Orgreave Rally

ncbnik

Member
This coming Saturday is the annual Orgreave Rally - a bit special this year as it's 40 years on. Nowadays it takes place in the centre of Sheffield (details below). If you are on public transport OR don't know where to park in the centre of Sheffield: the easiest thing is to park at Meadowhall & catch a tram to the Cathedral stop which is only around 200yds from the event. Let's hope for a bit of decent weather and think on - there'll be only one 40th anniversary!

Orgreave 2024.jpg
 

Flotsam

Active member
I travelled around Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire during the miners strike. I remember being on the M1, the junctions were blockaded by the Police. Very disturbing times.
 

ncbnik

Member
I travelled around Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire during the miners strike. I remember being on the M1, the junctions were blockaded by the Police. Very disturbing times.
It was nigh on a police state. We should all think on this when politicians are drawing up legislation to curb the right to protest.
 

RobinGriffiths

Well-known member
Indeed. I was in a Uni minbus going down to Olympia to a computer show from Liverpool. We got flagged down somewhere on the A5 and got held for an hour on suspicion of going to join a protest.
 
It was nigh on a police state. We should all think on this when politicians are drawing up legislation to curb the right to protest.
In some respects I wouldn't argue with that but I do think it was quite a specific event, I went on quite a few 'rock against racism' events and marches in the early /mid 80's and the local police in both Manchester and Sheffield were very pleasant, though those in M/cr told us of for walking on grass! The Thatcher thing at Cutler's Hall in Sheffield was very raucous but well-tempered enough to be OK with having our young kids with us.

It was the vestigial TSG(?) and what they got away with that seem to have started the rot within some senior levels in at least two police forces and the idea of policing by consent egged on by a number of politicians who had and have the 17th C mind set of Judge Jeffreys. To put a degree of political balance into the rant I do blame Scargill's dreadful anti-democratic attitude and the schism it created between the NUM and the UDM as part of the problem.

So There:dig:

Jim
 

ncbnik

Member
When something is dodgy, corrupt or embarrassing keep changing the name or the initials - that seems to be the way SPG / TSG, Windscale/Sellafield, Post Office/Consignia/Post Office Counters etc etc. What was that line from the old TV series "only the names have been changed to protect the innocent" - the guilty more like!
 

pwhole

Well-known member
I was involved in a performance art group called Fabricata Illuminata, based in Sheffield in the 1980s, and one of our works 'This Heat', ostensibly about the conditions that might generate a riot, drew heavily from the miners' strike that was going on around us, and some material from Orgreave was used. We even had NUM involvement, and a guy called Bill (wish I could remember his surname) from the union was our contact, and he actually participated in two live events in 1985, at the Midland Group in Nottingham, and the Zap Club in Brighton. We were definitely not pretentious, despite the field we were working in, most of us having backgrounds in industrial cities, but we were still pleased that they considered us ok to work with, what with us being art students and all.

There's not much online, other than an archive website hosted by my mate Nick Cope, currently living in China, but the memories are still strong!

https://nickcopefilm.com/2013/09/21/fabricata-illuminata/

Edit: Bill's the guy in the white sweatshirt in this photo montage if anyone recognises him!

https://nickcopefilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/fiphotos.jpg
 

Fjell

Well-known member
My uncle was on strike the whole time, and subsequently walked away from the industry. I did a mining degree several years later, so clearly took the input.

There would have been no police involvement if people had just gone on strike. It was the attempt to stop other people from working which caused the issue. Neither then or now do I accept that is an OK thing to do.
 

alanw

Well-known member
For anyone in the Lancaster Area, there's an event on at the Dukes Theatre from today through Thursday


The Miners’ Strike of 1984/85 was the most divisive and violent industrial dispute that Britain has ever witnessed, and using powerful personal testimony, previously hidden government documents and a treasure trove of never before seen archive STRIKE: AN UNCIVIL WAR also tells the full story of the Battle of Orgreave, which took place on 18th June 1984.
 

Fjell

Well-known member
As a result of Scargill’s manic attempt to enact what was little better than coup, the government went full blast on switching to gas in order to make the coal industry irrelevent. By the end of my course only one person showed any interest in working in coal. Everyone knew it was finished by the late 80’s.

Let alone Thatcher had already made a major speech saying global warming was a big problem and we had to stop burning coal. Doornail’s ain’t in it.
 

ncbnik

Member
As a result of Scargill’s manic attempt to enact what was little better than coup, the government went full blast on switching to gas in order to make the coal industry irrelevent. By the end of my course only one person showed any interest in working in coal. Everyone knew it was finished by the late 80’s.

Let alone Thatcher had already made a major speech saying global warming was a big problem and we had to stop burning coal. Doornail’s ain’t in it.
Of course 'the Ridley report' wasn't an attempt to provoke unrest?! Of course Thatcher was an 'all seeing' sibyl, soothsayer and paragon of virtue. Her far sighted reforms of the Nationalised industries have been a wonder: the cost of energy, the dividends to shareholders (& the number of turds in your local river) have soared. And those pesky unions trying to get decent conditions for workers: how awful for employers having to pay people for holidays and during toilet breaks - they're lucky they've got a bottle to piss in. As an aside you may have noticed that China seems to produce nearly everything we buy - they haven't scrapped all their industry in favour of money markets - and last year burnt over a billion tons of coal to power it, further they've built an 8 Km long rail viaduct (pic attached) to aid it's speedy distribution so, as you say, coal's finished.
 

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Fjell

Well-known member
The UK’s biggest problem is running out of cheap gas whilst being delicate about nuclear for decades.

At least the lights haven’t gone out. Here’s one I built earlier:


Has helped make Norway very very rich. We of course don’t want our own any more. People glue themselves to roads and sob a lot. It’s the same people who sobbed about nuclear and got their way pretty much.

In an attempt to keep bills low, OFWAT has spent the last 15 years refusing to agree to higher capital spending. Despite a massive increase in demand. You reap what you sow. If it was nationalised I really want to see the government that will divert £10-15bn a year from the NHS into it, because it really will be a straight choice. Ditto rail etc. So they won’t, the buck will be passed. The water companies have asked for something like a 50% increase in bills, so we’ll see won’t we?
 
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LJR

Member
Sadly, I feel that the whole thing was not about class wars or downtrodden masses but all about Scargill’s ego.
The coal industry needed to scale back. You can’t keep mining the same pits forever, they do run out.
However, rather than work sensibly towards a gradual reduction over several years the NUM went head to head.
All it did was accelerate the closures. Whole colliery workforces just grabbed inflated redundancy packages out of short term greed. Let’s all have a new car and a holiday on the costa plonca. No thought was given to those coming on behind and colliery villages were left as unemployment deserts.
The closures were always going to happen but it could have been managed so much better if it hadn’t, resorted to willy waving.
In the end, Thatcher had a bigger willy…
 

shotlighter

Active member
Sadly, I feel that the whole thing was not about class wars or downtrodden masses but all about Scargill’s ego.
The coal industry needed to scale back. You can’t keep mining the same pits forever, they do run out.
However, rather than work sensibly towards a gradual reduction over several years the NUM went head to head.
All it did was accelerate the closures. Whole colliery workforces just grabbed inflated redundancy packages out of short term greed. Let’s all have a new car and a holiday on the costa plonca. No thought was given to those coming on behind and colliery villages were left as unemployment deserts.
The closures were always going to happen but it could have been managed so much better if it hadn’t, resorted to willy waving.
In the end, Thatcher had a bigger willy…
I've heard many an ex pit man say more or less the same thing - the miners biggest enemy's were Thatcher AND Scargill.
The miners were caught in the middle.
 
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