The latest news affecting miners and the mining industry
Death Of A Legend
Urgent news for all miners turned down for DSS benefits for vibration white finger.
Dave Douglass' book Geordies — Wa Mental, the first volume in the
Miners' Pension Scandal in the Daily Mirror
CONFERENCE VOWS TO FIGHT OVER PENSIONS THEFT - 20 JULY 2008
miners vote for NUM recognition
To Hatfield Colliery
Death of Cajo Brendal,
The Big Meeting 2007
Death Of Johnny
Area Union Vote
and Bad News For the Union at Hatfield
Jones / Joe Green memorial lecture
Germany will shut
down its eight remaining black coal mines by 2018
Watch out for Dave on
'Inside Out' BBC North
Please sign this petition
to get miners' claims dealt with sooner!
Historical Disasters- Black Christmas is about a mining disaster that happen in 1910......
Mining version of
the Nigerian Scam
Danny The Red - Leaving
Donie - 11/ June 2006
AND INDUSTRY Coal Health Claims
The Russians Are
Coming To Hatfield!
Death of Dek Hendley
Turnout at Paul Whettons final day.
We have just been informed
about the death of Paul Whetton
Death of Betty Heathfield
Trapped US coal miners
ONE MORE COALMINERS DAUGHTER
Death Of Hans Boettcher
case may land taxpayers with £100m bill
Death of Hatfield Main
octogenarian - Wally Parkin
'missing miners' money
Death of comrade
lay into miners' protest
BIG MEETING IN FIFTY YEARS.
Police Riot Squads Run Amuck
Death Of Tommy Preskey
Big TIMES revelation
on UDM under the title of FRAUD
Advice Centre -Office to close?
By the minerswebsite correspondent
coal: the human cost of cheap Chinese goods
More Slaughter In The Chinese Mines
Legal challenge on colliery closure?
Miners' Gig - Norwich
Dave turns in last duty as Union Delegate for Hatfield
For more news items visit our Other
Death Of A Legend
On Dec 30th 2008, Alan Rushby, a great Doncaster character and star of the Martial Arts world died. Alan started his Karate career way back in 1966 and rapidly shot through the grades to achieve his first Dan in eight months. Three years would be more normal. His switched from Wado-Ryu, which was the most popular form of Karate in Doncaster in the 60s and 70s, to Shukokai, which was a lesser known and somewhat more complex style. Alan had the great privilege of training under the direct instruction of the founder of the style Sensei Kimura and of travelling to Japan where he undertook first hand live-in full time instruction under the master, living and training in the founder’s dojo. Alan took on international fame fighting for Britain in Europe and around the world, his stock in trade, some would say shock in trade was his (in English) front punch to the face and utterly disabling thigh kick.
He founded an ongoing club in Donie, which an army of students have studied at over the years including a number of Hatfield, Armthorpe and Edlington miners. For the greatest time however the main dojo has been above the Hallcross at the top of the High Street.
He had struggled through throat cancer in 2000 and came out smiling at the other end.
Alan’s funeral and cremation was in Tuesday 13th January at Rose hill, The tributes were paid by Annette his former wife of 20 years and herself a 5th Dan and Kata expert. She read in perfect Japanese a poem On The Death Of A Samurai. Katherine his youngest, now 16, retold memories and cherished portions from her life with her Dad and his own form of comedy and magic.
I on behalf of the Karate club was asked to make a short eulogy, which formed a slightly shortened and ad-libbed version of the following:
I haven’t got up here to make a speech
I’m told we only have a few minutes, and even suppose we had all day, it still wouldn’t be long enough to exhaust all the things we wanted to say about Alan, and the impact he made upon us, not least his ashibari, but I was thinking in less physical ways
No, I’ve come up hear to say a few words about a bloke about whom I have the most immense respect and to whom, like many of you, I owe a great deal of gratitude in having enriched my life and I know yours too.
Alan’s embodiment of karate wasn’t just some physical expertise, although he had that in large measure, it was about feeling good about yourself, about enjoying the life flowing through your veins, about taking life in both hands and enjoying it. that was what Alan’s Karate revealed to you.
Alan loved the crack, loved the cut and trust of working class humour and culture, he was a great raconteur, a sort of fusion of Sid James, Dell Boy, and Richard Prior, shot through with Zen but framed in his own unique character. The centre of any crowd, the life and soul of any party. Alan telling the tale.
Alan had no time for God, he believed too much in justice and fairness for that. But Alan was a cipher for the spirit of joy in the world, I don’t think I ever seen him sad, cant think of a single time when he didn’t have a comic response to whatever life flung at him, this wasn’t as well as his Karate
Alan’s Karate wasn’t and isnt a sport, you don’t leave this karate in the dojo, it was with him every minute in the whole way he perceived the world and the people in it.
I mentioned Zen
Anyone who ever took what Alan said on face value missed a great deal of the point, that point often took days sometimes weeks, to sink in, and when it did, you realised he was talking of a far deeper perception than you had realised.
Alan would chalenege all wisdoms, all philosophies all beliefs challenge all your deeply held convictions all your sensitivities, nothing was inappropriate to Al, if you had a view, if you had a belief you’d better get ready to defend it as vigorously in the tap room as do an attack in the dojo. I think everyone in here knows All and me went many rounds downstairs in the bar, as he refused to accept a damn thing I said of my carefully worked out philosophies and doctrines. Likely as not dismissed in an instant as bullshit.
If you were vulnerable in any way shape or form Alan would test you on it, probe you on it, provoke you to screaming point on it…until you learned, to absorb the impact, to accept the challenge, to roll with the force, to fear nothing that words or insecurities which would otherwise be used to disarm discredit or weaken you mentally and physically before you even got to the physical attack. Alan understood well that self-belief and self-confidence were the mental strong stance, which had to accompany the strong physical stance. Alan’s Zen wisdom came in the form of pillock, piss taking; to outsiders they didn’t understand it. Many of the things Alan said were more about seeing how you yourself responded to them, than anything, he believed himself. Alan kept his wisdom and powers of instruction in some rough and ready forms, but that they were totally effective is beyond doubt. Like Zen, sometimes the point was that there wasn’t a point, or as the man said, when sitting just sit, when walking just walk,
Alan’s skills as a teacher cannot be underestimated
I teach you the techniques he would say, you have to provide the conviction, But truth is Alan’s conviction gave us conviction.
