Raising the banner for WAPC

A banner, used by Barnsley women during the miners’ strike as part of the Women Against Pit Closures (WAPC) movement and which was previously thought missing, has turned up thanks to an event held by Experience Barnsley.

Many people attended the event, which was held on Saturday, and eight former WAPC members were interviewed by the Experience Barnsley Youth Panel. 

This  group of young women, aged 14 to 19 have been recruited to assist Experience Barnsley in hosting an exhibition to run alongside a whole programme of events and activities in 2014 in conjunction with National Coal Mining Museum, Barnsley Civic and the NUM, to tell the story of the miners’ strike.

Gwen White from Carlton brought along a surprise for the Experience Barnsley team – a bright red banner, emblazoned with “Barnsley Women Against Pit Closures 1984 to 1985. It’s beautifully hand painted and shows a group of Barnsley women stood in front of a pit head silhouette. 

It was thought that the banner had gone missing but has spent the past 29 years stored safely in Gwen’s loft. She has kindly loaned it for the exhibition next year.

The Women Against Pit Closures movement started in Barnsley, and spread all over the country. Many women were involved in campaigning on the picket lines, running soup kitchens and looking after their families too.

Anyone who has any other memories, photographs or banners from the era is asked to contact Jemma Conway on 01226 787771.