35mm · Film photography · Photography

Miner’s strike graffiti

I used to live not too far from Orgreave when I was younger and still lived at home with my parents. Orgreave was the site of a coal mine and coking plant and was a location made infamous when, during the 1984-84 UK miner’s strike, it was the site of clashes betweek striking miners and police – an event that bacame known as the Battle of Orgreave.

Some of my friends witnessed the events that took place, watching from the vantage point of the railway bridge above where the clashes took place. I missed it all by dint of me being on a week-long school trip.

During the whole period of the miner’s strike, a variety of industial action took place across the coalfields of the UK, and graffiti appeared in support of the striking miners. So it was with some amazement to find a few weeks ago, while out for a walk with my dad, that some of the graffiti I remembered seeing back when I was a teenager is still present and highly legible.

If anyone could be said to be at the head of the conflicting sides during the dispute, then it would have to be Margaret Thatcher, then UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party – also known a The Tories – for the government, and Arthur Scargill, leader of the powerful National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It is these opposing forces celebrated and denounced in graffiti form here.

I’m not sure what paint was used, but it has certainly stood the test of time!

Back when we were young
Youthful adventures happened
In places like this

Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti
Miner's Strike graffiti

Olympus OM-2N, G-Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/3.5 + orange filter & Ilford Delta 100. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 12mins @ 20°.

Taken on 4 April 2021

4 thoughts on “Miner’s strike graffiti

    1. Hehe. That did cross my mind, but there’s little sign of them being gone over with fresh paint unless they’ve done a very good job of matching the originals and not “going over the lines”. 😀

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    1. I was really happy when I saw they were still there. Not because I’m a fan of graffiti of anything but because it instantly transported me back to my youth when my friends and I would cross this brige on a regular basis. The rest of the landscape around there has changed beyond recognition and the industry, woods, and ponds that existed are now lost to time, but the bridge and its graffiti remain!

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