Pit strike memories project seeks women’s stories

Striking miners at Westoe Colliery
Striking miners at Westoe Colliery

Women from South Tyneside who remember the miners’ strike of 1984 are being asked to contribute their stories to a new project that seeks to examine their experiences during the strike.

The project is being run by a team based at University College London and the University of Reading.

Historian Florence Sutcliffe Braithwaite of University College London, said: “We hope to interview women who live or lived in coalfield areas, and who remember the strike.

“We are seeking women with strong connections to mining communities – wives of miners, mothers, daughters, women who worked in the industry, or women who had a strong connection to the industry and/or the strike through other means.

“We’re looking for women who both agreed and disagreed with the strike and would ask anyone for whom the strike was part of their life to come forward and contribute.”

Whilst much has been written about the strike, there has been no major historical study of women’s experiences during the dispute.

Natalie Thomlinson, historian at the University of Reading, said: “This was a hugely important moment in British history”

“We want to write the history of women’s involvement in the strike and also shed light on a much larger question: how did women’s lives and gender roles change in mining families and communities across Britain from 1945? We want to look at women’s lives and attitudes as a whole, not just the strike.”

Anyone who would like to contribute, or wants more information, can contact the project team by emailing coalfield-women@ucl.ac.uk or call/text Victoria on 07902 596116.