In Uncategorized on September 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm
We woke up early and I took Chris down to the Westoe picket line and introduced him to some of the lads. No one tried to go in so still 100% solid.
We went around to Gary’s house near the pit and had tea and toast. Chris interviewed Gary, but only after politely telling me to shut up because I was answering all the questions. We also visited Dave Farham who lives just down the road, and Chris made sure I didn’t interrupt by doing his interview in the kitchen whilst I looked after Leah, Dave’s baby daughter.
This evening I took Chris down to the ‘Shack’ in Boldon Colliery. The pit shut down years ago and the land is now used to stockpile coal, thousands of tons of it. We tried to find some striking miners but were unsuccessful, not surprising really as buying food is more important than buying beer. Chris did manage to talk to two old men who remembered 1926 but their memories were mostly about the poverty in those days. One of them did mention a scab who had died in the 60′s and no one came to his funeral bar the vicar! That’s what’ll happen to anyone who has the gall to scab at Westoe!
We visited John McIvor, who had been really active at the start of the strike but then had just stopped coming. He seemed the perfect person to start oour policy of getting more men out on the picket line but when he told us he’d just spent £300 buying a dog I had grave doubts. However, he sounded keen and promised to come to Wearmouth tomorrow so we’ll see, The picket there has been set for 2pm, so perhaps something has been organised.
Chris and me were talking for ages before I left him to get some sleep. Early star tomorrow. I like his music because it’s all political, no love songs.
In Uncategorized on April 22, 2009 at 8:18 am
This morning we went to see Paul Foot give a talk about George Orwell and it was excellent. He recommended ‘Homage to Catalonia’ as Orwell’s best book and I look forward to reading it when this is all over. Strangely enough Kath came along as well and really enjoyed the talk. I say strangely because Kath openly admits to never having enjoyed reading a book. Whatever, I’m glad she enjoyed something political.
We had a great night out with Dave and Jean, Anne and Paul in the Drifter bar. It was nice to just relax and chat with friends. We also had a useful chat with Ian Mitchell’s wife, Mandy, who gave me loads of good advice about fundraising, and she also urged us to set up a Wives Support Group so that wives and girlfriends can get actively involved in the strike because it affects their future just as much as ours. Kath agreed with her but said her job at the Women’s Aid Refuge would mean she couldn’t get involved. She’s right, but it’s still a good idea.
We checked on the girls then came back to our bungalow. Kath’s just having a quick bath then we’ll turn in.
In Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 at 8:24 am
Kath and I had a long lie in this morning then got up and had a late breakfast. The girls were up early playing with their new friends and it’s great to see them enjoying themselves.
Kath spent the afternoon with some other wives and enjoyed herself. I went to a few meetings but spent most of my time talking with other miners about how things were in their areas. One thing I learnt is that they’re all a lot more organised than we are and do pickets almost every day. I’ve had enough of collecting and have decided it’s time I did some proper picketing.
Tonight we were having a good time in the Drifter Bar when Yunus came over and told me there were some striking miners from Notts who wanted to talk to some miners. Dave Farham and me went outside onto the balcony and saw 4 lads talking to a couple of the Yorkshire lads so we just listened. I was amazed to hear that three of them claimed to be on strike at Ollerton Colliery, but the other one openly admitted to being a scab! It didn’t ring true to me because no striker worth his salt would even talk to a scab, let alone socialise with one. The scab openly boasted he was a ‘working miner’ and I moved towards him, ready to throw the scabby bastard off the balcony. I was stopped by Steve Hamill, whom I recognised as the miner who had spoken at the Tony Cliff meeting in Sheffield, so I went for a piss to calm down. When I got back Ian Mitchell was having to hold Steve back! The scabs took the hint and beat a hasty retreat but they had spoilt my night and all I could do was whinge about them. Kath was relieved when we left.
In Uncategorized on April 20, 2009 at 8:32 am
Well,here we are in Skegness, at the Derbyshire Miners Holiday Camp. Kath and I have been given a lovely bungalow close to the children’s dormitory.
The journey down was a bit uncomfortable because the minibus was a bit overcrowded, but our driver, Anne, was excellent and the journey only took five hours so it wasn’t too bad.
After registering we went to explore the camp and I was relieved to find that there is plenty to keep Kath and the girls occupied. Jennifer and Sasha are thoroughly enjoying themselves and have already made loads of new friends.I doubt they will sleep much because the dormitory was full of noisy kids when I looked in at 10.30pm. As long as they are happy, that’s the only thing that matters, and it will allow Kath and me to have some time to ourselves and that is very important just now because the strike is beginning to cause us problems. Hopefully this weekend will help us to sort things out.
We spent the evening having a drink with Dave and Jean Farham, and meeting people. This is the big weekend for the SWP and it was great to see so many friendly people.I was pleased to meet Jim Tierney again because I met him up in Scotland the other week and we have a mutual friend in Stuart Hepburn.
The programme for the weekend looks excellent and I am really looking forward to seeing Paul Foot of the Daily Mirror speak.
We’re having an early – ish night and Kath is having a bath so roll on tomorrow.
In Uncategorized on April 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm
Spent a boring morning at the Westoe picket line. I only went down for something to do and to remind myself we are on strike.
This evening I went to an SWP meeting in Newcastle. The speaker was a man called John Deason and his subject was,’The Miners Strike and the Struggle for Socialism’. It was an excellent meeting with lots of debate and sensible questions. I agreed with everyting I heard.Also present were Joe Humphries, Ian Wilburn, Keith Smoult and Dave Farham. Ian and Joe joined the party but I’m still not sure. What I do know is that what they are saying is a lot more constructive than what Militant are saying. I was given £120 and it was suggested that we keep it in reserve in case we ever need money the Lodge won’t supply. I’m regretting now handing over the reserves we had to the Lodge but there’s nothing can be done about that now.
I bumped into Geoff Price as I was going to the meeting and felt guilty because I didn’t tell him where I was going.Kath made me feel even more guilty when I got home , complaining that she seldom sees me these days and neither do the girls.