Working miner passing the picket line at Sutton Colliery in April 1984. Source: Mansfield Chad

Coal, Conflict and Closures

The 1984-85 Miners Strike in Nottinghamshire

The 1984-85 Miners Strike is often described as perhaps the most seminal moment in 20th century British industrial history. The dispute, between the National Coal Board (NCB) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) during the second administration of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government (1983-1987) was about the issue of colliery closures, job losses and the rejection of a proposed 5.2% wage rise. In the East Midlands region, some NUM members continued to work through the strike, where many considered the lack of a national strike ballot undemocratic and unconstitutional.

On the 40th anniversary of the 1984-85 Miners Strike, we share our collection of press-cuttings, photographs and union ephemera to reflect on a restless period characterised by unprecedented levels of policing, picketing and political polarisation. This non-partisan chronology reveals how the strike swept across the strategically important Nottinghamshire coalfield. Includes; material from 1983 leading up to the strike, the 51-week strike itself, and the subsequent fallout which would define post-industrial Britain for decades.