Jane Watkinson and I spent the morning in Edlington, which stands as an example of how an area can become known for all the wrong reasons after former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher decimated the coal mining industry for no reason other than having workers who dared to be unionised.
Once known for the Yorkshire Main Colliery, the post-Thatcher years saw Edlington somehow lost without the sense of camaraderie that inevitably goes hand-in-hand with a defining industry where colliers provided fuel for their community whose houses were built around the pit site. The miners had each others’ backs, and sometimes fought for their lives underground before having to fight for their livelihoods above ground, with no alternative in sight, once Thatcher’s anti-union crusade began.
Today, Edlington is better known for the negative stories in the mainstream media, but still, somehow, a sense of community still endures in the face of bad press. And literally today, hundreds upon hundreds took to the streets to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the miners’ strike that saw them take a stand against Thatcher’s cynical mission against them.
The footage we captured on nothing but cameraphones was impressive; the turn-out exceeding expectations. I can’t wait to include it in the film. It was worth me risking missing the kick-off at Doncaster Rovers.