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Jim Phillips

1 Collieries, communities and coalfield politics The National Coal Board operated sixteen collieries in Scotland in October 1982, employing between 16,000 and 17,000 miners. These are listed in Table 1.1. Four closed in the ten months that followed: Kinneil, Cardowan, Highhouse and Sorn. The twelve that remained were therefore mainly young. Seven – Seafield, Bogside, Castlehill, Solsgirth, Monktonhall, Bilston Glen and Killoch – had been established since the nationalisation of coal in 1947. Excepting Polkemmet, these were the seven largest employers in the

in Collieries, communities and the miners’ strike in Scotland, 1984–85
Lewis H. Mates

3 The Eight Hours Act and the Eight Hours Agreement in the Durham coalfield The New Year of 1910 was neither peaceful nor prosperous for very many Durham miners, who found themselves embroiled in a bitter, complex and confused unofficial dispute about their working conditions and control of their union. The strife resulted from anger at the negative pecuniary and social implications of the miners’ eight-hour day as applied in the coalfield in the form of the Eight Hours Agreement (hereafter simply ‘the Agreement’). In the massive backlash against the Agreement

in The Great Labour Unrest
Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones, Mike Mantin, and Steven Thompson

1 WORK, ECONOMY AND DISABILITY IN THE BRITISH COALFIELDS The period from 1880 to 1948 witnessed considerable economic, industrial and political change, and the coal industry was situated right at heart of the various transformations that took place. At the start of this period, the economy had experienced a number of decades of growth and Britain’s worldwide economic and imperial pre-eminence was undoubted. By the end of the period, in contrast, Britain had experienced two periods of total war and a prolonged period of economic depression, and had fallen behind

in Disability in industrial Britain
Rank-and-file movements and political change in the Durham coalfield
Author: Lewis H. Mates

This book analyses the ideological battle for control of the prestigious, influential and important ––regionally and nationally– Durham Miners’ Association in the fascinating "Great Labour Unrest" period before the outbreak of the Great War. In assessing the complex relations between structure and agency it recognises that the socialists of the ILP before 1910 made some progress in a particularly hostile environment, thanks to the dominance of liberal paternalism and Methodism. But the miners’ eight hour day, a socialist demand brought into effect by the Liberal government, caused tremendous strife in a coalfield, especially with the imposition of a three-shift working system that it entailed. The emergence of syndicalist activists in the coalfield, largely rejecting mainstream ‘political’ action for industrial agitation and revolutionary trade unions also threatened the ILP from the left. With the emergence of a new generation of younger, more radical and often well-schooled ILP activists after 1911, the ILP was able to harness the anger over the three-shift system to the renewed demand for a minimum wage. In doing so, these ILP activists created a mass coalfield rank-and-file movement that, after the minimum wage was won, sought to extend the struggle more firmly onto the ‘political’ plane. In deploying a militant, aggressive and class-based rhetoric they managed to outflank the syndicalist challenge and win over growing numbers of Durham miners to their cause. By 1914, these young ILP activists were beginning to reap the rewards of their labours, having forged tremendous progress since 1911.

Editor: Robert Fish

Staging an encounter between cinema and countryside is to invoke a rich and diverse spatial imagery. This book explores the reciprocal relationship between film and the rural: how film makes rural and rural makes film. Part I of the book explores the idea of the nationhood and relatedly, how cinematic countrysides frame the occupancy and experience of border zones. It covers representations of the Australian landscape and the spatial imagery behind the 'inculcation of political ideology' of North Korean films. European 'films of voyage' are a cinematic tradition that articulates representations of the countryside with questions of boundaries and cultural diversity. The 'pagan' landscape of British cinema and the American and British war films are also discussed. Part II focuses on the role that countrysides play in mediating national self-image through globalising systems of cinematic production. Films such as The Local Hero and The Lord of the Rings, the latter in the context of New Zealand as a shooting location, are discussed. The third part of the book focuses on two key markers of social identity and difference - 'childhood' and 'masculinity' - which serve to amplify how embodied identities come to inflect the idea of rural space. A family's relocation to the countryside from the city serves to emphasise that they are isolated from the moral structures that might contain their deviant behaviour. Part IV of the book deals with, inter alia, the Amber Film and Photography Collective, and amateur films on the former coalfields of Durham.

Film, photography and the former coalfields
Katy Bennett and Richard Lee

Set in the former coalfields of Durham, the film Like Father (2001) ends with a dramatic climax. An old, retired ex-miner called Arthur has kidnapped, bound and gagged the head of the local development agency and is holding him hostage on his allotment. This is a place where the old man spends much of his time and is also an area that the development agency wants cleared as part of

in Cinematic countrysides
Jim Phillips

coal extraction in the UK, compounded by the allegedly privileged position of workers and unions in the industry. This narrative, focusing on the narrow economic price of coal, shaped the 1984–85 strike. The strike was also conditioned by the miners’ desire to defend the work culture of the coalfields. But there was a tension within this culture which ‘The True Price of Coal’ memorials highlight. Mining was rewarding, in social and cultural as well as material terms, but it was also highly dangerous. The hazards, it should be emphasised, tended to increase rather

in Collieries, communities and the miners’ strike in Scotland, 1984–85
Author: Jim Phillips

This is a major re-evaluation of the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike, which was a central event in Britain's recent economic, industrial and political history, and the first book to show the pivotal and distinctive nature of the strike in Scotland. The book's particular strengths address the limits of current understanding of the meaning and character of the strike. It: • focuses on colliery-and community-level factors in shaping and sustaining the strike, which tends to be understood in overly narrow high political terms; • examines Scottish developments, which were central to the outbreak and longevity of the strike against closures; • demonstrates that the strike was a popular and socially-embedded phenomenon, with limited connection to the ‘Scargill versus Thatcher’ dispute of historical legend and much political literature; • explores the moral economy of the coalfields, and how this shaped attitudes to coal closures and the strike • provides immediate and highly engaging history from below perspectives on society and politics in the 1980s, using interviews with strike participants.

Open Access (free)
Disability in working-class coalfields literature
Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones, Mike Mantin, and Steven Thompson

6 SITES OF STRUGGLE: DISABILITY IN WORKING-CLASS COALFIELDS LITERATURE In Lewis Jones’s dramatic retelling of the Tonypandy ‘Riots’ of 1910–11 in Cwmardy (1937), a young communist challenges the authorities to ‘come and work the coal themselves if they want it. Let them sweat and pant till their bodies twist in knots as ours have.’ He knows, however, that ‘[t]hey will do none of these things’, and tells the striking men to take heart, for: While it is true our bodies belong to the pit, so also is it true that this makes us masters of the pit. It can’t live

in Disability in industrial Britain
Open Access (free)
Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones, Mike Mantin, and Steven Thompson

, however, Eaves’ case is rather mundane. These kinds of accidents and injuries were daily occurrences in the British coal industry, while the contestation of compensation cases in the courts was similarly an everyday reality in mining communities. The everyday and mundane nature of the case, however, is precisely the point, and it illustrates many of the major themes of this study of disability in industrial Britain. In the first place, Eaves’ case highlights the centrality of the compensation system to the understandings and experiences of disability in coalfield

in Disability in industrial Britain