Time code

Shot description



Landscape - fields in foreground, small village in background


Oh, what a lovely summer

Oh what a long, long strike

But if we have to go through it all again

We would still stand up and fight




Convoys of coal going from Orgreave

Men standing side by side

Women serving the soup for them

Watching lories of coal go by

Rows and rows of men in blue

Horses, dogs and truncheons too

Hitting miners, they didn't care who

How can we forget that sad, sad time

Dads, sons and brothers

Who were on that picket line


Colliery, with smoke and fire belching out of chimneys


Men came from Durham

From Scotland and Wales too

Just striking for their pits

To go back to


Shots of mining town


Memory will erase many things

As time goes by

But in our hearts

What happened in Orgreave that day

Will never die

I'm proud I married a miner

I'm proud they're friends of mine

You see I know a host of them

They were on the picket line


Film title



Archive newspaper article


Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, Friday December 15, 1893.

The trial of the men accused of participating in the South Yorkshire colliery riot after dragging wearily for some days reached its closing stages today. On his Lordship taking his seat soon after ten o'clock, Mr Barker said the Prosecution had decided to withdraw all charges against Guest, Reeve, Rimmington, Perry, Parkin, Sidebottom and Crane. Four of them were very young and the others had good character. The evidence of alibis seemed tolerably conclusive. The jury then returned a verdict of Not Guilty in regard to these men on both counts.


People waiting outside a court; men coming out waving triumphantly; clapping



Newspaper headline: Pickets cleared of Orgreave rioting



Man being interviewed

Vox pop:

We haven't been defeated. We're not defeated. We've been found Not Guilty on the trumped up charges. Everybody knows it were trumped up. Right from day one and that's it.


Caption: Eric Newbiggin Defendant

Vox pop:

These photographs here were taken in the end of the day and this is what happened to me. This is the riot charge. That's the state I'm in. it shouldn't have been me who was charged with the riot.


Pointing to person in photo

Vox pop:

It should have been him there  .. and  him there. They should have been charged for the riot not me. That's the kind of mess they left me in and then they gave us a trumped up charge of riot that could have brought life imprisonment


Caption: Ernie Barber Defendant

Those who know us know that we didn't do the things they said we'd done. They're the people that did the belting with the sticks, the truncheons, kicking women throughout the miners' strike and all the rest of it. This is just one aspect of the miners' strike. What they've done throughout the miners' strike, if nothing, it's unbelievable. People don't want to listen to it. The BBC give you pickets, violence and all that rubbish. They don't see the police charging through the street stopping you going out your own door. And it's time somebody took note of what happened.


Lorry driving down dual carriageway

Caption: Extracts from Prosecutor's opening speech Orgreave riot trial


Members of the jury, on the 18th of June they came from Scotland, South Wales, Derbyshire and County Durham in fleets of coaches. Their aim was force and violence. No miner on the 18th could be ignorant of the situation. He would have to have been as naïve as a babe in arms. No miner could have said that he went to Orgreave not intending any violence. They did. The rule of the mob prevailed. Where was this happening? In some foreign land? In South America? It happened on a 15p bus ride from this court in Orgreave.


Lorry driving into colliery

Vox pop

Of the lads that came on that day, they came from South Wales, they came from all over ...


Camera sweeps around colliery town

Vox pop:

They didn't know Orgreave from Blackpool Pier if you like to put it that way. And when they came along they came with all good intentions to put a show, to be there in enough numbers to just literally block the road. And it were as peaceful as that.


Road sign - "Orgreave"



Footage - man walking to work, truck driving into colliery, loading and driving out



Caption: Michael Wilson Defendant

Vox pop:

I was standing here talking to me mate  about going to see a pigeon fancier on the allotments across the way, and at that particular moment I the ranks open up and there's about six policemen come out with riot shields.


