Ex-miners carried banners and laid wreaths at the site of the former Shireoaks colliery last week, thirty years after a strike described as the ‘most bitter industrial dispute’ in British history ended.
Memories came flooding back for the former miners, residents, Bassetlaw councillors and officials as they marched down Marina Road to the pit yard on Thursday 5th March.
Ex-miner Andrew Bowker, from Worksop, led the march and spoke of the dark days leading up the pit’s closure. He said: “Thirty years ago, we marched up this lane and didn’t know what we would be coming back to.”
“The workforce was scattered all over. It wasn’t just the miners who lost their jobs, but also canteen ladies, management and deputies.”
“We stuck together as a brand of brothers. We felt like we had the world against us and we suffered tremendous hardship and heartbreak, but during that time we stuck together.”
The miners’ strike began on 5th March 1984 and lasted until 3rd March 1985, diving communities and families. Shireoaks colliery was closed five years later in 1990.