All of us who trained with Alan, and many people here trained much longer with him than my fifteen years, know what sort of a teacher he was. He would take you from absolute nothing, in my own case from a quivering mass of indecision and immobility in my own and give you two things, one the technique, which he would relentlessly persue you on, painstaking, hour on hour, perfection of the technique, he would never ever allow anything just to do, never pass anything which wasn’t right, never ever accept the easy road, and you would stand exactly where you were and not move-on till you had it right. Alan went through no motions; you did it right or what was the point. Second, he would give you confidence in yourself and your technique. When Alan criticised you he took the skin off your back…but when he praised you, it was like being awarded a much-prised medal. Alan’s esteem and Alan’s praise was like gold nuggets, when Alan awarded me my first Dan in 1999 it was one of the most important and gratifying awards anyone on any field of my whole life has ever bestowed upon me, and I am entirely grateful for having had the huge privilege of training with this man, being one of Alan’s students in the community of his students , a more unique collection of people and a loyaler set of mates you will find nowhere in the world. What we are, the characters that we are, the human beings that we are, in strong measure come down to you Alan, sensei.
Urgent news for all miners turned down for DSS benefits for vibration white finger.
New regulations on definitions of VWF for qualification for Industrial disablement benefit is now in force.
It means anyone turned down for not having enough whiteness in the fingers, or for not describing correctly the whiteness you have, can apply again.
It also means if you are successful this time, you can have another bash at REA, reduced earnings allowance. You should note, although back money is grossly restricted from what it was, the weekly benefit is still available.
Miners Advice is not now usually available to represent you at tribunals but on occasion can give you advice time permitting. Dave is likely to be back in Doncaster next weekend and might be able to meet you to explain. No promises.
You should also note, changes are in the pipeline to widen the number of complaints, which carry a disablement benefit award for miner's knee, particularly osteoarthritis of the knee. This isn't law yet but you should start to make enquiries as to when you can make applications. Again, time permitting Dave may be able to find time to discuss the matter with you when he's next in Doncaster .
This article appeared in The Daily Mirror by Paul Routledge 12/09/2008
A decade ago I campaigned for reform of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.
I was appalled to discover that half the fund's annual surplus, often amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds, was stolen by the Treasury.
That's because it is a Tory scheme, forced on the miners as part of Thatcher's revenge for the great strike of 1984.
Labour, I argued, should end this scandal. Ed Balls, now a Cabinet minister but then Chancellor Brown's chief economic adviser, promised to "do something".
But nothing has happened. Since then, a massive £3billion has been siphoned off.
Advertisement - article continues below »
Neither the Government nor British Coal have put a penny into the fund since 1987, while some pit pensioners receive less than £10 a week.
Admittedly, the Government has paid compensation for industrial injuries to many thousands of miners and their widows. But this legalised theft means they are paying for their own compensation.
How crooked can you get? As Yorkshire miner Steve Mace puts it: "Even Dick Turpin had the common decency to wear a mask."
The National Union of Mineworkers is now campaigning for the return of the stolen millions. More power to their arm.
NUM CONFERENCE VOWS TO FIGHT OVER
PENSIONS THEFT - 20 JULY 2008
Three years ago a part of the Stainforthonline forum was given over to
the leaders of the Cannock Chase Retired Miners Members, accessible from
a link on the home page of Miners Advice, so that they could voice their
arguments and keep miners informed of what was happening.
At last, after being continually harrassed to do the right thing, the
N.U.M. have promised to join the fight!
The Conference of the National Union of Mineworkers has vowed to take its campaign to stop the government raiding the pension surpluses of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme to a new level.
Keith Stanley the NUM Vice-President said since 1987 the government has stolen £3 billion from the Scheme surpluses and contribution holidays accrued under the days of British Coal.
He pointed out that when the industry was privatised a trustee from the breakaway UDM was imposed whose vote enabled the government to raid the scheme.
They have not put one penny into the Scheme since 1987, only miners have done that, yet the have continued to steel our money and at the same time refused to meet me us simply saying we have a Fair deal". How can they justify what they do when there are pensioners on less than £10 per week from the Scheme?. He Said
He told delegates attending the Conference in Blackpool that the Union would be launching a massive campaign which would involve lobbying both MPs and the government.
I see no difference between the government taking money from the MPS and Robert Maxwells theft of the Mirror Group Pension Fund. He added.
Wayne Thomas South Wales Area Secretary in seconding said This is a fundamental issue with us, it is an absolute scandal what the government are doing with our surpluses
Referring to the Cannock Chase Retired Members Campaign led by Mick Westwood he said They have been fighting a tremendous campaign and the money taken by the government should be returned to Scheme so that beneficiaries can have a decent pension and our miners can retire at 50.
Steve Mace from Yorkshire supporting the motion said, I want to say this to the government. Get your grubby hands out of our pension scheme and continued Even Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.
Hatfield miners vote for NUM recognition
In what can only be described as overwhelming the miners at Hatfield
in Yorkshire have voted by postal ballot for NUM recognition.
A total of 235 members of the workforce were entitled to vote and the
turnout was 73% a stunning turnout for a postal ballot. The 165 voting
for the NUM represent just over 70% of the total workforce entitled to
Chris Kitchen NUM National and Yorkshire Area Secretary said:
"This is a great response by the miners at Hatfield Colliery and
sends a clear message to Powerfuel management that the NUM has a role
to play in what is hoped to be a success story at Hatfield Colliery. At
a time when trade union membership is perceived to be in decline this
ballot result shows this is clearly not the case.
"The CAC will issue a declaration with regard to the result within
the next 2 weeks. The next stage is then for the NUM Yorkshire Area to
agree with Powerfuel a Collective Bargaining Agreement. If at the end
of 30 days no agreement has been reached the CAC has a further 20 days
to arbitrate between the two parties. If this is not successful the CAC
Panel will make the decision with regard to the mechanics of the collective
bargaining at Hatfield Colliery. This is the procedure under the Trade
Union Labour Relations Act 2002.
"Given the concerns that have been expressed to the NUM from members
and non-members working at Hatfield Colliery with regard to safety it
is not the NUM's intention to sit back and wait for what could possibly
be a further 51 days for this procedure. We intend to pursue the right
to set up workforce elected representatives (123 Inspectors) to conduct
123 inspections on behalf of the workforce under the regulations. Reports
from these inspections must be sent to the HMI which is not the case with
the safety committee that currently operates at Hatfield Colliery.
"Any member with previous 123 inspectors experience or wishing to
put themselves forward as a 123 inspector should contact the NUM office
01226 215555 extension 211 as soon as possible. We will be writing to
Mr Chris Daniels, Colliery Manager, in an attempt to facilitate the setting
up of 123 inspections as a matter of urgency.
A well deserved pat on the back must be given to the staff and all concerned
whose campaign efforts and hard work have come to fruition."