B/W shot of police advancing

Vox pop:

They dropped the riot shields on the road and started to run towards me. As they got about five six yards off me I realised that they were going to hit me so I turned and ran


Man demonstrates what he did

Vox pop:

And I went down here and as I went down, there was thump, thumping sound on the side of me temple. I could feel blood running down here. The next minute they'd got me arms up me back, pulling me up, kicking me, kicking me in me legs and  me thighs and that. Eventually they got me up after regaining consciousness and walked me through the police lines


B/W shot of man being marched off by police

Vox pop:

Then you could see them banging, banging on their riot shields. That's all you could hear. And I thought to myself "You're not policemen. Policemen don't act like that, no way"


Woman being interviewed

Caption:  Gareth Peirce Solicitor

The Prosecution arrests people, makes up statements that go along with them, dumps them in a bin, and doesn't really care at all until the trial comes up and they can see what they've got. Prime example of this, prime example -  David Michael Wilson, dumped in a park - wrong place, wrong time, doesn't matter he's one of fifty five charged with riot. Worst public order offence in the history of this country. Therefore he is subject to all that fear, all that stress. First day of the trial, Prosecutor says "Ah mistake. Wilson - wrong man, wrong place, wrong time" don't even say sorry, don't even say sorry to Mr Wilson.


Police escorting miners into Orgreave

Vox pop:

On the 18th of June the police actually escorted us into Orgreave that day. Which was strange because normally they'd stop us at the motorways or wherever.


Site plan

Vox pop:

At bottom is a command post and that's where the police planned all the military operations on th'day. Straight across from there's the main gate, coking plant where lorries used to go in with scab lorry drivers. We were rushing into this cornfield and that's where they made us stand, facing the thick blue line...


Amateur video of miners in field

Vox pop:

.... Of police probably ten deep with big riot shields and things and they were there obviously to stop us getting down to speak to these lorry drivers at th'gate.


B/W photo - aerial view of miners and police



Plan of colliery

Vox pop:

Dogs on th'right in the wood. They were only there for one reason - so we couldn't go that way


Amateur video

Vox pop:

Up left there was a steep bank and there were dogs at th'bottom of there. Then you'd look behind you and once again there were horses, probably seven of them with police on them equipped in riot gear once again. You actually felt as if you were penned in totally. There was only one way out and that's up to the top of the village where there's a bridge



Vox pop:

When we arrived, like early morning, police had been here quite jovial, messing, joking with th'lads but you could tell when the lorries were coming because the police lines backed up. They backed up with riot police with horses, with dogs. It was set up like a military campaign.


Footage showing miners and police with riot shields

Vox pop:

Police tactics against pickets hadn't always been the way it were in Orgreave on 18 June. I remember in '74 it were nowt like that at all. We were allowed to speak to the people. Beginning of this strike we were.  I mean we were successful in Notts. We actually closed 90% of Nott's coalfields in the first two days



Caption: Dave Smith

Vox pop:

Twenty of us went to the gates, to the gates, and we successfully picketed Creswell out. No violence, no threat, just lads that were going into work stopped, spoke to us. We out forward our case to them and they accepted it, turned round and went home. And Creswell was successfully closed by twenty men, no problems at all.



Caption: Terry Dunn

Vox pop:

That day not one man went to work, not one man passed us after listening to our reasoning. Day after that, the day after, obviously, same as Dave said, things had totally changed and there were no roadblocks.


B/W photo - roadblock

Vox pop:

Well, I didn't believe in the strike for a start. You know, I believed it was too soon. They didn't give the lads enough time to prepare themselves. But when the pickets came from Yorkshire and I stood and talked to them and I believed what they said and I thought to myself "No way am I ever going to cross your lines" and I never did and I never will


News footage

Caption: Extracts from Prosecutor's opening speech Orgreave riot trial


On Monday 18th of June 1984 the occasion of the greatest violence inflicted by the pickets. These defendants committed the offence of riot. What is a riot? A riot is where three or more people gather together and they have in their minds a common purpose which they intend to achieve through force behaving in such a way as to terrorise someone of ordinary strength of character. Each of these defendants went to Orgreave that day with that common purpose in mind. They intended to achieve that aim by force, by sheer force of numbers, overwhelming numbers, by pushing, shoving and kicking. The cordon of police was there to keep the peace.


Archive newspaper article


Saturday September 9th 1893. The rioting in West Yorkshire

"Three men killed and ten injured" is in brief the result of Wednesday's rioting in the Home County. It remained for the authorities in the South Western division to teach the miners a lesson which they will not soon forget. Mob law has reigned for the past fortnight but the stringent measures which have now been adopted bid fair to nip in the bud any further outbreaks. Captain Barker ordered the front rank to kneel and four files to fire into the midst of the mob. The report of firearms was followed by cries and groans, and ten or a dozen were seen to drop.


