Old Bestwood Winding House, Bestwood Country Park, Park Road, Nottingham NG6 8ZA, price £13.99 plus £2.50 p&p.
Sarah Seaton, News Editor