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SLIDESHOW: Miners mark 30th strike anniversary

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It was a trip down memory lane for many ex-miners who turned out to show their support at a community event to mark the 30th anniversary of the coal strike.

The sun was shining as hundreds gathered at The Broadway Hotel in Dunscroft to commemorate the milestone.

The event, opened by Chris Skidmore, President of the Yorkshire area NUM, is the first in a series of events planned across the borough to mark the devastating 1984-85 miners’ strike.

Peter Thompson of Hatfield Main Heritage Colliery Fund and former landlord of The Broadway Hotel which doubled as a soup kitchen in the strike said: “It was a community involved in the strike not just a union thing, everyone rallied round.

“There was more comradeship and we were a closer community than ever before and it’s important to remember that and that’s why it is important to maintain these events.

“It is a part of history and there are a lot of people who have come along to day who we haven’t seen for a long time.

“It was about saving jobs and saving the community, everyone pulled together.

“People that weren’t even born at the time of the strike have come along today along with those who were active in the strike, it’s an absolutely fantastic turn out.”

Speakers at the event on Sunday included David Douglas, former Hatfield Main Branch NUM official and ‘strike baby’ Rachel Horne.

Hatfield Main Colliery Band provided the sound track for the event fresh from their victory at the Yorkshire Regional Championships.

A collection of photographs and memorabilia from the Miner’s Strike were also on display.

Caroline Flint MP, who attended, said: “Events like this are really important, history is not just about kings and queens but about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

“It is important that we keep history alive.

“During the strike it was about the whole community coming together to support the miners who were fighting to save their jobs and to secure a future.”

She added: “It’s fantastic to see so many people here today.”

Colliery band hit all the right notes

Fresh from victory at the Yorkshire Regional Championship’s Hatfield Main Colliery Band performed a number of nostalgic renditions at the 30th anniversary event.

The band, sponsored by Hatfield Town Council, delighted visitors who attended The Broadway Hotel on Sunday performing throughout the day.

The band were in high spirits after making it through the Yorkshire Regional Championships with a blistering display in Bradford.

And the victory, the first time the band have made it to the national finals for more than 10 years, was made even more poignant following the death of long serving musical director Graham O’Connor last December.

 

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