Footage - lorries laden with coal moving about


The law of this country allows people to go about their lawful affairs unimpeded. That is our democratic system. If we want to change the law we use parliamentary democracy. We do not use force. At Orgreave, there were people employed who had a job to do and wanted to do it and they were entitled to do it.


People at work in colliery


You may wish to persuade them, to speak to them but you are not entitled to use force. Otherwise we are therefore back to the rule of the bully boy.



Vox pop:

We weren't involved in any confrontation with miners themselves. We were all right come through to work and we didn't get the muscle.



Vox pop:

But when the convoy came in, we came to the gates and, picket like, then mixed with pickets over here, we didn't leave the premises and then when th'convoy went away, so did the miners, and so did we.



Vox pop:

The Scunthorpe one took the decision to close the plant but at the same time we wanted to give some kind of support and sympathy to the miners which resulted in the lads coming out and making a protest that way.


Footage - men walking away

Vox pop:

Media and police would have people believe that miners were rioting and throwing masses of bricks and lumps of concrete at police. It weren't like that in the slightest. I were there and only incident to me that occurred were the ritual push. It were the push between pickets and police and it happened on every picket line. The only people that rioted that day were the police. They went berserk..


Footage - police pushing ahead

Vox pop:

If there were anybody who rioted that day, it certainly wasn't us. Anybody was out of hand that day; it wasn't us, when they send horses charging at innocent lads running off not even in shirtsleeves, only got a T-shirt or just jeans. They hadn't come armed with knives, spears or things like that. They'd come purely to put a protest.


Blurred picture - riot shields

Vox pop:

Anybody who happened to be in the vicinity was fair game to the police, whether they were hit by truncheons or trampled by a horse or bit by a dog. They were fair game


Caption: Extracts from Assistant Chief Constable Clements evidence


It's no exaggeration to say that the sky was black with missiles, bottles, heavy machinery, ball bearings. So I sent the horses in again.


Footage: horses moving in


They were told to advance in a walk and in a trot. I wouldn't have been worried in the slightest if people had been trampled. I could not be held responsible if miners were silly enough to have stayed there.


Footage: riot shields and mounted police


I ordered all the short shield units to draw their truncheons. I would imagine they weren't used on heads. I didn't tell them not to but it's a general instruction not to aim at the head. It isn't aimed at people running away


Riot footage: man being dragged away

Whistles, shouts and charges


Archive newspaper item


Friday 8 September 1893

At the Orgreave pit of Rothervale Colliery Company a crowd collected early in the morning, rumours having been circulated that the company were drawing coal from the pit. The authorities took very prompt action and in a short time armed fusiliers were on the premises


Archive B/W photo - soldiers in front of colliery


People lived in these cottages adjacent to the pit. Then when the soldiers came in, they came in to suppress the riot. They quickly turned them out and .....


B/W archive photo  -miners in turf tents


They built sort of turf shelters in the nearby wood where they had to make whatever life they could for themselves during that dispute. If they felt they could have turned us out of our houses during our strike, they would have done and we would have been made to live like that if they could have carried it through


Archive photo - miners near slag heaps

Vox pop:

Well, I don't think they'll ever get it back to what it was in the twenties and thirties because they're not going to stand for it any more.


Colliery embankment

Vox pop:

In 1926 people were charged with rioting and all they were doing were actually they were fighting for their livelihood to stop the coal owners from reducing their wages and giving them longer hours. And that's what we're doing now, fighting for a chance to work and a chance to feed us families. The trouble is by shutting pits wholesale they're actually locking a national asset underground.


Landscape including colliery

Vox pop:

Plans set for privatisation. In order to privatise they have to get shut of certain sectors of the coal industry. But they are classed as uneconomic.



Vox pop:

I don't care what anybody says, there's no such thing as an uneconomic pit.


B/W photo - pit tunnel

Vox pop:

You can take Coal Board's own figures because if they shut a pit, they've still got to pay subsidence money, they've still got to pay interest on loans to government, they've still got to pay redundancy, that's if they want us all on the dole.


Advertisements for miners

Vox pop:

And then they've got to pay us dole money. And don't forget it's not just miners then. You're talking about a knock-on situation because for every hundred miners that lose a job there's eighty seven other people in other industries who lose their jobs. It's not really a big con because it don't save money to shut pits. It costs money.


