A THOUSAND ex-miners, their families and supporters will gather in Wakefield in the heart of the Yorkshire coalfield today to mark the 30 years since the 1984-5 miners’ strike ended.
Branch banners of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have been raised in the city’s Unity Hall for the event With Banners Held High.
The hall complex is staging two photographic exhibitions featuring images from the strike, including the work of the late Martin Jenkinson, official photographer for Yorkshire NUM throughout the dispute.
Among banners on display are two iconic works by artist Andrew Turner, son of a Scottish mining family.
The banner of North Selby branch of the NUM was the last to be created for a new branch of the union.
North Selby colliery opened after the strike and the banner incorporates graphic images including a dead miner on a slab giving a two-fingered gesture to the forces arrayed against the miners — police, judiciary, media and Margaret Thatcher.
Management at North Selby colliery refused to allow the banner to be raised at the pithead during the colliery’s annual open day because of its graphic nature.
Another of Turner’s creations is the banner of the National Women Against Pit Closures movement, which was unveiled at Durham Miners’ Gala in 2012.