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How Black Were Our Valleys: A 30th Commemoration of the 1984/85 Miners' Strike (Miners' Strikes) Paperback – 3 Feb 2014


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How Black Were Our Valleys: A 30th Commemoration of the 1984/85 Miners' Strike (Miners' Strikes) + The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners - 30th Anniversary Edition + The Miners' Campaign Tapes [DVD] [1984]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (3 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1495399494
  • ISBN-13: 978-1495399497
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Natalie and Deborah are 2nd year history students at University of South Wales, in Treforest. The book was written as part of their work placement with the NUM in Pontypridd. Natalie comes from a family of miners, with her dad and grandad both working in the pits, her own story is included in the book. Debbie writes short stories and poetry.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr Fiona Reid on 22 Feb. 2014
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This book is a real tribute to the men and the women of the Welsh valleys who stood so firmly against Thatcher and her Tory government during the miners' strike of 1984-85. Based on interviews with those who took part in the strike, this book makes plain the violence that was visited upon a whole community as an instrument of policy. There are genuinely moving images throughout this engaging and very human account. There is a picture of the author as a 9 year-old girl watching men dig coal from the snow in that freezing winter. There are also poignant tales of the friendships between miners' wives and members of the London Gay Community who had raised funds to support the strike.

With reminiscences, anecdotes, poems and pictures this book provides some insight into the damage that was done to the nation at large as the hard-won social democracy, created after the Second War, was being systematically dismantled.

Fiona Reid
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Huw Beynon on 25 Mar. 2014
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This is what one of the women interviewed for this book feels that she has learned from living in the South Wales valleys and growing up during the coal miners' strike of 1984/85. In this way, through interviews and extracts from documents, the book tells of how the strike remains a lived reality in the valley towns of South wales. One man ,a young striker in his teens in 1984, reflected that "the violence that was inflicted on me and the violence I witnessed fellow miners receive will stay with me for the rest of my days". The book itself was inspired by a speeches and discussion at a social evening at the Newbridge Hotel held on the occasion of the funeral of Mrs Margaret Thatcher. This inspired two undergraduate students to document stories of the strike that they felt deserved to be more widely heard. In a very short time, they have collected the materials, and published them in this excellent collection. . One of them (Natalie Butts-Thompson) was a teenager herself in 1984 and her personal account is particularly moving. In exploring the voices of the young people the book brings a perspective that has been silent in many accounts of the strike. More generally it challenges many of the myths that still exist about the strike, and helps to explain its lasting significance in people's lives.
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The strike lasted a whole year, the camaraderie and support that ensued carried the miners and their families through those difficult time. There are stories of hardship, propaganda, unity and community spirit. Tales from those who were children at the time. The strength of the women's support groups that sprung up around the whole country. All these topics are covered and more. You will laugh and cry at these beautifully related memories from the 1984/85 Miners' Strike.
All profits from the sale of the book will go to The South Wales Area Miners' Beneficiary Fund.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Price on 11 Nov. 2014
Spotted this book and started to get upset just by looking at it.
I was a newlywed, we just bought a new home and as they say "new home, new baby", I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I should have been over the moon, but this god for saken strike blew "my family" apart.
All the reviews are exact and very heart felt, the hardship, communities pulling together, we all stood up together and fell down together.
Many families were ripped apart and left devestated after that backbreacking year, one which I only wish I could forget other than for the birth of my beautiful daughter.
I still think alot about us wives and their husbands but mainly the many children who suffered mentally and physically at no fault of their own, now they are sanding strong like their parents did in 1984/85.
I was left to bring up my daughter alone, I still feel very angry at what I personally lost, but I know many others have lost a lot more, how can any of us forget....
I have purchase this book, but cannot comment on it as each page I try to read hits my heart like a ton of rock and opens many wounds, I think a session of councelling would be kinder...Lol
I would like to wish all you Miners, wives and your families all the best and please keep smiling.
A big "THANK YOU" for this little "Black" gem👏
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Colin Thomas on 28 April 2014
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Excellent reading and the author/s contributors have really exposed what hardships the uncaring Government done to the great men of Britain, who by trying to save their jobs so that they could care for their families, communities and country.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By david jones on 15 April 2014
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wonderfully written.a heartfelt collection of stories told through miners and people who campaiged to the end.brilliant book.read it 3 times.authors should be proud of themselves
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By collier on 12 May 2014
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as a miner i thought the book was an excellent and true interpritation of our struggle against the closure of the pits,communities destroyed and poverty in all coalfields.
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