Hit list of mines scrolling down, with total statistics for job losses at the end

Vox pop:

It cannot be brought down to economics. You've got to look at the other side of it. We're talking about people. They've all got the right to live and the right to live decently. It's the social aspect totally that this government just ignores


Scroll continues

Vox pop:

They're caught and they have to do something about it. The only thing they have to do is to break up industries. They have to shrink them. They have to break up all the working class organisations in order to break the working class



Vox pop:

The things that are different this time is that the working classes haven't been defeated not like 1926. It's is not a defeated working class. It's an undefeated working class. It's a strong working class and their major problem. They can't break it.


Posters advertising jobs for miners

Vox pop:

This strike didn't just happen it were planned for as far back as 1978 when Tories commissioned a Tory Member of Parliament, Nicholas Ridley, to make the Ridley Report.


B/W photo - riot police marching miners away

Vox pop:

It's never been publicised as it was the Tories' secret charter for privatisation. In the Ridley Report it stated that coal stocks must be built up, police riot units must be trained, scab lorry drivers must be recruited, or non trade union lorry drivers, whichever you want to say, and this came about in 1978


B/W photos - miners

Vox pop:

You have to go back further than the Ridley Report. Tories in the seventies never believed they could use the state against trade unions and the working class.


B/W photo - Callahan cabinet meeting

Vox pop:

In actual fact, Callahan's government showed the way. He used the troops against the Fire Brigade's Union to break their strike. He armed the police.



Vox pop:

He said he‘d had confrontation when they used horses and truncheons and the rest of it. He learnt the lessons from that and Ridley Report came out when all were done, learning the lessons from the Labour government. So Labourites had actually shown the way to the Tories on the way they dealt with Trade Unions


Caption : Jimmy Rae

Vox pop:

We were somewhat naïve. We'd sat back on our laurels from 1974. They were prepared. They practised. They practised in Ireland


B/W photo - inner city riots

Vox pop:

They practised in Brixton and Toxteth. And when it were out turn, they'd perfected the techniques and they used them to great effect on us


B/W  photo - policeman on horse wielding baton



Caption: Dr Nicholas Ralph

Vox pop:

Well, I came to Orgreave because I'm a police watch observer, Sheffield police watch. We arrived there about ten fifteen and I don't think there were more than five or six hundred on the field as a whole from ten o'clock onwards. Maybe there was a bit more towards eleven but nothing substantial


Speaker showing photo

Vox pop:

And as you can see, in the foreground it's typical of what was going on. There was a group of horses in the woods at the side there and it looked as though the police had had a plan and they basically executed that at eleven o'clock. They decided to clear the field. The cavalry came up the road and there was the advance of the foot police up behind them. Each time moving a bit more up the hill as the horses came up the hill and went back down again


Speaker pointing at figure

Vox pop:

One of our police watch observers is, in fact, there. She's actually in the photograph, sitting on the wall


Footage - men fleeing

Live report from the scene

Vox pop:

This is a second charge now and they've cleared the road and the riot police in their big lines of ..... ten lines ...... are moving up. They're now coming quite close to us here.... We're standing and we seem to be in the front line of this............. What are we doing here?


Caption: David Bell Defendant

Vox pop:

I was running up. This is where me, and my friend helped me over the fence there, round here. And then all the coppers started running over there. Couple of them get their truncheons out, you know. Couple of them says "What're you doing here?" I says "I've got a sore leg." They just looked at me. As you can see it's still swollen now. They come over and just stood on it. Then they just walked away. I tugged me up. He says, you know, tells me to get lost. Two coppers come round to have my arms, say "You are a prisoner"


B/W photo - arrest

Vox pop:

And that was it. They take me down to the ambulance. I get treated for that, a fractured leg



Vox pop:

They just said "Get down, get down". They wanted all the pickets to go down this bank and he lunged at me with his truncheon when I seemed somewhat reticent to go down because it's bloody steep, anyway in the end I did. I headed down here. As I was going I saw a policeman, just maybe fifty feet along here throw a big log down to the bottom of the line. It's still there, and then I scrambled down this way and lost my footing about half way down, skidded to the bottom banged my foot back


Footage - people running across railway lines

Vox pop:

But then I just carried on. I crossed right across the railway lines




Battle for Orgreave




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Time code

Shot description



Footage - mining village

Vox pop:

I left school at fourteen years of age and jobs were hard to get then. I took a bit because I had weak eyes. Me dad didn't want me to go in the pit but there was nothing else, only pit work round here. So I started down in the pit in 1925.


