Contested spaces: London and the 1984-5 miners' strike

Kelliher, D. (2017) Contested spaces: London and the 1984-5 miners' strike. Twentieth Century British History, 28(4), pp. 595-617. (doi: 10.1093/tcbh/hwx029)

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The 1984-5 British miners' strike can be understood as a defence of place as well as jobs. Such a conception encourages us to foreground the local in accounts of the strike. However, I argue in this article that the local should not be understood in an excessively bounded way. By paying attention to relationships developed between London and the coalfields during the dispute, we can see how direct personal networks of solidarity were constructed between these very different places. This article discusses the spaces in which solidarity activity for miners in London took place. I argue that political activists rooted themselves in localities by constructing permanent spaces such as centres and bookshops, which enabled the development of concrete relationships between different places. I highlight 'twinning' as a distinct spatial tactic used by supporters of the strike to bridge geographical distance and develop personal connections between London and the coalfields. I also show that elements of the state were used to both sustain this solidarity and to restrict the space available for the miners and their supporters. I argue centrally, therefore, that opposing political visions for moving beyond the post-war settlement manifested in a struggle over space in the 1980s.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was undertaken as part of a PhD funded by Economic and Social Research Council grant number 1369204.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelliher, Dr Diarmaid
Authors: Kelliher, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Twentieth Century British History
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1477-4674
Published Online:20 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in Twentieth Century British History 28(4): 595-617
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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