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Transcript of George Carrington's Diary

10/1/72 Mon

1972 Miners Strike

After trying to avoid a strike for 2 months it has happened 280,000 N.C.B Workers idle just for the sake of getting round the table and thrashing out. the next stage is a meeting at Stavely Market Hall outlineing the Miners on how to get Strike pay and also forms for Social Security the union are too give £4.00 to all 14,000 members in Derbyshire, but £3 will be took of by the Ministry on all Benefits Claimed by the Miner all those Claiming Industrial Benefits will also have reductions made. /1 [numbering is of the pages with writing on them]


A single man will get all of the £4 less 3/6 for stamp every week while the strike is on.  The strike has already stops schools in Shropshire  M.P. Vic feather told NUM that no conference was needed because they had already been in touch with all other unions for help.  Railway men in Scotland, Wales, Midlands Southampton were refuseing to handle coal trains M J. Jones Transport and General Workers said there will be opposition to any abonormal movement of Coal or any fuels in order to break the Strike.  Safety men were told /2 to remain at work but some did not take this advice only 49 pits had full safety cover 130 had none.


Another 800 School children sent home in Worsborough high School in Barnsley trouble in Lanc. were Miners tried to stop Dealers from leaving a Coal Board distributing depot. In South Wales 100 Coal Merchants had no stocks.  Derbyshire Education stops evening classes to conserve coal.  The ferry between South Sheilds and North Sheilds ran out of Coal service suspended, Passengers 8 miles Bus trip./3


Tus 11/2/72 and 12/1/72

A lot of Pickets were put out outside power stations it was hoped to create a settlement The engineers union in the pits about 300 have joined the Strike. at Grimethorp 4 men hurt in pickets. it had a good effects

Troop plan ready says the express stocks are to last 6 weeks at flockton 2 miners are still working

They did not receive notice to Strike till Mon week. Mr Gormley appealed to the pickets not to stop Clerks for attending work, because of pay sick pensions and Tax rebates. /4

Getting a bit rough at Grimpethorpe. Drivers all turned back March to Power station to Appeal for the Power men to come out on Strike. Pumps at Hartington are being maned by two Officials Violence Broke out at the Coalite Plant at Bols Police told Driers to spend up when approaching Picket lines.  Dennis Skinner M.P. was forced to leap aside with the Pickets



Miners leaders Meet today the first time since the Strike began but there is no sine of any peace move.

NUM leaders have decided to make available Union funds to help Pickets /5

The Union decided that Schools and Hospital be provided with Coal.

Pickets at Biddulph turned back lorrys because they taking Concessionary Coal to pit Officials not on Strike the Coal Board then said [?that?] pensioners and widows could not have any coal at Grimethorp Coalite the 650 mena re on Short time from Next Mon.

A ship with Anthracite in heading to Britain from Germany to try and beat the blocade the organisers are 4 men from Beckenham, Kent they also ran a pirate Service during the Portal strike last year. /6


Details of Wages in other industrys

Miners Underground Top rate            £30

Dockers                                               £38.75

Production men at Cowley £42 for 42 hour week.

Average wage in Motor industry = £37

Electrictions underground £21.40

Electrition at Longbridge or Cowley £45 per week

Council car park in London can ern less than £21

Street sweepers.


Power cuts are the next threat if demands are not met to the 107,00 Electricity workers Miners are already Picketing a lot of the Power Plants a meeting with 4 of the unions and Mr Gormley /7


A cargo of Coal was unloaded at Belfast. Dockers refused the Pickets, not to unload. Mr Corley said that only an improved offer could bring the Miners back.

In Co Durham School Children will received Free Meals starting from 25/1/10 North Midlands Miners received no pay. Pickets had persuaded Clerks to stop work.


MON 17/1/

Top Headlines in the Express more jobs for the Miners they are finding the price of oil is rising.  Cost of nuclear power £200,000 AGR new plant as cost more than expected and it is years behind still.  and most pressing is unemployment they find it would be Cheaper to /8 use coal more jobs could save them a lot of Dole pay outs therefore they sugest more Coal power stations and burning Coal instead of oil.

coal ferry at the Humber reduced to one boat instead of two because of Short supplies of Coal.

