The Miners' Strike: It's 30 years today since the end of the 1984-85 dispute

The Miners' Strike: It's 30 years today since the end of the 1984-85 dispute

It's 30 years today since the end of the momentous miners’ strike that helped define the 1980s.

It was a watershed moment for the mining industry, British politics, and communities across the North East and beyond.

Whatever the cold economic arguments about the profitability of coal, or otherwise, the end of the strike paved the way for the destruction of a proud industry and the communities it had sustained for generations.

Only 40 years ago, there were 35 collieries, with 37,000 miners working the Durham and Northumberland coalfields.

At the beginning of the strike, in 1984, only 18 remained. Today, sadly, all are closed, and this is one of them - Ashington Colliery.

The pit opened in 1867, and the last coal was mined in 1988.

 

Ashington Colliery and the final shift comes to the surface in March 1988Ashington Colliery and the final shift comes to the surface in March 1988

 

Our picture shows the final shift coming to the surface in March of that year, three years after the end of the strike.

To cope with the loss of the pit, the new hi-tech Wansbeck Business Park was built on the site of the old colliery, with the intention of drawing new business to the town.

No-one could deny the 2015 site is easier on the eye than its predecessor, but Ashington will forever be associated with coal mining.

It was once known as “the largest mining village in the world” but despite this historic claim, today Ashington has no remaining deep mines.

Its history is today celebrated at the nearby Woodhorn Colliery Museum.

 

Wansbeck Business Park was built on the site of Ashington Colliery

(Wansbeck Business Park was built on the site of Ashington Colliery)