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Queen Coal: Women of the Miner’s Strike

By Triona Holden

I came into my own in the strike. I don’t know if I was hit by lightning or whether I had just seen enough of the scrubbing brush, I don’t know, but something happened. It might have been a miracle …’ – ‘MARY’

Over thirty years ago the miners’ strike changed the industrial landscape of Britain forever. The battle between the miners’ leader, Arthur Scargill, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, effectively killed off Britain’s mining industry. The impact spread well beyond the headlines.

In this timely and important book, Triona Holden, one of the BBC correspondents who reported on the 1984/5 strike, revisits some of the wives, daughters and mothers of the miners. These unsung heroes found the strength and courage not only to stand and fight alongside their men but to become political activists in their own right. But what happened when the strike collapsed?

Queen Coal marks the passing of a way of life but also celebrates the irony that this brutal rupture was very often the beginning of a new and better life. What is good and inextinguishable about the mining communities lives on in these women’s articulate, funny and frank stories.

TRIONA HOLDEN is a writer and broadcaster. She worked for more than twenty years for the BBC as a correspondent covering wars, famines and politics and also presented the main news on BBC 1 and the Today programme on Radio Four. She lived among the mining community – her sister was married to a Barnsley miner – and her career began in Yorkshire when she worked for the Sheffield Star. Her interest in the strike and those affected by it is therefore both personal and professional. Her books include Sticky Blood, about the newly-identified autoimmune disease that makes the blood clot, and Talking about Lupus.

also by Triona Holden

Queen Coal

Triona Holden
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