Below is the Early day Motion that has been raised by Michael Clapham, it is very important to get as many MPs to sign this motion as possible, it will probably need at least 150 signatures before it is given ten minutes time to be debated on, in the commons, so get an email off to you MP, Some MPS stipulate that it must be someone in that MPs constituency that requests them to sign.
Clapham, Michael EDM 722
Thirteen years ago the miners of Tower Colliery bought their own pit, refusing to accept British Coal's assessment that the colliery was unprofitable and surplus to requirements.
This week the 240 strong workforce finally called it a day, after mining more than 7 million tonnes of coal and finally exhausting the mine's reserves.
Although it is another sad day for the Welsh coalfield communities, the miners of Tower Colliery can be proud of their achievements.
Dave Douglass commented:
Congratulations To Hatfield Colliery
Death of Billy Matthews
People who follow debates within the left movement will know that I had a major public, indeed international, argument with Cajo Brendal a veteran and founder member of the Dutch Council Communist Movement. Our discussion was carried in quite a few of the far left anarchist and syndicalist journals across Europe. I made the disagreement the major element in by polemical work All Power To The Imagination published by Class War in the mid-90's. I have just discovered through the inter-net that Cajo is dead.
I am deeply saddened that Cajo is dead. We had concluded our debate with the publication of my little pamphlet All Power To The Imagination (published by Class War) in which I reprint his ideas and my polemic against his conclusions. Following this we agreed to disagree.
Most anarcho's in Europe are aware of only the opening shots of this
debate and not
Other than our public polemic we had a fair bit of private correspondence,
and in that
For all this we never met, and for that I am greatly saddened. I am sure
that in a more
Cajo was a great thinker and writer and humanitarian. His motivation
was unquestionably respect for and love of the working class and its struggle
to be free of economic and social oppression, and all that stood in the
way of that. That union leaders and through them frequently union structures
obstruct our progress to that goal
I shall miss you old comrade, but your words will be rattling my head for the rest of my life.
Copies of All Power To The Imagination, are available post paid for £6
from myself c/o 07900 160 841.
Tyne & Wear May Day - Saturday 5 May.
Assemble Centre for Life, Newcastle Upon Tyne, (Turn left from the front of Central Station) 11.00 am.
March leaves at 11.30 for rally at Exhibition Park 12 noon.
IWW members will be meeeting up for the march with the banner at the assembly point, there will also be Wobs at Exhibition park setting the stall up from about 11.00 too.
Speakers: Paul Kenny, John McDonnell, Joy Mitchell, Mary Ferguson, Kath Sainsbury, David Golding.
Music from Broughton's Brass Band, The Stumbling Band and Caravan.
Please note that the Central Motorway will be closed on 5 May - travel
by Metro advised.
Death Of Johnny Weaver
We are very sad to report the death of an outstanding NUM member, National Executive Committee member Johnny Weaver. Johnny had been a miner at Thorne Colliery, and then transferred to Yorkshire Main following the closure of that colliery.
He became a branch official and Area Executive member before being elected as a 'lay' member of the National Executive Committee. Johnny was an outstanding member of the Doncaster NUM Panel and fought for Doncaster's corner against all comers.
He was a natural comic and had the amazing ability to strike up conversations and friendships on a sixpence. Everybody knew Johnny, it never failed to impress me.
Johnny used to drive me to Area Council meeting and many's a row and discussion on union and political of the left we had on the way, although he usually won. He achieved this by naked terror, inevitably he would be smoking throughout, he would turn to argue with me and look me in the eye, as smoke curled up into his eyes and he would abandon any attempt to look at the road. I would invariably concede the argument on pain of death. At other times in the heat of the argument and having used up all his key points he would demand to know 'whose car is it ?' and again I would be forced to submit.
One early ride from the Barnsley Council chamber I thought to impress Johnny by introducing him to Beethams. Beethams was a cellar bar in Doncaster market, the home of hippies, bikers, dope smokers and heavy rock fans. The smell of incense, putuli oil, pot, leather and petrol pervaded with the sounds of Iron Maiden and Rainbow. I took Johnny down into the dark of the bar and uncertainty. No sooner had we reached the bottom when a shout from behind the bar goes "Hello Johnny lad", then another from a group of bikers in a huddle in the corner "Johnny Weaver, the Man !' . Bliddy hell, I said, how the hell do you know these ? Well, him behind the bar is an ex Yorkshire Main committee man, and them still work there.
On another occasion I boarded the train to London with Johnny for a Union demonstration in the late 70s, within minutes of setting off Johnny was engaged in conversations with half the carriage and changed seats at least four times en-route to sit and chat to folk and tell the tale. The sounds of laughter from the carriage continued all the way to London.
With a foot in both camps so to speak, Johnny was put in charge of running the National Picket Co ordination centre in Sheffield during the 'Great Coal Strike' of 84/85. A thankless task since the Doncaster and South Yorkshire branches weren't running it that way, we deployed our own pickets and selected our own targets. Worse for Johnny, we wouldn't tell him or anybody where we were going or what we had planned. "C'mon Dave" he would plead, Arthur wants to know what's going off" I'll tell you after we've been I would reply. Usually compromising by telling him in the early hours of the morning of the picket, too late for the cops earwigging on the phone to block us and too late for Arthur to deploy us elsewhere.
Johnny was one of the old greats of the Union, respected and valued by
all Areas of the Union and a number of its national leaders whose terms
he had served through.
The Funeral leaves the house ( 6 Mile End Avenue
At 10-45 am
And the service takes place at Rose Hill Crem at 20 past 11
We hope to have the Yorkshire Main banner there, and many of his former friends and comrades.
Our deepest sympathy to his family, one can only guess at the loss felt by them at loosing such a loving, intelligent and happy man.
Crucial Yorkshire Area Union Vote
Full members of the Yorkshire Area of the NUM are now voting in a postal Ballot to determine who the General Secretary of the Area will be. The post since the Controversial Scargill rule changes in now called 'Area Agent' but actually it is In fact the position of Area Secretary and carries great wieght within the union.
The candidates are the sitting Secretary Steve Kemp and challenger Chris Kitchen, who is the Area Vice President and Branch Secretary of Kellingley Colliery. We are not certain which branches nominated the candidates.
The contest is of immense political importance to the union, to democracy and to the way forward in the future. It is essential members actually vote, you don't even have to 'get out there' and vote since it's a postal ballot.
It wouldn't be appropriate for us to suggest who you should vote for .my my we are getting coy in our old age.
