PART TWELVE 

 

1984-85 MINERS’ STRIKE

 

 

Over 300 men in Moorends were brought out on strike by the NUM.  They were objecting to various pits being closed over a number of years and it was thought that the coal industry would be gradually phased out.

 

 

There seems to be a general feeling that people outside of the mining communities failed to understand the miners, their needs and objectives.  Coocooned in remote and self contained communities, watching out for one another; a miner's safety and pay depended as much on his comrades as himself and that developed camaraderie within the work force and the community.  It was feared that the closure of pits would not only deny them of a livlihood but of a way of life and comradeship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strike caused deprivation not known before for many younger mining families as the 'new generation' of miners were better paid and had enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle - this was a sign of the times for most people of this era - they were able to afford to own their own homes, have many luxuries such as cars, holiday abroad, meals out and shopping sprees.  They worked hard, earned their 'brass' and played hard.

 

Some miners lost their homes, after using their savings to keep their families fed and a roof over their heads for as long as they were able.  Many people sold their valuables and cars, some were taken off the road.

 

Once again, the people of Moorends pulled together and survived.  During the strike there was a lot of support from the non-mining community in Thorne and Moorends.  The churches had collections of money and food for the food kitchens and food distribution centre that was set up in the changing rooms on the rec.

 

After the service one Sunday at St. Wilfrith's Church, a cart load of potatoes arrived, on another occasion Christmas gifts for the children, all from anonymous donors.  At Easter time, Hull Dockers sent 288 chocolate easter eggs for the children.  Food gifts came from as far away as Russia, the contents of the tins, whether labelled or not, was questionable until they were opened.  Food was food, wherever it came from or whatever it was and it was gratefully received.

 

The moors were once again used for food supplements such as rabbits, wild fruit and mushrooms.  Fuel for burning was in short supply so the pit tips were gleaned for small lumps of coal and slack to supplement the logs that came from felling trees in the surrounding countryside, these were desperate times.!

 

Many people say that Moorends regained its close community during the twelve month strike.  Since the pit closed and miners were sent to work in different pits, the general feeling was that they were starting to drift apart, the strike brought them back together again by meeting and pulling together, learning to enjoy the simple things in life, similar to belonging to a large family.  Friends visited each other, shared meals and helped each other to make ends meet, looking after one another's children and being there for one another.

 

It seems that before the strike was over, the striking miners and their families went 'back to basics', which was one of the sayings of that era, finding themselves following in their forefather's footsteps, the wives adopting economical ways of keeping house and feeding their families.  One lady said that if the financial stress of it all could have been put aside, she felt as though she could have been living in the 'Good Old Days', now she says that she understands what the older people of the village mean by the saying, 'they were the days'.

 

Sadly, when the men returned to work after the strike, collieries started to close down and many of the men were made redundant.  This led to families having to move out of the area in order to find work elsewhere.  Many people say that Moorends has never been the same since, lots of descendants of the original mining families seemed have left the village for good.

 

Moorends and Thorne became famous!  A TV film named FAITH was made by the BBC, portraying the cause and effects of the strike.  Actual homes and shops were used for filming in Thorne and Moorends.  Parts of the film were taken inside of The Dolphin fish and chip shop and the concert room and bar of 'Uncle Arthurs'.  People were also used as extras when filming the picket lines and marches.  The filming took place in October/November 2004 and was screened on television later in 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.