By Joshua Robinson –
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike. To commemorate this, the National Coal Mining Museum for England is presenting a year-long exhibition, 84-85 – The Longest Year, and an events programme focussing on the memories and stories of those who lived through it.
With an emphasis on the experiences of individuals, the Museum is asking members of the public across the country to contribute their own memories and stories from the Miners’ Strike. The call-out is to anyone who experienced the strike at the time, whether this is as a mineworker, a relative of a miner, or someone who lived within the mining communities during 1984/85.
The exhibition will focus on the miners who were on strike for the full year, those who went back early, and those who did not strike at all. The latter two categories are underrepresented in the Museum’s collection, so this call-out is an invaluable opportunity to collect these stories whilst they are still in living memory.
What the Museum is Looking For:
- Miners and their families who wish to be interviewed.
These interviews will form part of the Museum’s audio collection and will feed into the content of the project.
- Objects related to the strike.
If individuals own objects that relate to the strike, that they wish to donate to the Museum, curatorial would be delighted to consider them for the permanent collection.
- Memories of the strike.
This is the public’s chance to add a memory to the Museum’s collection and share personal experiences of the strike.
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How to Help:
A form has been set-up on the Museum’s website (ncm.org.uk/84-85-memories) allowing members of the public to submit their memories in the form of text, photographs, video or audio.
To express interest in being interviewed or donating an object to the collection, emails can be sent to email@example.com. Contributions and participation will be treated in the strictest confidence; recordings and memories can also be anonymised if preferred.
Anne Bradley, Curator (Social & Oral History) said: “We want to look at the strike in its broadest context and that includes the stories of those who went back to work early and those who chose not to strike, but we do not have the objects to support this. By contributing memories, members of the public have the chance to have their say while also committing their own story to the permanent collection for future generations to learn from.”