Since the disaster at Orgreave I’ve spent my time at Woodside Drift Mine. The best thing that can be said about it is that at least we kept a van load of pigs away from Tow Law. It’s given me the chance to build a good relationship with the pickets and sell Socialist Worker plus discussing the strike. We also played football but I ruined my shoes and have had to buy another pair for £4.99. No more football!
After picketing we had a dinner of fishcake and chips in the soup kitchen and it was there I learned I am one of 16 men pulled out of a hat to go on flying picket duty. The fact that over a 100 men wanted to go has caused a lot of resentment amongst the lads not chosen, especially those who’ve been active since day one. I still can’t see why the lodge can’t send all the men who want to go because they’re risking men just giving up and staying at home.
I was told to report to the hall for 6pm so I went home and flung some clothes into a bag, slung a sleeping bag over my shoulder then caught a bus down to Kath’s workplace. We had a coffee together whilst I buttered her up before telling her I was off again for a few days on a flying picket. She accepted this with a resigned look on her face and wasn’t as upset as I’d expected her to be. She must be getting used to it. We walked into town at 5pm and parted at the bus stop with a kiss.
At the hall I signed for my £32 and was told we’ll probably be home on Thursday. The only thing that Slater would tell us is we’re heading for Scotland so it was likely we’d be going to Bilston Glen where they have a lot of scabs, and also where a lot of Durham lads have already been arrested.
Typically we had to wait 2 hours for the coach to arrive and because we’d been paid a lot of the lads took the opportunity to have a pint or five, which made for a boisterous journey. As for the Manchester trip last month there were 4 pits represented; Westoe, Wearmouth, Herrington and Sacriston. The driver took a discrete route over the border because we didn’t want to be stopped by the pigs, and we had to make quite a few piss stops so we didn’t get to Dalkeith Miners Welfare until after midnight.
So here we are, lying on seats in the concert room after being fed a supper of soup and bread. The possibility of sleep is looking remote seeing as a pool competition is taking place (its 2.24am!)We’ve been told picketing starts at 5am and have been promised better accomodation later today.I bloody hope so because I am shattered!