We would hope whoever is elected that a serious attitude is taken to organisation at Hatfield, which is still non-union and still without a branch or any elected officials from the workforce. We have suggested someone like Dave Douglass could be brought back (not from the dead! fool,) from the TGWU on a short-term contract aimed specifically at organising this site and bringing the colliery back within the unions influence. Course it might be whoever is elected is likely to see Hatfield as a sleeping giant with bags of potential for holding the balance of power within the union not simply in Yorkshire but nationally. That might cause those seeing office In the union to be less than enthusiastic about taking up the offer, but that's just speculation of course, and we couldn't be that cynical.
It even sounds profoundly foolish to be talking of 'power' in a union with less than 2000 members but believe us; the struggle for those positions is still keenly fought, and they are just as keenly sought.
ALL VOTES MUST BE RETURNED BY THE 30TH APRIL.
Good News and Bad News For the Union at Hatfield
Hatfield is now at the point of development where it is signing miners
back on for coal work. The recruitment policy of the company is twofold.
Both of these are aimed at stopping a strong union branch developing at
Hatfield to carry on the traditions of the Hatfield miners in the past.
The first of these is to adopt a scattered workforce policy, that is they
will not be signing on most or even the majority of the miners from the
Hatfield pit communities. The second is to ensure they do not take on
active Union members or officials from other mines.
Building membership at Hatfield is slow and laborious, with volunteers
from the Barnsley office and old Phil the admin officer freezing their
goolies off trying to talk to lads on their way in and out from work.
Dave Douglass had offered his services as a full time organiser for Hatfield
on a fixed term contract, but the good souls at Barnsley obviously didnt
think this merited consideration. So membership is slowly building, we
estimate its over 40% but Mr Budge true to form is fighting it
The bad news is that the members of the union are running scared already with not a single solitary soul coming forward for any of the branch official's jobs. Not that there is a formal branch yet, as far as we know. This bodes very badly for the fate of the Branch. A secretary and delegate at least are an urgent requirement at Hatfield. At present the branch and the affairs of Hatfield are being run by Barnsley. Barnsley has its own reasons for keeping a tight reign on the Hatfield branch, and since it is due to grow to be jewel in the crown of Yorkshire, indeed may be the Yorkshire coalfield more or less, this is even more so. Hatfield must find its own feet and shake off the parental control of the Barnsley office no matter how well intentioned that may be.
We should make the call now, to the men working at Hatfield, pick yourselves
a spokesman, a representative clever and brave enough to be your voice,
and take over Control of your own branch. 12 men are needed on that Branch
Committee and surely
This year's David Jones / Joe Green memorial lecture organised
by the NUM
The lecture is an annual event in memory of David Jones and Joe Green,
All supporters welcome
Germany will shut down its eight remaining black coal mines by 2018
under a plan which seals the fate of the sector that powered the country's
industrial revolution and post-war economic miracle. Unlike in Britain,
Germany's mining phase-out has been gentle.
This is the full story from Spiegel Online:
Watch out for Dave on 'Inside Out' BBC North (thats for the NE
and Cumbria) 2nd Feb 7-30pm
I hope you don't mind me contacting you but you may be interested in
a petition I have set up on the No 10 web site with regards the miner's
compensation scheme and the huge delays some miners are experiencing due
to the ridiculous red tape. The petition is only a short one because of
Dear David Douglass
I have spent the last 2 years researching the disaster at the Pretoria Pit in Bolton and produced a documentary that's coming out on DVD. Could you please put it in your news section on your website.
Historical Disasters- Black Christmas is about a mining disaster that happen in 1910. Using pictures from the aftermath, local experts, families of those involved and computer graphic reconstructions. All of which brings to light what happened on that fateful day.
We set out to try and find out the truth about what happen. And ended up finding some shocking facts about how miners and miners families were treated before and after the explosion.
To find out more about Historical Disasters- Black Christmas please go to www.reelvisionfilms.co.uk/pit.html
Another of the Hatfield old stagers has gone, and we have been asked
by his family, who are readers of our website, if we will let people know
of the death of JOSEPH TETLEY who once lived on broadway then moved into
a bungalow in broadway nook. He was well know at the pit and worked there
all of his
He died on the 13/08/2006 in tickhill road hospital aged 83 should have
had his 84 birthday 30/08/2006 he did work at Hatfield Main for some 40
years and most of the Hatfield miners and community will remember him
The Nigerian Scam
Dave forwarded the following email to me. He didn't give me any directions with regards to posting it here, so I can only assume he wants me to remind people that they should NEVER respond to emails of this nature.
Basically, it follows the theme of the typical Nigerian scam, which has been around for years now; someone you have never heard of contacts you asking for help, in return for which you will receive vast wealth. (yeah right ;-)
The usual format goes along something like, "Dear Sir, I am the the daughter / son / wife (insert appropriate) of the late manager / minister / General / President / (insert appropriate) of the business name / country / organisation (insert appropriate). My husband / brother / father (insert appropriate) was murdered / imprisoned / kidnapped (insert appropriate) and I have been left in charge of a large sum of money which I need your help to get out of the country. In return for your assistance you will be rewarded with 10% / 25 % / $1,000,000 (insert appropriate)."
It's amazing, but people do fall for this scam, which is often carried out from some dirty and dusty internet cafe' on the streets of Nigeria, which is why it is called the Nigerian Scam, although there are now many parts of Africa which have joined in with phishing of millions of email addresses daily. Once the victim makes contact with the scammer he is asked to set up a bank account, through which he is steadily stripped of his wealth, house and belongings in the misguided belief that he will be rewarded in the end.
The best way of not falling victim to these parasites is to be aware that you will never be given a fortune from someone who sends you an email out of the blue. It just doesn't happen, no matter how convincing they may sound. Never respond to spammers, as they will know that they have hit an active email address, making yours more valuable so that it will added to lists of active addresses that can be sold.
Anyway, here's the mining version of the Nigerian Scam:
>Subject: SOLID MINERAL FOR BUYERS AND MINERS.
Danny The Red
It is with much emotion & mixed feelings that I have finally decided
my work here in Doncaster is now done, and I am returning 'back up yem'.
Truth is since the mass round down and slaughter of the industry, the
spirit has all but left industry such as it remains. Despite the apparent
Some of you will know I am now organising for the TGWU (The Transport
and General Workers Union) largely I am engaging among drivers, in the
I am hoping to organise a farewell party, probably at The Woolpack,
and probably on a Sunday evening either at the end of June or sometime
I will keep you informed, but in the meantime, it has been an honour
and a privilege to have represented you and to have been at your side
(Danny The Red)
TRADE AND INDUSTRY
Coal Health Claims
Malcolm Wicks: As at 31 March 2005, the total paid to UDM solicitors
for fees under the schemes was £19 million
The Russians Are Coming To Hatfield !!