The Threat to Electricity supplies grew because tanker Drivers refused to Drive through Picket lines.

Railway men in Scotland are also refusing to move supplised.

Managers at some pits fear if safety work is not carried out some pits will close down.

Mr Alan Law Midland lorry Drivers leader said they/9 give 100 per cent to the Pickets and not move through them.  Coalite Pickets 100 per cent success,  18/1/

Radio announced that all dockers were refusing to unload Coal from Ships, while the Miners Strike was on, Miners wifes from Clowne are to visit London headed by Mrs Ashley to appeal to Mr Heath to end the Strike and also hope to speak to Mr EZRA.

20 women joined the Miners picket at Rugeley power Station in Staffs

More schools Closed 30 Schools in the West Riding, ten Lancashire Schools and more tomorrow if supplies are not found Northumberland and Durham /9 warned that 30 more would have to close.

3 miners and 1 policement were hurt when a lorry Broke throug  the picket line in Derbyshire at an opencast Coal Site Springwell

Mr Daly has gone to Vienna to try and Stop Coal Exports to Britain

Mr Gormley met Mr F Chapple power work leader and won support not to get coal across picket lines.

Mr EZRA has stated that he would be prepared to Co operate in a inquiry if it was orded by the Governmetn There is to be a Commons debate today. 19/1/-

Mr Vic Feather will attempt to end the Strike today /10


Officials from the Coal Board and Union will meet him for discussions. Mr Gormley told them any talks must include more money offered.

The 23,000 Collliery Overmen Deputies and Shotfirers refused to join the strike.

In Vienna the international Fed urged unions to see that no coal is sent to Britain for the Duration of the Strike Shopkeepers in Goldthorpe slashed all prices on there goods until the Strike ends Violent clashes happened at Dovers Western Docks One Miner was injured and police warned picketers they would be Cleared if any more trouble arose. 2 policeman hurt at Calverton Colliery as management /11 cars tried to get throug to the Pit.

More Schools Closed today Glanmorgan 20 Schools.

20 Schools in Mommouthshire 45 miners wives from Clawne invaded London to try and stop the Strike

At the Government Debate

Mr J Davies Secretary of State said that the coal industry had made £500,000 profit in 1970-71. Losses were no running at £10 million a week he said it would be manifestly irresponsible for the government to yield to the miners Claim In Manchester a time and Motion study can ern Ambulancemen £6.50 extra by getting there patient to Hospital faster. Basic wage is £19.52 /12

Jan 20

An appeal for Mr Carr to stop in the 11 day old strike by Mr V Feather

Three more miners arrested when girls were punched at the NCB HQ at Doncaster University Students at York agreed to invite Miners to be speakers at £250 a time

20/1/ The strike does not seem to have hurt the Miners yet, but Shop keepers are feeling the pinch a few firms are also feeling it. 12,000 textile workers are threat with the Dole. 30 mills altogether

Talks between Mr Carr and both the sides reached a Deadlock. Now new Government intitiative to end the Strike cost to government £20,000,000 /13


Miners are hiring three Boats to patrol the Thames hopting to stop coal coming from Holland, Belgien and Germany. By doing this they could be infringing the law.

25,000 more children to stay away from School. 103 Schools in all. Also 15 in Northumberland Many pensioners and widows are not getting the Coal says the N.C.B.

A Bit of Trouble at NCB offices at Doncaster.  Also a bit of trouble at Nottingham 3 pickets charged with obstruction.

23/1/- Mr Heath sucured his place in History by his signature on the Common Market and a wowman [????] him with a Bag of ink /14


A Group of miners picketed the gates of a gasworkers AJ Peterborough for 2 hrs before finding out the Plant had been closed for 2 yrs. Next week power workers will join the Battle with a overtime Ban for a wage Claim Safety Conditions in some pits are getting serious pit supporters were have to be written off Cost £100,000,000 26/1/72


Express stated that it had cost £40 million and could drag on for weeks. Mr V feather said after a meeting with Miners leaders that only more money would end it.  Miners leaders also gave orders for men to do Safty work but not many were obeying orders 200 out of 289 were not being seen too /15

Mr Gormley said that two private mines had agreed to pay the £8-9 rise they were demanding.