Man walking

Caption: Tom Rossington

Vox pop:

I was born in the village in 1897. I well remember as a child the beginning of each working day. At five o'clock in the morning the colliery buzzer blasted forth for quite a time, reminding miners that it was time that they began to stir. One always felt a deep respect for the men who were willing to earn their living in the conditions underground which existed in those days


Man with dog

Caption: Reuben Pyott

Vox pop:

I've had various injuries during me working life of fifty one years


Sepia photos - men in lift shaft

Vox pop:

..fingers broken, cartilages out at knees, slip discs, fractured skull, I've had the lot. But I've still gone back to the pit. If I'd taken the letter the doctor had given me at the Royal Infirmary at Sheffield, they wouldn't have taken me back at the pit. Not to do any stooping, no lifting, no noise ... I just chucked it in the fire and went back to me old job. It's better conditions now than ever they were in private enterprise.


Sepia photos - men down mine shafts

Vox pop:

They've always wanted twelve men clamouring after one man's job for £30. And I used to live there. I used to be working until eight o'clock at Sunday night and Saturday s as well, on .maintenance work and I tell you I never brought above £30 in all me working life.


National Coal Board certificate for long service

Vox pop:

I've been retired now ten year come Christmas. I was sixty five.


Crest - The United Steel Companies Limited




Caption: Lawrence Milward

Vox pop:

But 1947 and 1948, you know, I were working sixteen hours at Monday, twelve hours at Tuesday, and sixteen hours at Wednesday, twelve  hours Thursday, and sixteen hours Friday and twelve h ours Saturday, twelve hours Sunday. As much as a hundred hours in a week and sometimes going home with £14 when I finished. I mean, public thinks we gain a lot when we don't. We take about £73 home now, you know. I admit we get a bit overtime. It goes up to £80 and things you know.


B/W photo - backs of helmeted police facing miners

Voice sounds out of breath

Vox pop:

The riot policemen going, hit anybody, just moved us. They're now up to the bridge. The miners have been thrown back completely. Myself, I stand behind the police lines now.


Caption: Extracts from Assistant Chief Constable Clements evidence


I have no doubt that I saw Scargill slip down the bank. I thought that he'd hit his head on the sleeper. He could not possibly have been hit by a shield carrying officer on the bank as they stayed on the road. They did not deviate from their route.


Footage - Scargill walking with miners

Vox pop:

He was on the right hand side of me. I glanced over and the next thing I saw was one of these riot police with a riot shield hit him at the side of the arm and face.



Caption: David Moore Defendant

Vox pop:

... and they just simply, he just flattened him as if he were a tree, just simply flattened him to the floor and then I turned to look down there and I went flying also. I was just flattened thereabout. The police come kicking, punching, hitting with truncheons, and I ended up with multiple bruising.


Photos of police attack



Scargill demonstrating what happened

Vox pop:

At that moment one of the police officers hit me at the back of the head with a short shield. Down I went on the floor. I was covered in dust. I was cut in one arm, cut on my leg. A young lad helped me to my feet, called Peter. He dragged me; half carried me up the bank into about this point here in order to get me out of the battle zone. Ironically, Clements, the Assistant Chief Constable, at that point came over the bridge and concocted this amazing story, which was completely untrue, that I'd slipped down the bank at this point and hit my head. The only people that hit me on the head were the police in full riot gear who'd gone absolutely mad.


B/W photos - riot police

Vox pop:

It was the most serious incident of public disorder that this country has seen this century. I do not know whether the officers were out of control in the village but I was afraid that the odd individual might hit somebody's head.


Injured miners

Statement of Assistant  Chief Constable Clements


Orgreave was unique and I do not take responsibility for any injuries. They used the same discipline as in violence in football matches or a march. Orgreave was policed in a humane and compassionate manner.


Caption: Michael Mansfield Barrister

Vox pop:

There had been since about 1981 groups of police officers in police support units training, training to incapacitate demonstrators. Their training has been derived from a manual which surfaced during this trial for the first time, a manual devised by Senior Police Officers attached to ACPO, Association of Chief Police Officers, who have a responsibility for certainly some of the events that occurred during the miners' strike and the mutual aid policy.