The cat is well and truly out of the bag. The biggest Russian coal company in the business has taken over Budges Hatfield coal complex plant business. We aren't sure if they have just taken a share or whether they have bought him out, but they will now call the shots.
Why should a Russian giant with massive coal reserves wish to buy into our back yard is not clear, it could be for western currency, or a share into the energy generation market which they could supplement with their own produce from Russia.
Old seams need investigating for usage in the light of new operating objectives. Kent Thick stands already accessible at about 4/5 foot, never been worked in any direction. The Shafton is illustrated as 7/8 foot on early plans but falls to 7/8 inches by later plans, this could be a simple mistake in the survey office and needs to be checked against bore hole samples, again this seam has never been worked and runs off in all directions north south east and west . The High Hazel is stated as being 'exhausted' it is far from that, only the portion within old colliery curtleges was more or less worked out, the vast seam in all probability runs across to Askern and Armthorpe, bore holes suggest, Ainley was due to take a proving heading through but never found the cash, so we think it is there, the best most environmentally sound seam in Britain low ash, sulphur, chlorine, 'green coal'.
The current reserve predictions focus solely on the Barnsley within the collieries existing curtledge, however all these seams run north and east toward North Yorkshire and across to the coast in hundreds upon hundreds of square miles of reserves in the Hazel, Kent's and Barnsley (which we believe become one seam east of Thorne.)
We hope the Russian coal company will explore this potential and not be fobbed off with dodgy survey reports. Likewise we expect them to meet the Union officials and some of the potential local workforce and lets talk future, jobs, and coal.
More on the story of Hatfield and the Russians from various news links:
BACK KING COAL TO REOPEN HISTORIC S YORKS PIT - Western Daily Press
UK Coal braced for Russian bid after £1bn deal with ex-chief - The Guardian
New mining prospects for colliery - BBC News
Russian Deal Could Reopen U.K. Mine - The Moscow Times
Death of Dek Hendley
We are sad to have just learned of the death of another of our old Hatfield Main comrades Derek Hendley. Dek was a good pitman, good union lad, always ready to answer whatever call the union and his mates placed upon him. He was one of the pit characters and everyone knew and liked him. It seems he died 1st March, although we hadn't previously known about it, we are sorry to have missed his funeral, but there were many many more who didnt and his send off was said to be "remarkable". Our sympathies to Dereks family and mates who shall miss him very much.
Massive Turnout at Paul Whettons final day.
Area and National Officials of the NUM and a solid block of Nottingham NUM miners and their families turned out for Pauls funeral, Saturday 18th March. Led by Notts NUM banners, the funeral procession thronged the roads and closed Newark town centre. Well known characters from the miners movement were everywhere in evidence in among the sea of faces.
The packed church had the service relayed to the crowds standing outside for over an hour in freezing temperatures. The tears froze in our eyes as we listened , to Paul's voice, talking about the meaning of pit life and the strength of pit communities.
The music and the speeches were absolutely heart wrenching, Arthur Scargill making one of the most impassioned and moving eulogies I think I have ever heard, although, the most sorrowful parts were those where he quoted from the words of Pauls kids. It was deeply upsetting.
Paul was a hero of the workers movement, a committed Communist and trade unionist. His coffin was draped in the Soviet flag and his fur Bolshevik hat, with the badge of Communist Party CCCP, of which he had been so proudly presented in the Soviet Union, was laid on top of the flag.
During the strike Paul had thrown himself into the Nottingham offensive, fighting as all Notts strikers did on the hardest front of all, in the worse strike breaking county, which had been made the scene of counter attack by the Tories and the states special forces. At the end of the strike he was victimised. It took two years of battles in Tribunals before Paul was reinstated, albeit at Manton Colliery in the Yorkshire Area of the NUM, but within the actual geological coal county of Nottingham. In his final working years Paul sustained a serious accident which forced him to finish in the industry a couple of years early. This allowed him to devote the bulk of his time to the Justice For Miners Campaign and efforts to rebuild the NUM in Nottingham.
Paul was a great mate, a great story teller, a man of justice and common sense. We have lost too many like him in recent years and sadly they are not being replaced. God Speed, Paul marra. The (female) vicar told amusingly how Paul in his first encounter with her welcomed her and called her Comrade and she had been a bit taken aback, but then recognised it had been a great compliment. She supposed Paul might be engaged with Comrade Christ at this very moment. We arnt sure about that, but if it were true, doubtless Christ wont get a word in for the first few days.
We are sorry to inform of the death of Paul Whetton, former NUM branch secretary at Bevercotes Colliery, Nottinghamshire, and victimised for his role in the Great 1984-85 strike.
Paul successfully fought his victimisation and was later employed at Manton Colliery in South Yorkshire before taking early retirement through ill-health.
He was a steadfast and militant trade unionist and socialist. May he Rest in peace.
His funeral arrangements as follows:
Saturday 18th March 2006.
9.00 am Assemble and march from 10 Nicholas Place, Tuxford, Notts. Due to the number of people expected to attend you are requested to park your car and walk to Nicholas Place. Parking Available at Tuxford WMC, Newcastle Arms and the Sun Inn off the market place.
Funeral procession lead by 3 Banners (National, Notts Area and Bevercotes Colliery). This is about ½ a mile.
10.00 am Service at St Nicholas Church, Tuxford, Notts.
Burial attended by family only.
Everyone welcome afterwards at Tuxford Working Mens Club.
The family have requested donations in Lieu of Flowers to Notts NUM Ex & Retired Miners Association The family have also requested only the 3 banners mentioned above.
Directions To Tuxford
From the South
From Newark Exit the A1 on to the A6075
From the North
Exit the A1 on the B1164
Sunday 12 March
2pm The miners campaign Tapes
3pm Talk by Dave Douglas ex miner and author of 'Geordies Wa Mental'
4pm The Battle of Orgreave 70 mins
6pm Brassed Off
Miners' heroine who organised women's support groups to sustain the strikers
Betty's role was to help create, organise, coordinate and sustain the women's support groups for the striking miners under the umbrella organisation she chaired, Women Against Pit Closures. Nothing on such a scale had been seen before in a British industrial dispute. Across the coalfields, women's groups sprang up, largely inspired by Betty's example from her small family home in Chesterfield. Even at the end of the strike, she could still organise more than 2,000 miners' wives to rally at Chesterfield football ground to demand help for the thousands of families left deprived, some penniless, by the dispute.