It was also announced that there was only a one month supply left. Pickets who had been sleeping in a Essex University had been told not to sleep there at nights


Power supplies will be cut in the next 2 weeks. Dockers at Immingham have agreed to unload an American freighter provided it was put in storage.  NCB Managers complain that  facers are caging in Yorkshire Sec said it would 1 month even if more were offered. /16


29/1/- Miners leader appealed to Pickets to let fuel ge through to those who needed it most.  They said Pickets must not get mixed up in punch ups eaven tho they were provoked. leaders say they have evidence left wing militants, anarchists are taking advantage of the dispute for there own ends. five eggs were thrown at Mr Carr in Bolton when he came to open a new employment exchange they said coal supplies must be got to old people who had no other fueld. There was plenty of activity on Markham road between police and Pickets.

30/1/- The Miners are to try and stop coal supplies getting to Car Factories at Fords and Dagenham car workers are feeding and sheltering the Pickets. /17


Miners leaders state the miners are getting desperate but there has been no demand to end the strike. some miners are getting Cheap Bread, Beer and Free hair cuts, Mr Alec Eadle in Scotland advised Mr EZRA to break the coalition between him and the Government if he didn’t he would forfeit forever the respect of the Miners.  The Union state again they have evidence that left wing extreamist were responsible for the violence in mnay parts of the country 31/1/-0

Power cuts almost certain 3 Power stations already closed.  The pickets have stopped Hydrogen and oil two vital factors. Pickets have been called of A C Board offices to concentrate on stopping Coal /18


Heavy Snow falls and frost have caused a big demand on power supplies yesterday and today very col

Feb 2/2

Power supplies are still threatened but are no in use yet.

Power workers are to ban overtime from next Tues 3 Steel Works may close down next week they were on 35 per cent turn out.

1000 jobs are threatening at Corby Northants. British Leyland were forced to stop 1000 workers at Erdington Birmingham were 150 men walked out in sympathy for the miners. Coal stocks now stand at 6,632,000 tons say the Department of trade and industry there is no hope of moving it to Power Stations because of Pickets in Yorkshire West Riding 82 Primary /19

[at this point he was only writing on one side of the notebook – this note was added on the other side later - the message continues]

Deaths in the village this last 8 week include

Mr Pettinger

Mr Simmons

Mr Barton

M O’Sharke 27/1/72

M A Clarke 1/2/72


Mrs Jennings

Mr Weastes /20


schools have been Shut because of Heating Problems More trouble was reported up and down the country.  The strike has cost £1 million in supplementary Benefits for dependendants and Strikers said Mr Paul Dean Under Sec for Social Department. Snow falls very heavy all over today


Feb 3 and 4

The pickets are keeping up there preasure [?] but one man was killed by a lorry.


Sat 5/2/- The Government have announced they might have to bring in a state of Emergency next week.

About 30 miners at Duckmanton tried to stop N.A.C.O.D.S safety men going down. 100 police were there 6 of them were thrown through a hedge  /21


F Roberts told the Times there were helmets and Batons and even Bobbies flying all over the place same thing happened at Ireland Colliery Bus window was smashed office windows and Cables cut also officials were man handled

T Swain MP was also in the news he said if he did not get a hearing over the Death of the Picket he would go and create Violence in Derbyshire, he go his hearing a lorry Driver was arrested.  T Swain also complained about the treatment of pickets who were arrested he said they were treated like criminals, they were handcuffed and there Belts Braces and bootlaces were removed /22


9/2/- From the 6th to 9th hell has been let loose all over the country and it has brought the Leaders together again for talks.  Bobbies and pickets have been injured Chief Inspector F Shelby received a broken leg.

Mr Carr was trying a bit of [blaf?]. he said there might be a chance of a rise if the miners would let pit safety men in, and if the T.V.C. would garanttee that a award to the miners would be treated as a special case and not be an excuse for other claims for more money from other Unions

Opposition leaders called for a censure on the Coal Strike but were defeated by 31 Votes 316 to 285

10/2 Coal Strike talks ended last night. Mr Gormley said union did /23 consider this form of deal good enough.