Stills - police and miners

Vox pop:

There were serious acts of violence by senior and junior police officers in charge of those police support units known as short shield units, units that had never before been used, never before 18th June. Those units were out of control.


Footage - man with injured head being seen to by comrades

Voices heard from tape

Vox pop:


Vox pop:


Vox pop:

Well, what is that then?

Vox pop:

Truncheon, truncheon

Vox pop:

Look at that

Vox pop:


Vox pop:

What did you step on?


Still - man's bruised back

Vox pop:

Minding me own business, that, .mate

Vox pop:

Somebody's phoned for an ambulance

Vox pop:

First day on the picket line this lad, and look what he gets.

Vox pop:

I don't think there's been a policeman charged yet.


Miners talking to camera caption: Rudy Wade

Vox pop:

The government that are wanting our President to condemn the violence. They never condemned the violence of the police and they used the truncheon, knocking the pickets to the ground. It was just peaceful picketing and TV. There was hitting behind the head and everything.


Police on horseback chasing miners

Caption: edited ITN news footage

Vox pop:

The government is supposed to be law and order. It never condemned the police. This was a real mockery I mean.



Miner shaking head

Vox pop:

No, I mean I used to back the police up at one time. Not now. That's it. So no. it finished me with police.


Archive newspaper item


Wednesday 6th April 1921

The industrial crisis has become the main issue in the Taunton election. Sir Arthur Griffith- Boscawen speaking at Appley Cross yesterday said the coal strike was simply a revolutionary movement. The question before the electors was whether the Miners' Federation or the Government should rule. The Government was fighting a greater danger than the German was menace.


Newspaper headline "Beware enemy within" says Thatcher

Woman's voice

Vox pop:

The one thing that upset me about Mrs Thatcher, when she called us "the enemy within"....


Miner's wife /mother

Caption: Julia Whysall

Vox pop:

Now I've got a boy fighting in the Falklands. He were on a frigate in the Falklands and I've got a husband and son working out her and I don't want one being a hero and another one being an enemy within because it's wrong. I mean he was awarded a mention in despatches in Northern Ireland at nineteen. Of course they were brave boys, but I think as much about my boys as brave working without pay as that one in the forces, so why should she call them "the enemy within"? Which is wrong.


Video footage - riot police, shouting

Vox pop:



Man running round a corner, out of breath

Caption: James O'Brien


Vox pop:

I run and I stood here. Two or three of the pickets were around the back. Two or three of the riot police chased them. One came past here on his own. As I was stood against the wall, he just ran past, lashed out with his truncheon....


B/W photo - miner with blood streaming from eye

Vox pop:

Hit us on the eye, split me eye and I just started pouring with blood


Man walking through trees

Caption: Bill Greenaway Defendant

Vox pop:

I was walking through there. I had cream buns in one hand. I came on my own and I was hit across the back of my head. I fell down. As I was getting up, there was police everywhere. Boys running, and men. As I was getting up somebody hit me over and I went down there. When I was getting up from there I went to pick my cream buns up and the policeman came and he clapped me across the wrist, across there with a truncheon. He said "You leave them bun things there."


Man sitting on step

Caption: Arthur Critchlow Defendant

Vox pop:

After being struck on the head, the next thing I remember is coming round sitting on these steps here with the two arresting officers and all the area around full of police and other prisoners being brought in, to comments from police officers such as "Bastards, you're not very hard now you're away from your mates" You know, the odd punch in the face or a kick, things like that and then taken into this building here behind me for to have me photograph taken and to be interviewed and that.



Caption: Gareth Peirce, Solicitor

Vox pop:

I got to Rotherham Police Station and went into the cells and I suppose I still feel sick and horrified at what I saw there. I was frightened because I saw people terribly injured. I thought two of them in particular needed urgent medical attention and might not last. That was Mr Critchlow and Mr Newbiggin. There was blood all over the place so when people with dreadful wounds on their faces, their legs, their arms and on the back of their heads. There were so many people, so many people and so badly injured that they didn't look like people who'd been arrested by the process of civilian law. It wasn't that situation. I'm used to seeing people who've been arrested and sometimes hurt by the police. I'm used to that but this wasn't like that at all. It was like the wounded survivors in wartime. The men themselves were, as well as being hurt, they needed doctors. They needed doctors rather than lawyers and I wished I'd been a doctor rather than a lawyer.


