We didn’t get much sleep but Butch is so likeable that you can’t get mad at him. We had a breakfast of hot egg rolls and coffee which set us up nicely for the morning, and we waited outside for the bus to Bilston Glen.
The first person I met when we arrived was John Sturrock, who is a photographer, an excellent one, nut we barely had time to talk before the first push began and I joined in the front rank, linking arms with the pickets either side of me. The initial clash was a violent one, with the front rank of the pigs kicking the hell out of us whilst the rank behind tried to punch us. At one point the lines seemed to reverse, with us pushing the opposite way, but it was bloody chaotic, and very painful. My shins were actually bleeding and the whole experience was intensely claustrophobic and the push eventually broke down. We could see lads being arrested and being dragged away, whilst two men were being carried into ambulances on stretchers. We angrily regrouped and charged into the pigs, but their lines had been reinforced by busloads of pigs. The push was broken up by some idiot throwing a rotten goose egg, and the resulting stench actually saw a few lads throwing up. We made a half hearted third attempt but were too weak and it soon broke up with a few more arrests. We had to content ourselves with shouting abuse at the handful of scabs who went in.
The afternoon was a huge disappointment after the excitement of the morning because we didn’t have enough pickets and there was no attempt to organise, with the majority enjoying the hot sunshine.
We went to the local Miners Welfare this evening and most of the lads got pissed, including Butch, so hopefully that means we can sleep tonight.