During the strike itself, Betty and Anne Scargill, Arthur's then wife, led the national campaign to help feed, clothe and sustain a lifeline of hope for miners' families in every pit village in the country. They organised school holiday breaks for children and, with financial aid from other trade unions and street and house-to-house collections, somehow kept alive a flame of hope. Much of the public support can be attributed to Betty's remarkable dedication, relentless courage and leadership.
Many observers believe the women's support movement was the most significant element of the miners' dispute; certainly, it was a powerful factor in sustaining the strike for 12 months from March 1984. In previous industrial disputes in Britain, certainly since the end of the second world war, strikers' wives have generally been regarded as reluctant allies or silent onlookers. The Betty Heathfield campaign changed that.
Even after the return to work, the women maintained a platform, lending support to other disputes, most notably Rupert Murdoch's clash with the print unions that followed his move to Wapping in 1986. Betty and Anne Scargill toured the mining areas of the United States and Canada seeking help for the depressed mining communities of Britain.
Betty Heathfield was born into a working-class mining family in Chesterfield. Both her grandfathers had been Derbyshire miners; her father, Billy Vardy, was a miner before the first world war, and then, having been wounded, moved into the gas industry.
His exceptionally intelligent eldest daughter excelled at Chesterfield girls' high school - the top local grammar school - and won a county scholarship which should have taken her to university. As a teenager, however, she was nervous, shy and reluctant to push herself. Her headteacher sought to persuade the family to let her continue, but they were too poor to support such ambitions and she left school at 16 for a secretarial job at a local engineering company. Her weekly wage was vital to the household.
Leaving school in 1943, in the middle of the second world war, Betty joined the local auxiliary fire service, and it was here that she became interested in politics. Her family were characteristic Labour party people, but at the end of the war the experience of hearing the Communist party leader Harry Pollitt speak at a local meeting persuaded her to join the Young Communist League. Her path to a radical leftwing lifestyle was established and she went on to become a full member of the Communist party.
She met her future husband at Chesterfield's youth cycling club. He was a leftwing radical active in the Labour party and the NUM. They married in 1953, when he was still a working miner and 13 years before he became a full-time NUM official.
The most poignant moment of Betty's life came four years after the miners' strike when, in 1989, her 36-year-long marriage broke down. She and Peter had been a devoted couple, with four grown-up children and her very much the driving political force. Friends were stunned by the separation; Peter moved to Worksop to live with Sue Rolstone, a woman 22 years his junior, whom he married after divorcing Betty in 2001.
Many who knew the Heathfields blamed the marital break-up on the pyschological impact of the strike on them both, particularly on Peter. The Scargills, too, were divorced in 2001, after 37 years of marriage.
Betty tried to reconstruct her life by picking up on her earlier educational talents and studying for a politics degree at Lancaster University. At the final stage, however, she fell ill with Alzheimer's disease and her last four years were spent in a Chesterfield nursing home. Peter survives her, as do their three sons and a daughter.
· Betty Heathfield, miners' heroine, born March 30 1927; died February 16 2006
Death of Betty Heathfield
We have only just discovered the death of Betty Heathfield, who it seems,
died this week or last week. We knew Betty had been ill for some time,
but had no idea it was critical.
According to a BBC news report Saturday, 21 January 2006, 22:58 GMT ,
rescuers have found the bodies of two coal miners trapped underground
by a fire in the US state of West Virginia.
JUST ONE MORE COALMINERS DAUGHTER
The preceding written Tuesday
Death Of Hans
We are very sorry to report the death of our old German comrade, Hans
Boettcher. A well known character at the pit during his time working there,
and in the active social life of the clubs and the village and the NUM.
Although last off, badly crippled with injuries to his hips and legs,
he continued with his love of dancing, especially the waltz, and continued
to spin and waltz at Kirk Sandal club, albeit with rather stiff legs.He
dressed smartly and was one of the most polite men you could wish to speak
to, we never ever heard him swear. He walked everywhere with his stick,
but managed to waltz without one
Hans was 85 and died suddenly. He is missed as a Dad and Granddad as well as a fellow miners and union brother.
THE Government is being taken to court to defend a miners legal action that could result in multimillion-pound compensation rewards for personal injury lawyers.
A court date in January has been set for a preliminary hearing into the proposed group action on behalf of miners who suffer from a chronic knee condition allegedly caused by working underground.
Funding for the litigation is being provided by the National Union of Mineworkers and the Durham Area NUM, with £10 million committed to the preliminary costs.
The new claim focuses on two knee conditions: osteoarthritis, in which cartilage is worn away, and damage to the menisci, cartilage tissue which acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint. The symptoms are pain, swelling, clicking and locking of the knee, and the conditions can be progressive and permanent.
Death of Hatfield Main octogenarian - Wally Parkin
Walter Parkin, was undermanager and then personnel manager at Hatfield
Main in the 60's/70's.
If you or anyone you know wishes to attend the funeral, please contact
Anne and Peter at Hull 01482 843569.
Claim for 'missing miners' money
On Wednesday the long-running issue of miners' compensation will go before
the High Court in London
The court case follows the biggest compensation claim schemes in British
Death of comrade Burt Whittle
In the strike of 84/85 Burt distinguished himself with both unofficial and official picketing operations among some of the most violent and dangerous conflicts. Ever a pitman humorist, at the picket ambush of Silver Hill colliery in Notts, he was chased by mounted police wielding batons. He ran down the side of a rather posh detached house and had the lady of the house come out to remonstrate with him and cry "my roses, do be careful of my roses" Burt replied "it's ok love, their going to get some horse manure in a minute !".
Burt supported every demonstration and picket line of other workers he
was called upon to and was a well known activist in the antifascist movement.
He was well loved by his children and grandchildren and was a happy thoughtful
and kindly man. He was 77, and we all thought he would go on forever.
Burt will be well missed, a good comrade and solid num member and a loyal
supporter of workers in struggle everywhere. They'll be standing you a
round of drinks tonight Burt lad, when you get up yon, there's quite a
few a few of your aud marra's waiting for you.
Polish police lay into miners' protest
(Spotted in the Morning Star by Dave Edwards)
AT LEAST six police officers and two protesters were injured when a miners'
demonstration outside Poland's parliament turned violent yesterday.
GREATEST DURHAM BIG MEETING IN FIFTY YEARS.
Somewhere in the region of 60,000 people attended a mass Durham Miners
Gala today, July 9th amid blazing sunshine. It was the 121st. Over forty
bands and countless NUM and other union banners jostled through the families
and crowds of folk out to dance and cheer them on. Ian Lavery the National
President of the NUM made the finest speech of his life and predicted
a return to coal mining in Britain, even forecasting a new pit in Durham
and another in Northumberland. Sadly we do not share Ian's
The police after last years provocation stayed well out of it this year and were hard to spot so obviously there was no bother anywhere in the town or on the field today.