Video footage - man with bloody face being taken away by riot police

Vox pop:

We got through the day, twelve hours in the police station, and then we had to go to court in the middle of the night for the first of the bail applications and the whole process was so extraordinary, so out of the ordinary.


B/W photos - miners and police

Vox pop:

They were treated like cattle with contempt, remanded on extraordinary bail conditions with no regard for the evidence. The prosecution was so cavalier. They didn't bother to produce evidence at court, didn't even take their statements to court on many occasions.


Arthur Critchlow

Vox pop:

I was then remanded for six days and was then released by a High Court Judge sitting in chambers who released me on condition that I report to Rotherham Police Station every morning before eleven o'clock. I was on a curfew from seven o'clock at night to nine o'clock in the morning. I was not to go on BSC property, National Coal Board property, Central Electricity Generating Board, British Rail, docks .... That was the condition. So I was virtually under house arrest apart from the two hours in the morning that it took me to travel to the police station to sign a book and go back home.


Michael Mansfield

Vox pop:

What's happened over the last year has been the use of the courts and the criminal law for political purposes. Large numbers of miners, eleven thousand, were arrested last year. Mass arrests on a scale never before seen. Again for political reasons. The  results of those arrests has been political trials, not in the sense that you might get them in South Africa, not that people have been arrested on the charge of holding a particular belief or that they belong to a particular subversive organisation. But for some reason or other these eleven thousand had woken up one morning and supposedly committed criminal offences. There's no way, you may think, that such a law abiding community may suddenly wake up one morning and does that. It has to be that large numbers of police officers and senior and junior officers have been prepared to fabricate evidence against this community.


B/W still - riot police and miners

Gareth Peirce

Vox pop:

I think it's one thing to physically hurt somebody. In that way, you terrorise them. There is a far different process, which is the one the defendants saw when they went to court, and that's the real terror of putting somebody on trial in such a way and in such terms that the remain convinced , whatever the strength of their case, whatever the iniquities of the prosecution case, they remain convinced, until they are acquitted, that they're going to prison for the rest of their lives, and that was reinforced from the moment they were in court by the Home Secretary strutting around the country talking about riots carrying life imprisonment.


Man on steps

Arthur Critchlow

Vox pop:

They took me into a room with twenty four, convicts, if you like and each had a number and you sat on a chair with a number. And there was a chair on the other side. In between the two chairs was a partition and I remember them leading me wife in to see me, sobbing really heavy. All her nose were running, you know, I can picture it as if it were yesterday, her nose were running that heavy, it were going into her mouth, so I know. That first visit, I don't think we spoke. We, eh, just held hands over the partition like, and we just looked at each other. I think, eh, she were amazed as what I were to find ourselves in that position. You know, stitches. I've still got stitches in me head, locked up there. You know, very, it must have been harder for her than for me. It must have been very worrying times for her.


Michael Mansfield - Barrister

Vox pop:

It's no coincidence that during the strike, the Police and Criminal Evidence Bill, which give the police greater powers to stop, arrest, search, hours of custody and  also, interestingly, road blocks, was going through the Houses of Commons, giving these extended and draconian powers to the police. It's no coincidence that while these trials are going on concerning miners, the Police Federation are calling for certain extra powers to deal with what they call "those picketing" and the Home Secretary has finally come out and indicated the police are going to be given the power to decide how many people can gather together, where they can gather together and for how long.


Gareth Peirce - Solicitor

Vox pop:

Perhaps as the trial proceeds those in the dock are beginning to get some sense of release of the pressure, and the ultimate expectation that they're going to be exonerated. But that doesn't repay them for a year of keeping them underneath that grotesque power of the state. It will never repay them for that.


Man on step - Arthur Critchlow

Vox pop:

Being treated as a criminal, imprisoned and beaten by police, well, for basically being on strike to save your job. It's wrong and it's a bitter pill. It's a bitter pill to swallow. It's something we'll never forget as long as we live, eh, you know, I haven't told me children yet that I've been in prison and me wife didn't tell them then, when I was in prison, for fear of upsetting them, but I'm sure when they're older and I tell them that I was in prison, I don't think that they'll walk with their heads down, thinking their dad was some sort of convict, a thief or a rapist or whatever. I think they'll walk with their head held high and their chest out and say "Look. Arthur Critchlow is my dad and  I'm proud of him"


B/W photo - police helmets


Looking back on the 18th of June, there is one thing I would change. I was a little wrong I being late in bringing out the protective shields, having considered my answer I do regret that.


