He's back! Arthur Scargill returns to Hanley this weekend

Union leader Arthur Scargill is back in Stoke-on-Trent this weekend - to mark the 40th anniversary of the Miners' Strike. He is one of the guest speakers at an event at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in Hanley, from 12.30pm on Saturday, May 18.

It has been organised by North Staffs Miners Wives Action Group (NSMWAG). Other speakers include action group member Debbie Patton and Kate Flannery, from Orgreave Truth and Justice.

No Going Back - at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery - will pay tribute to NSMWAG members who set up 10 food centres around North Staffordshire's coalfields during the dispute. The exhibition has been created by Kevin Hayes and Morag Livingstone.

NSMWAG treasurer Jawed Siddiqi said: "The thematic experience of No Going Back is captured and expressed in the exhibition by showing how the women were involved in building support for the strike, standing on picket lines, going on speaking tours and organising collections as well as major rallies and events. Arthur’s speech will incorporate this theme as well as revealing and what really happened. The truth must prevail for the sake of justice."

NSMWAG chairman Rose Hunter added: "We, the NSMWAG women, are still to this day fighting for their communities, for truth and justice, and standing against all forms of oppression wherever it arises - fighting on. Our aim in these events around the theme of No Going Back is to inspire girls and women, workers, and community members to stand together strong in solidarity."

It was back in March 1984 when Stoke-on-Trent found itself embroiled in what is still regarded as the bitterest industrial dispute of the 20th century. With the Government determined to make a heavily subsidised nationalised coal industry run by the National Coal Board (NCB) more profitable, many pits faced imminent closure.

The National Union Of Mineworkers (NUM), under the leadership of Arthur Scargill, began a national strike that marked a stand-off between powerful unions and Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government - which was to last 11 months, three weeks and four days. In the process, families across the Potteries and Staffordshire were divided by the action and with many people left on the poverty line and communities impoverished.

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