Geoff drove us to the Greenbank Labour club where we’d been told to report for 9am. We said our grateful thanks to Geoff and Julie for their fantastic hospitality and went into the club.Nine ‘o’ clock came and went and it wasn’t until 9.40 that the coach finally arrived. I had another furious row with our union man for making us wait, especially as he’d told the driver to turn up at 9.30.
The rally in St.Helen’s was massive, with well over 10,000 people attending. All the Durham Lodge banners had been brought through on the Executive coach, along with most of the Executive led by Tommy Callan and Harold Mitchell. Every pit in Durham and Northumberland was represented and it was a great turn out.
We set off at 11.30 and it took us ages to march along the route, cheered on by huge crowds of Saturday shoppers. Just as we reached the place where the rally was to be held and the speeches made our committee men ordered us all to get back on the coach to leave, and that anyone who didn’t would be left behind. I tried to argue that we’d each been given £8 to attend and the least we could do was listen to the speeches. They totally ignored me and at least a couple of lads were left behind when our coach left. Nobody else seemed bothered.
On the journey back the Wearmouth union man again had a go at me and told the lads that I was more interested in selling ‘Commie’ papers than being a picket! He demanded that i share out the money we had collected between the 4 Lodges on the coach. There was no way I was going to do that after all the hard work Gary and me had put in whilst most of them were content to get pissed. I lied and said we’d given all the money back rather than share it with useless twats like him! I couldn’t be arsed to argue with the bastard. If he wasn’t against me before then he is now so I’ll have to watch my back. It’s bad enough having the full force of the state against us without my own side joining in as well. They make me sick!
Kath was furious when I got back and is refusing to talk to me, especially as Mick Armstrong from Newcastle SWP has just phoned to tell me a coach is leaving the Armstrong Hall at 8am on Monday to attend a rally in Mansfield.. I told Kath I’m going so she’s gone to bed in a foul mood and caleed me a selfish bastard. I can see her point but what can I do? The sooner we win this strike the sooner we can get back to normal.