Video footage - miners in riot with mounted police dispersing them

Shouts heard



Caption: Kevin Marshall Defendant

Vox pop:

As we stood there, police come, charged up the road with the horses. So we walked over. And as there were quite s few of us stood round, I put me hands on the top of the car like that to show I wasn't throwing stones. And a horse came round there. They forced us out and as we ran out I ended up falling over here. So I fell over and got back up like that. I had to walk so I walked over here. There was a police man coming up here towards me so I put my hands on top of the car to tell him to withdraw his attack but he wouldn't stop. So I just moved over here, and as I moved over, he came at me with his truncheon, with his shield, sorry. And as he hit me I fell over the car, like that .....


B/W photo

Vox pop:

As I was coming up he started hitting me with his truncheon. I couldn't tell him to stop and as I got off the car like that. He pulled me by the leg and dragged me, kept on dragging me over here. I didn't have time to put me foot down. He wouldn't stop. Then I stopped here. He told me to stand still, put me hands round me back, put handcuffs on me and started making me walk from here like that.


Video footage - camera is unsteady at first

Vox pop:

At Orgreave, us miners experienced first hand the full power of the state against industrial workers. And if people think they could only be used against miners or people on peace rallies, they'd better open their eyes a little bit because this government will use it against anyone to get their own means. What Kinnock and people like that want you to believe is that all you have to do is wait and bide your time, and vote in the Labour government in the next election and then everything will be right. Well, that presupposes that the state is some kind of separate tool that each successive government can pick up and use in whatever way it wants to. It's absolute rubbish Getting a Labour government is still a capitalist state.


Stills - riot

Vox pop:

The state'll be used against him and if it attempts to renationalise to go on a programme of socialist policies, the capitalist state will arm itself against him and stop him at every toss and turn. There's no way voting for the Labour government will be the answer. The answer has to be that the working class will rise up. It'll smash the capitalist state and it'll take power. It'd have no choice but to do that.



Caption: Lesley Boulton

Vox pop:

By the time I got here, the major police charge had already taken place. There was all hell let loose. There were policemen, pickets charging about all over the place. It was absolutely clear that there was no discipline or control by the police at all I arrived on the pavement here and I noticed that there was an injured man here. I climbed over the wall. He seemed to have rib injuries, seemed to be in a lot of pain. He was groaning. And I climbed over the wall and I knelt down by his head here. I recall having to hold my camera back so it didn't hit him on the head.


B/W photo - man on ground

Vox pop:

It seemed to me that he may have broken ribs and needed an ambulance so I stood up. There was a police officer standing in the road. I called to him: "Can you please get an ambulance? There's an injured man here" at that moment I noticed something happening here. I turned round and this police officer was about to hit me on the head with a truncheon. I ducked and somebody pulled me from behind and I went down like that. He just missed me and I felt the truncheon go down past my side like that. I felt the wind of it go past me.


B/W photo - incident mentioned

Vox pop:

It was very quick and very frightening.


B/W photo - mounted police hitting a man with a truncheon

Vox pop:

Me for one. I'll be damned if I sit back and let it happen. And I know what people would say if it were us, me as well



Vox pop:

To Mrs Thatcher, Leon Britan and the rest of them, police forces, we're organised in this thing


B/W photo

Caption: Eric Newbiggin Not Guilty




Vox pop:

I will fight for me job. I will fight for me union. I will fight for any union


B/W photo

Caption: Brian Moreland Not Guilty




Vox pop:

We're here to fight for us livelihood and us communities and if that's what it takes we shall fight again


B/W photo

Caption: Bernard Jackson Not Guilty




Vox pop:

I stood by my principles for a year


B/W photo

Caption: Michael Wilson Not Guilty




Vox pop:

We've been slightly beaten up but we'll never be beaten. We'll be back. That's the message I'd like to give her


B/W photo

Caption: Craig Waddington Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: Ernie Barber Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: David Bell Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: David Coston Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: Arthur Critchlow Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: George Forster Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: George Foulds Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: Bill Greenaway Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: Kevin Marshall Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: David Moore Not Guilty



B/W photo

Caption: James O'Brien Not Guilty