Posts Tagged ‘Kath Strike’

150. Tuesday February 26th, 1985.

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I handed in my two weeks notice to quit at the pit today. It wasn’t hard but it has left me feeling terribly guilty and depressed for giving up a job I fought so hard to keep. Bloody pathetic really, but I felt it was time I put myself first for once. My marriage is well and truly on the rocks, though strangely Kath and me are getting on better than we have done for years. I am leaving for London after my final court appearance in Scotland next week. I had to hand in my notice so I can get some cash before I leave to keep me going until I can get my dole sorted out. Dole Not Coal.

  My guilt is lessened by the fact that the strike is lost and will almost certainly end in the next couple of weeks. Everyone seems to think it is better to go back united than risk more men becoming scabs. One lad last week, who I have stood side by side with since day one, came to the soup kitchen, had his dinner and then went back to work! If things are that bad then perhaps we should make the best of it and go back with heads held high and dignity intact. I’m down but not quite out!


149. Friday February 22nd, 1985.

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I’ve been so involved in talking to Kath about our split that I haven’t been bothered to write. There’s nothing to write about anyway, it’s just doom and gloom. Ironically Kath and me have talked more these past few days than we have the whole of our marriage, which says everything really. I’m just waiting for the end to happen.

147. Monday February 11th, 1985.

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I finally cracked today and had a huge row with Kath. I’ve decided to leave as soon as my case is over up in Scotland. I just can’t take the hostile atmosphere any more so I’ve moved back onto Paul McGarr’s settee in Newcastle. The girls were really upset and it’s not fair that we allow our hatred of each other to affect them any longer.

I spoke to a group of students at Sunderland Poly today but I wasn’t my usual defiant self. Still, it was good to see we still have some supporters left.

139.Monday January 14th, 1985.

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

Since my last entry a Kent miner has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for allegedly stamping on a pigs face. How many years did the pigs get for beating the shit out of men at Orgreave and loads of other places? You know the answer!

The tension between Kath and myself grows day by day, and we just aren’t talking to each other again. I am feeling really depressed and just can’t see any point in us carrying on. Thatcher has a lot to answer for, bitch!!

132. Thursday December 20th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

My luck is changing! A comrade who works in the DHSS rang to tell me about a special grant being paid to single miners living in Newcastle, £126. Because I’ve been staying in Benwell, off and on, since November I qualified for the payment and went and got it, no problems at all. I spent the afternoon blowing every penny on buying presents for Kath and the girls. Stuff the future, and it was worth it to see the look on Kaths face when I got back. At least xmas hasn’t been cancelled this year for the girls. That’s what this fight is all about and their happiness comes above all else, to me at least.

130. Monday December 17th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Today we had our Xmas Dinner in the kitchen and it was brilliant! The place was packed with families and single lads and we had entertainment, live music and a three course dinner with turkey and stuffing. There were also presents for the kids given personally by Santa but provided by all our supporters. I felt really proud at how things have grown since our small start, all thanks to the hard work of Gary, Florrie, Marion, Alison, Maureen and George, and the support from the long list of donors on sheets of paper hanging on the walls. We have achieved what we set out to do and that was to provide a focal point where people can come and sit in the warm and share their hopes and fears, and have a really nice meal. Jen and Sasha love it there, though Kath never brings them, probably to avoid questions about me.

Strangely I felt a bit like an outsider until Gary told me to come back down to earth and get back to being a poverty stricken miner instead of hobnobbing amongst the stars. He is right, but it was a good experience, even if it does make me feel guilty. Nowt new there then.

129. Friday December 14th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Last night I went to the London Records Christmas Party and got totally and utterly pissed! I probably made a complete fool of myself. I do remember having a heated row with a Radio One DJ about the strike and calling him an arsehole, and leering at Bananarama (must’ve been really pissed!) I found a straw boater on the floor this morning and I vaguely recall someone telling me it belonged to Elton John, though I’m certain he wasn’t there last night.Perhaps I can raffle it to raise funds for the kitchen?

I caught the train to newcastle from Kings Cross, ticket paid fpr by Chris. My welcome home was a huge improvement on the last time, and I’m beginning to hope we can sort out our problems.

We went out together tonight and spent most of it talking about the future and when the strike ends. I told Kath it’ll go on for a long time yet because we’ve come too far to give in now. At least Kath and the girls are living much better without me because they’re getting proper support from the DHSS, such as it is. Anyway, lets see what the new year has in store.

128. Wednesday December 12th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Croydon as a guest of Steve, an SWP comrade. he has been great, helping me to raise yet more funds for the kitchen. The best was this evening when I spoke to a large group of shop stewards at a factory in East Croydon. They weren’t an easy audience and asked a lot of hard questions, especially about the death of a Welsh taxi driver taking a scab to work. My answer to that was that if we had been allowed to picket then men wouldn’t have been forced into such desperate actions away from the pit. My only regret is that the scab survived! I received good applause and a promise of support for the kitchen.

Kath rang tonight to apologise for her cold reception of last week and asked me to return to spend Christmas as a family. I said yes and am going back on Friday. I have to go back anyway for my court appearance and I’m expecting to stay at Paul McGarrs place in Newcastle and visit home during the day. We’ll see how it goes.

126. Thursday December 6th, 1984.

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I’ve been very homesick for the past few days so I decided to go home to see Kath and the girls on impulse. I caught the Newcastle coach from St.Pancras and arrived on my doorstop around three. Kath opened the door with the words;’What the hell are you doing here?’ and it went downhill from there. I’ve spent the whole night talking to her, or at her would be closer to the truth. She just ignored me and seemed really bitter I’m here. I’m off back down to London first thing. Stuff her. At least I tried. The girls don’t understand what’s going on and it’s not bloody fair! Selfish cow!

122. Friday November 23rd, 1984.

In Uncategorized on November 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm

I heard from my solicitor in Newcastle this morning that my trial in Edinburgh has been set for February 7th, no bail conditions. Civilised people, the Scots. Me mam always calls them Scotchies.

Gary rang and told me only 7 scabs have gone into Westoe this morning because they’d been visited and shown the error of their ways! Good! Mind you, the NCB have offered another bribe of £175 plus back pay to any miner who returns to work before next Friday. The bastards are getting really desperate now, but their 30 pieces of silver will only succeed with a tiny minority.

The majority of us will treat it with the contempt it deserves, especially as it comes straight after the tories deducting a further £1 from the pittance a miner’s family is supposed to live on, about £14 a week, all normal bills expected to be paid. Debt! Single miners get nothing, not even picket pay for me just now, a charity case living off handouts from supporters.

I met some ambulance drivers in Kenton and was given £20 in cash, and the promise of regular sums to be sent to the kitchen. If all this money from London is written down on the sheet at Westoe it should really give them heart to see the range of their support.

I can speak to Jen and Sasha on the phone, but Kath refuses to speak to me. Bloody hell! I just don’t think I deserve this.