The gala goes from strength to strength, a political and industrial pageant
of massive proportions carrying the old torch of socialism and militant
trade unionism and community struggle. Being a thoroughly
Socially the beer flowed, the big hoppins are back on the top field and
the number of little stalls, mining memorabilia tables, social local history
groups, folk singers and book stalls just keeps blooming. Ice
You really all must come next year, shit or bust.
Photographs from the big meet 2005.
Many thanks to Dave Edwards:
Police Riot Squads Run Amuck In Edinburgh
This week has seen mass protests by various groups in Edinburgh on the occasion of the meeting of the worlds rulers the G8. Saturday seen a minimum of 250,000 people march through the city centre pleading for the leaders of the rich and powerful nations of the world not to allow Africa to continually starve. I was invited to take part and speak on the multi-factional platforms which were to be convened on Monday 4th July evening, I was speaking for the Industrial Workers of The World, on the theme The Miners and The Law. Monday was planned by environmental and anarchist groups as a day of carnival and happenings throughout the city. It is illustrative that there was no bother on Saturday when police numbers were minimal. The idea that ,that would be the case on Monday were quickly squashed as convoys of police trekked north from all over Britain. I got caught in a convoy of some 100 South Yorkshire police vehicles on their way up on Sunday, armies of cops from Manchester, the MET , Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Northumbria to name a few could be seen streaming into the city. It should be noted this was 24 hours before anybody had done anything, so they were tooling up for bother from the beginning.
On Monday the police took the decision in the early morning to close Princess Street to traffic for the rest of the day, the main thoroughfare through Edinburgh. The Anarchos were still in bed when this decision was made, when they emerged they found the whole city centre had been left as a pedestrian precinct for their carnival. We were entertained by troops of people dressed as clowns, and hundreds in fancy dress, bands, drummers, dancers, and people marching up and down the road or just playing with Frisbees, skateboarding or cycling. Hundreds of people, tourists and Edinburgh folk out shopping, at the shops which were all still open along Princess Street, stood and cheered or crowded the pavements to watch and take photos of the carnival. Yes there were small groups of anarchists with their faces masked carrying black flags marching up and down, no more than a dozen or so, mostly young adolescents of about 14 or 15 but nothing whatever was happening which could be called trouble. Besides which it was clear this was the group the press had come to see and each young rebel had his/her own press member tagged alongside all day, a veritable army of camera men and photographers outnumbered them looking for exciting shots, despite this you wont find a single image of these kids actually doing anything.
Throughout the morning the police pestered all the shops on the street to close, for their own safety. Nothing whatever was happening in the shops, customers were not interfered with in any way, in fact despite their being two MacDonalds, open and serving on the street and just round the corner from this street, nothing whatever was done by means of protest let alone threatening to these favourite targets of the anarchists. Oddly, these were not urged to close. One wonders if a provocation hadn't been responded to. Suddenly and for no reason whatsoever columns of riot police, looking like armies of Robocops started to march into the road, preceded by mounted police who formed a road block and started to push the crowd back down the road. The crowds at the other side of this road were left mainly standing on the pavement, about two thirds of whom were tourists and shoppers watching the events. Next police with riot shields started to form up all round the crowds and shout that for their own safety everyone should disperse. The crowd asked why? And asked where this danger was coming from, nothing was happening. An old bloke asked was he not allowed to stand on the pavement in his own city now and the muffled shout from the helmeted and masked up cop was not unless you want to get hurt. With that they started pushing the crowds along the pavement and at the same time from the roads, this was done with utmost force, and many old people in the crowd were clearly upset, tearful and terrified. The police took absolutely no notice of their frailty and fear and carried on pushing forward relentlessly. Some of the young people tried pushing back and tried to stop the crush and panic, they were treated to kicked ankles and heads smacked with riot shields. Now I should explain, I had resolved that today I was just an observer, I had come to speak, that was my role, I hadn't come for a fight, but its very hard to keep you patience when some brain dead moron is ramming his riot shield into you back and stamping on your heels. I managed with extreme difficulty to keep my temper. The point of all this ? To get rid of the onlookers, the witnesses. With the pavements cleared, and the press and shoppers pushed up side streets, the bulk of the armoured force now charged into the totally unarmed, defenceless and unsuspecting youth still dancing and clowning about. I have never in all my experience seen such cold blooded and wanton use of excessive force against an unarmed group of people. This new brand of light long shield is picked up and smashed horizontally into the heads and faces of the people in front of them, or it is brought crashing down with two hands, with the edge like a cutting blade onto legs and arms. It was utterly fearful uncontrolled violence. The crowd who by en large are not pacifists but why should that be an excuse to attack someone, were little prepared to resist this assault. There isn't a stone the size of a pebble in Princess Street or in the surrounding park, people threw clumps of flowers at the police in frustration, until two strong lads picked up a park bench to try and mount a barricade, but were clobbered before they could manage it. A few people used their little flagpoles and poster sticks to try and ward off the fully armoured and tooled up cops in a brave but pathetic effort to defend themselves. 100 folk were arrested within minutes and dozens upon dozens injured. The Press ? The Celebes ? What do you think ? The press and radio and TV all focused on violent anarchists attacking the police -What ? Midge Uur came on TV to condemn these violent mobs who just tag along to cause trouble where ever they go ! We don't want you! He suggested , without being there, without questioning the police version of events, just automatically condemned the protesters. Who gave him the right to speak for the protest in any case ? He with his luxury lifestyle and millionaire status is part of the problem. He is not our leader and if anyone isn't wanted its him and his ilk. This was our protest. If we expected something a bit more balanced from Saint Bob himself we were to be disappointed as he landed with his entourage in the city on Tuesday evening. He condemned the demonstrators without a word of criticism for the police who were the perpetrators of the violence. His reputation suddenly took a nose dive as he made it clear which side of the argument he is on between rich and poor in this country. The press made much of the fact that half of people detained were from abroad ! Em, but the G8 leaders are all from abroad except Tony, these are the people who think they can and should run the world, not just Britain, the whole point of the protest is that it is international but who would expect the British press with its screaming violent thug headlines to tell the truth about any of this, let along the issues involved.
On the 20th anniversary of the end of the miners strike, the scenes of utter carnage launched by police on pit communities, Edinburgh got its shocking first hand experience of what it was like. It has been a rude eye opener for many.
It is pointless to expect the police to admit that this was all planned, they had set this assembly up to give the young anarchists a good kicking and they didnt care how many ordinary folk they brutalised in the process. They came armed and ready and barely could contain their enthusiasm at hurting people.
