No redemption; the 1984-85 miner’s strike in the Durham coalfield by Keith Pattison

This is a book of photographs of the 1984-85 miner’s strike, taken by a photographer who lived for that year in Easington, Co. Durham. It is a stunning record of a seminal event in British industrial history. The stories told by the striking miners and their families bear out the reasoning and background to the strike and show its inevitability. The Thatcher government set out to destroy the NUM and organised trade unionism in Britain, and these pictures show the front line in that war. But they also show a Britain rarely recorded; look behind the pickets and the riot police, and you can see industrial Britain in its day-to-day life. The grainy black-and-white images have such astonishing atmosphere and an immediacy that we would be hard put to duplicate today.

This is the Britain Thatcher destroyed. She boasted of having beaten the miners; now, twenty-five years later, her political descendents speak of ‘broken Britain’ and never realise that it was they who broke it. That process started with the war against ordinary workers depicted in this book.

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