About the project

The project has documented the experiences of women from coalfields across Britain during the miners’ strike of 1984-5.

The year-long miners' strike of 1984-5 is one of the most well-known episodes of the Thatcher years. Although it has been much studied by social scientists, there is little work from cultural, social and gender historians on the strike. In particular, there is, as yet, no major historical study of the experiences of women from coalfield communities during the strike. This project aims to write this history.

We are examining women's experiences - of all sorts - during the strike, but we are also interested in women's whole life stories. The research will, thus, shed broader light on working-class women's lives in Britain since 1945.

We have interviewed over 100 women from coalfield communities and have created a new archive of oral history interviews which we have deposited at the National Coal Mining Museum for England for future researchers to use.

From 29 February 2020 to 3 January 2021 a special exhibition at the National Coal Mining Museum allows visitors to hear and watch some of our interviewees remembering their experiences during the strike.

We are also planning:

  • a co-authored book and several journal articles
  • educational resources for Key Stage 3 school students and teachers
  • an online version of the exhibition