Electricity rationing begins on the 11th Feb between 6 am and midnight six million without power for six hrs. if the coldweather continues it may be longer.  The Coal board offer was stepped up but the deal was for 18 months instead of 12. The Governments Emergency Power act means no advertising floodlighting and illumination of shop windows. it will save 200,000 Tons of Coal. 3 weeks Coal supply left.  44 stations out of 178 below capacity for lack of oil, chemicals and Coal. In Birmingham Shop Stewards voted to down tools in support of the strike 40,000 it was because of the /24 Chaos at Gas Board coke depot at Saltley Birmingham

A party of MPs Miners will meet R Maudling to discuss picketing

16/2/ Things are getting worse for the industry as coal supplies dwindle the government were to blame for all this say MPs Now they are having a special inquiarary called the Wilberforce Both sides are supposed to stand by what is disided They have appealed ot the Miners to start back to work and stop pickets at present there are 2 ½ million not working because of Electricity cuts 2 weeks left then that’s it Vic feather stated also that it was the Governments dogmatic attitude that had caused it all 3 million will be out by the weekend /25


Milk, sugar and eaven Water could be in Short supply if the power crisis grows. 9,000 people marched to the H.P yesterday a lot of pits might not open again.  The inquirary might be given out by the weekend. the feeling is that the miners have Won.

18/2/- All Britain waiting for the report from Lord Wilberforce. All factories in Britain will be Shut by next Week.

Power Station down to 50 %

£5 £6 £4 backdated to last Nov £5 PIT TOP £6 underground non face workers £4 To grade Face workers. The news was given out at 11 o’clock on the wirerless.

The PM Called both side to No 10 about 9PM he was afraid of a complete Shut /26

Down next week.

The miners leaders were after another £1 for Underground and Pit Top men

The Crisis arose when they (NUM leaders) Voted 12-12 against recommending exceptance of a 20[?] deal proposed by the Wilberforce at 1pm on the 19th they accepted the terms on agreement that they would benefit more by doing so.

It would be weeks before things were back to normal the local workers Idle was 2,900,000 nearly the highest ever recorded.

21/2 Miners have called of Picketing are expected to take vote on Wedsday 23/2 Kent have rejected the pay rise but have called of there pickets. /27


24/2 All seems to be going Well most of the Miners have voted the result seems to be that we shall all be back on next Mon Mr Heath has appointed Lord Jellicoe to put the full weight of the Gov. behind getting everybody back to full working. Mr Gormley says Now it his our job to win the fight for Coal as soon as we can this means that we can count the days not weeks for the power to be back on for all the industries. Mr Heath said that giving the miners a good pay rise did not every body coming for a pay rise it seems that he had learned a lesson because he said it was better to get results by negotiation than by dispute /28 and even violence.

Derbyshire 14000 miners said they were banning overtime till compensation was paid to miners who were sent back on the previous overtime ban. at Waith Main Coll 30 pickets stopped Coal leaving because of a dispute over concessionary coal


The increase wagers are

Lads at 20 adult rate

            19 1 year later

            18 by 1974

Power Load    £4.50

Underground  £6

Surface            £5

Pieceworkers contracts to be made to meet these risers.

WP15 and Canteen workers the same to benegotiated later and back dated from Nov 1 1971 /29

Office Staff to get the same as pit top men

Winding engine men to get 80p per week

Lorry drivers to get between £23 to £24.50

The five day Bonus shift to be consolidated in the Shift rate from June 1 1972 The weekly wage will then be divided by five instead of SIX for the daily Rate

Also discussion to start on a productivity bonus by the end of 1972

Voting results were 96 ½ % For =210,039 For

7581 Against

Working starts on Mon 28/2 Fri Power cuts better. /30

Mon 28/2

Work started all over country [?] received pay slip for [?] back 6 weeks for Income Tax Rebate £22.20

Overtime ban still on in Derbyshire because of mining owing to miners who were sent home previous to the Strike [questions because the page is a little ripped at the edge] /31

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