The situation continued to deteriorate as the demonstrators moved off to Gleneagles the scene of world rulers summit. Making it plain demonstrators would not be allowed within eye sight or ear shot of the meeting the police had told the media demonstrations would be allowed. This was proved as more lies when on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning police attacked any demonstrator trying to move out the containment's areas where the police held them trapped. It is becoming quite clear, this government does not like public demonstrations, particularly by people who wish to actually challenge the system .
This was a heartily sickening experience made worse by the blatant lies of the news media and the compliance of the super rich celebrities not one of whom condemned the police violence. Only the Morning Star on July 5th carried a truthful presentation of the events with its headline Police Batter G8 protesters and photos of wounded demonstrators and rampaging police. The paper carried eye witness statements from local Edinburgh people who confirmed that there was no disorder of any sort before the police launched the attack.
Death Of Tommy Preskey
One of the best loved Hatfield Main pit characters Tommy Preskey has died. He passed away 25 June at his home in Stainforth overlooking the Colliery, where he spent his strength and energies, and working life.
Tommy was best loved for his ever present humour, and endless supply of jokes. His face was always just suppressing a grin with a permanent twinkle in his eye, he knew he had a tale that would crease you up. Often he would tell his story matter of fact, as if this was just normal chatter about real events and then hit you with his punch line. Tommy laughed in the face of adversity and authority, his wit and sense of fun were unsurpressable. Always a strong union man, stood with the union without complaint and was proud to do so, one of the old guard sluggers who cut their teeth on their knees in water hand filling mountainous stone caunches and hard coal stints. We will greatly miss him . Our sympathies go out to his family his friends and comrades.
His funeral is 6th July (Wed) Rose Hill Crem 3pm.
Big TIMES revelation on UDM under the title of FRAUD
Mining Community Advice Centre -Office to close ?
After months of just clinging on, and living on donations and with the kind and unconditional support of Beresfords Solicitors who made a free donation to our operating funds, Dave, the advice and welfare worker has had to try and seek a proper job. At present he is undergoing a testing probationary period which could well result in his obtaining a use for his talents elsewhere in the Trade Union movement. This will require closing the office.
We intend to open as usual Mondays and Wednesdays 10-30 / 2pm for the next couple of months or as long as we can keep going. The number is still 01302 841 365.
We anticipate that if all this comes off the office will close by September this year. However it is our intention to maintain the web site www.minersadvice.co.uk and the e-mail advice service which is well utilised by enquiries from all over the world after the closure of the office. We will operate a phone answer service (but just when we can get round to it) and this will likely be 01302 842 652. That will not be operational though until the office closes. From time to time informal consultation with claimants and former miners on matters of concern will be dealt with in the evenings or possibly weekends, when and where appropriate. Additionally, we shall continue to try and organise social and political and historic events around the mining industry and our culture and working class heritage.
The next one of these coming up is July 9th Durham Miners Gala, some of us are already committed to going up, off our own bats.
We are very grateful to the St Johns Ambulance Brigade at Stainforth who have allowed us to use their office and their hall free of charge for the last ten years.
We may well mark the closure of the office- if that comes to pass- with a get together for a drink and folky social and crack. Watch This Space For Further Developments.
By the minerswebsite correspondent
Besides action already known to you on mine <Nikanor-Nova> (Lugansk
1) On mine of a name of Artem (town Perevalsk, Lugansk region). The duty
2) Three strikes have passed on mine <Miusinskaya> (town Krasny
3) The monthly miners' strike of company <Energougol> (town Alexandria,
Edition of the newspaper " Working action "
Blood and coal: the human cost of cheap Chinese goods
More Slaughter In The Chinese Mines
More than 200 of our fellow miners have been blown to kingdom come in China, at least 12 are trapped, many more are badly burned, and everyone knows why it happens, every miner in the world knows why it happens. Its Firedamp, a gas we have known about since we started working in these damn holes, hundreds of years ago. But we also discovered they key to stop it happening, at least so regularly. One, we built independent trade unions under the control of the miners, not the bosses or the government, two we discovered and employed safety lamps to test the amount of explosive gas in the air , three we won the right of independent workers inspections with sanctions to shut down any place too dangerous to work in, without anyone else's approval or otherwise. These are the measures needed in China if the annual slaughter down the ‘peoples mines’ is to stop. No doubt the ‘peoples government’ and their left supporters around the world will weep crocodile tears and say they are investigating it. Like the other 10,000 miners deaths every year we suppose. What if anything will the very costly and much travelled International Miners and Energy Organisation say or better still do about this disgusting situation ? Watch this space.
Legal challenge on colliery closure?
The Grand Social and Rally The Old Club, from around 5-30 p.m.
Marking THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE MINERS STRIKE AND RETURN TO WORK MARCH 1985 & the closure of Hatfield Main NUM Branch after 87 years of struggle and service is going from strength to strength. Firstly we have the confirmation of Banner Theatre who will come to do their 90 minute programme marking the miners struggle through the last forty / fifty years. Then we have confirmation of our old pals Toe’In’The Dark who many will have seen at the Fox last year, at our 20th anniversary marking the start of the strike. We have confirmation of Jeremy Deller, winner of this years Tate Britain Award For Art who will be attending and we hope will compare. Now we have just had announced that a new Hatfield Main NUM Branch with the inscription March 5 1985- 2005 has been struck and a select few will be on sale that evening. It is all going to plan so far. The Buffet has yet to be organised but will be meat as well as Veggie food Dave promises. Admission is free but on the strict understanding people give good order to the guest speakers and singers and theatre group, we expect the club room bar to be closed during their 90 minute performance which is only showing respect actually and people can stock up their tables before hand if they cant go that long without a drink ! See you on the night.
Dave turns in last duty as Union Delegate for Hatfield.
This Monday 20th Dec, at the NUM Yorkshire Area NUM Council meeting, David Douglass attended as Union Delegate for the Hatfield Main Branch of the union for the last time. The branch will close entirely in March of next year, it will bring satisfaction to no-one except perhaps those employers who fought to kill the militant branch and ceased recognition of it back in 1994. The Branch fought on another ten years following this and finally just before Budge went bankrupt the coal owner had conceded our long running recognition fight and agreed to recognise the union and Dave as its senior official. Dave has been NUM delegate for the last 25 years and seen the branch through its stormiest years. We will not retell the story here, we are planning a major social and rally to mark the closure of the branch in March. Details follow. The Council expressed its unanimous congratulations for the efforts he made over the years, despite many stormy years via-a-vis of battles within the union fighting first the right wing and moderate tendencies and then for rank and file democracy.
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