Archive for March 5th, 2009

March 5th, 2009

Once a Scab…

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

Today sees the twenty-fifth anniversary of the start of the miners’ strike.

Middle-age has dimmed my memory somewhat (I can’t remember what I did last week, half the time, let alone 25 years ago) but I remember when the shout went up from the forces up around Nottinghamshire & Yorkshire. Our riots squads were mobilised within hours & off we went on the motorway in a convoy of personnel carriers, all tooled up with our riot gear. There was so much of it we had to take a couple of small removal trucks.

I seem to recall we went straight to a pit and were stood at the entrance to the pit while the striking miners tried to stop those who still wanted to work. We were there, on duty, for about 36 hours before we got home with instructions to get some rest, pack a suitcase because we were going back the day after for a week.

I’ve blogged about the strike a few times in the last three years. My memories of it are a bit different to the headlines in the Telegraph who describe it as a ‘civil war’; The vast majority of my time on the picket lines was very peaceful. I did get a day at Orgreave, where the horses strutted their stuff, but even there I never baton-charged anyone, didn’t get punched or spat on & the vast majority of police & miners walked away without a stain on our characters.

I had a look in the loft the other day for the photos I took whilst up there. I still hope to post the one of me riding a passing girl’s horse outside the entrance to one of the pits.