INDEX March 5, 1985
Maerdy and the end of the miners' strike
The miners' strike of 1984/5 was a sad, sad time for me and for much of the country. I had been given the editorship of a coal industry journal called Solid Fuel in May 1983 but had barely got my feet under the table when Ian MacGregor started to propel the coal industry towards the inevitable conflict that would destroy it.

I was probably foolish to take the job and should have stayed where I was at H&V News. On the other hand I did have the job for more than a decade, earning enough to bring up my kids, travelling the world and still managing to fit in an enormous workload as a London councillor between 1986 and 1990.

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Maerdy was the only pit to remain 100% solid throughout the strike. No miner ever attempted to break the picket line. In fact there wasn't even a picket line most of the time since no one would have gone to work there during the strike. I drove there over night, slept in the car a couple of hours and then took these pictures. At the time I was disappointed with them, probably because I did not get on with the lab I was using at the time since they favoured fast and high contrast developing (not my style). But looking back I'm quite proud of them since they capture something of the strike and Maerdy. Not long afterwards the pit closed, probably due to the great god OMS, output per man shift. Maerdy produced Welsh Dry Steam Coal, valuable but hard to extract.
INDEX March 5, 1985