Today I was invited to Edlington by a group of ex miners to re-create the Women Againist Pit Closure Banner that was used during the Strike, as the myth goes the women made the banner out of an old bed sheet and red paint, it has been for the last 30 years.
The women of Edlington were just as militant as the men and helped to keep the strike going by running the soup kitchens to feed the miners’ and their families. I am so inspired by their story and it is a total honour to be asked to create a new banner for the community.
Also, the Edlington miners have decided that this banner will also lead the Edlington 30th Anniversary March and that the Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust wants the banner to be led by the women of the community with their children and grandchildren.
Earlier this week, I got together with my mum to plan how the community workshop would take place. The ex-miners felt that dark green would be the best colour and supplied me with black, red and yellow fabric to create the design.
I searched Dafont for an appropriate typography design and came across “Get the F@*! Up” type. I thought it seemed to fit the bill. The text for the design is in keeping with the wishes of the Edlington Miners:
Lest We Forget, the Edlington Women Againist Pit CLosure” 1984-1985
Keep the Faith.
“Keep the Faith” is a slogan created by Frank Arrowsmith of the Youthshire Main Commerative Trust and is one of the themes of this years event. This is perfect as a lot of the ex-miners focus too much on the past and not on how the past should inspire the younger generation.
This morning I turned up at the Edlington Top club at 9.30am and two lovely ladies were there on the dot to chip in and help-out.
Soon my mum arrived and took the lead the ladies cracked on cutting and stitching. They were much better than me at it. One lady called Carol was an ex machinist she was such a talent.
At 11.00 O’Clock my good mate and artist Joie Rachel Carruthers came down running a mini soup kitchen with buns for the ladies taking part. By this time two of the ex miner were getting stuck in and genuinely enjoying the stitching atmosphere.
There was pea and lentil soup on the menu plus lots of talk from the strike. But also debates about the local area, one lady mentioned a Lidol being built on a farmer’s field. Whilst the “Frack Off” mantra is definitely on the agenda as Doncaster Council has signed Maltby Pit off to become a Fracking Plant. The miners even had new badges printed with the “Frack Off” slogan.
I was disgusted to hear Joie state, “Yeah, well that’s how the Tories see the North, a waste ground for fracking”.
I’m feeling quite militant about this, I really don’t want fracking anywhere near Donni. And I am in shock that huge decisions about energy can be slipped through without anyone voting on it?
The debate will go on next Saturday at the Edlington Top Club as we continue our banner project for the big event next March.