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5.0 out of 5 stars Broaden your horizon, 3 Dec 2013
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If you lived through the miners strike of 84-85 and weren`t directly conected to someone in the the industry, then you would have recieved your information through a media which had not been so heavily biased in favour of the government propaganda machine since the end of the second world war. If you think this is the ranting of some Militant Tendancy Scargillite, I will refer you to the currrent investigations into the police statements surrounding the "Battle Of Orgreave", statements allegedly altered or fabricated by the same force and many of the same officers involved in the Hillsborough case. I would also refer you to a memo sneaked out in the mid 90`s by the BBC admitting "A discrepancy in the chronology in the reporting of the incident": the video that the BBC released showed miners stoning the police lines, leaving the police no option than to go charging in on horseback waving truncheons, footpads picking off the stragglers. The discrepancy was: the police attempted to disperse the crowd by charging in on horseback waving truncheons etc. Furious miners fought back by throwing bricks and bottles from the waste grouond they were dispersed to. The National Union Of Journalists, not known for reactionary or political action called for a strike over the reporting. The BBC wouldnt even say why the NUJ was calling for a strike. So much for the lefty BBC accusations. If that hasn`t put you off reading the review and by extension the book, Im relieved, because it is a stunning INDEPENDANT evocation of one of the most important, misunderestood and misrepresented periods in out post war history. It is a story of the PEOPLE involved, not the unions, not the politicians, not dogmatists, just the people whos lives were diectly affected. Some are pro Scargil, some are pro Thatchermost just want to go to work and look after their families. It is by turn funny, touching and incendiary because the people are by turn funny, touching and incendiary. It dismissed propaganda and stereotype these werent foaming left wing zealots, they were people like you with families they swore to support. The town where the interviews were carried out is Easington, County Durham I challenge anyone to visit it now and tell them they were wrong to worry about the future. Actually the Co. Durham newspaper the Northern Echo challenged David Cameron to visit the town before the election May 6th 2010. At the time of writing, 4the Dec 2013 despite a campaign and weekly letters, oddly enough, we are still waiting. Redhill by the way, was the name of the NUM headquarters in Durham. I reccomend this book not because it has no agenda except to give voice to those involved, not those looking on or manipulating stories or events (as both sides attempted during the strike). It is independant to "The Times" reporting standard. It is humane, and to anyone who "knows a bit" about the strike and seeks to understand it, the book is manna. For myself, I will point out that there were 140 deep mines in opperation when the strike began. In 1993 there were arround 70. That nice Mr Major and that lefty Mr Heseltine announced one wet october wednesday they were shutting most of the remainder, leaving 12. There was outrage, which came as a genuine shock to that pair, they announced a review, then closed them (the movie Brassed Off evokes this superbly. They could only shut a pit that was unprofitable. You have a pit doing ok, no more, you announce 10 million pound investment in that pit. You put 10000000 pounds worth of machinery into that pit for "exploration of new seam". The pit produces 8000000 profit on the year, yet youve put 10000000 in, thats a loss of 2000000, pure ecconomics. You take out the machinery, you move it to a pit thats making 6000000 profit, thats 1000000 in, 6000000 out, a 4000000 loss. Take it out, move it to the next pit. shut the loss making pits, sell the machinery cheap to the private company). "Coal cant be subsidised, not in a free market". But neuclear and wind can. Coals dirty. The technique used from fracking was developed from research into carbon capture, capturing the Co2 from cheap coal fired power stations and storing it in the empty chambers under the north sea where all the precious gas was extracted from. (There are plenty empty chambers, we are nearly out of North Sea Gsa, I refer you to the price rises due to lack of supply, there`s loads of coal!). With all that in mind, what you will read is the words of many who knew they were no more than canon fodder, of those who believed in the brave new world. You will read history as it happened from those who were there, you will apply your hindsight and insight, and you will form your own oppinion. It may not match mine, but at least it will be informed. It is a deeply moving and involving read, whatever you believe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a wonderful book, 11 Sep 2013
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I've read all of Tony Parker's books, and adored almost all of them. I'm constantly pressing copies of them into people's hands, urging them to read them. Red Hill is one of his least well known books but undoubtedly one of his best. The book is full of humour, sadness, surprises - it's a moving account that raises the miners' strike into a human and life-changing moment in its participants' lives. Read it: you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life during the 1980's UK miners strike. Moving and powerful., 1 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Red Hill: A Mining Community (Coronet Books) (Paperback)
An amazing and moving account - told via interviews - of one small community during the miners' strike.

As with Parker's delightful book about lighthouse keepers ('Lighthouse'), it is both gritty and funny, moving and uplifting.

For anyone who wonders what it must have been like to be a coal miner, or indeed why the strike was so much more than just a way of telling Mrs Thatcher how evil she was, read this touching book. Both sides of the story are told but your sympathy is always with the miners and their families as human beings. it is not an overtly 'political' book but simply a snap-shot of human life.

There is no such place as Red Hill, Parker changed the name, and the names of those he interviewed, to avoid any backlashes. It matters not ... the story could easily apply to any such mining community be it Yorkshire, Wales or Nottinghamshire. The coal mine was so much more than simply a place where coal came from. It was the centre of the community. A community that no longer exisits thanks to Tory greed in the 80s.

NOTE: Another equally good Tony Parker book on a fairly similar theme is 'The People of Providence'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life during the 1980's UK miners strike. Moving and powerful., 1 Nov 2012
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An amazing and moving account - told via interviews - of one small community during the miners' strike.

As with Parker's delightful book about lighthouse keepers ('Lighthouse'), it is both gritty and funny, moving and uplifting.

For anyone who wonders what it must have been like to be a coal miner, or indeed why the strike was so much more than just a way of telling Mrs Thatcher how evil she was, read this touching book. Both sides of the story are told but your sympathy is always with the miners and their families as human beings. it is not an overtly 'political' book but simply a snap-shot of human life.

There is no such place as Red Hill, Parker changed the name, and the names of those he interviewed, to avoid any backlashes. It matters not ... the story could easily apply to any such mining community be it Yorkshire, Wales or Nottinghamshire. The coal mine was so much more than simply a place where coal came from. It was the centre of the community. A community that no longer exisits thanks to Tory greed in the 80s.

NOTE: Another equally good Tony Parker book on a fairly similar theme is 'The People of Providence'.
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Red Hill: A Mining Community (Coronet Books)
Red Hill: A Mining Community (Coronet Books) by Tony Parker (Paperback - 1 Jun 1988)
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