Barnsley march marks pit strike

Rally to mark the 30th anniversary of the Miners' Strike.
Rally to mark the 30th anniversary of the Miners' Strike.
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Former pit workers took to the streets of South Yorkshrie to mark 30 years since the infamous Miners’ Strike.

Positioned as a ‘celebration of Barnsley’s mining heritage’, people walked through the town holding banners paying tribute to the mining community.

A brass band played as hundreds of people poured through the streets to remember the 1984 national strike.

The march was followed by a rally at the town’s Miners’ Hall.

Speakers included Coun Tim Shepherd, Barnsley mayor, Chris Kitchen, national secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, and member of Women Against Pit Closures.

A buffet and live music then followed at Gawber Road Working Men’s Club.

Mr Kitchen said: “The event was a great celebration of Barnsley’s mining heritage.

“It’s a celebration because 30 years ago the miners made a choice – to allow the government to destroy us, or to fight for our rights.

“We decided to fight for our rights. We still haven’t given up the fight.”

Mr Kitchen was a 17-year-old with a year’s colliery experience behind him when the strike was declared.

He said: “Pit closures have had a devastating effect that, 30 years on, some communities still haven’t recovered from.”