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Overview of the Club's History

Overview 1886-1900  1900-1914   1914-1965  1966-1982  1983-1999 2000 to Date

The 1984-pitwomen11985 miners’ strike had seen the development of women's activism in coal mining communities across the country. These groups formed Women against Pit Closures (WAPC) which developed a national support network.

After the end of the strike in 1985, the WAPC continued to function to offer mutual support and to continue to fight further pit closures.

 

The decision to keep the WAPCs going was vindicated when the Tory Government announced the proposed closure of a further 31 pits in October 1992 in what The Guardian called ‘the most savage redundancy programme to be inflicted on British industry'.

At that time Parkside Colliery in Newton-le Willows directly employed nearly 800 people with more local jobs dependent on the pit. It was one of the most modern, efficient and profitable collieries in Britain and had an estimated working life of over 25 years and 23 million tonnes of proven reserves. It was also the only remaining pit pitwomen2in Lancashire.

Pit Camps, influenced by the Greenham Common Women's Peace Campaign, were set up to inform the public that pit closures were not just about jobs, but the community as a whole.

The camp at Parkside Colliery attracted significant local and regional support as well as a significant national media profile.

The club showed solidarity with the peace camp by hosting meetings to raise awareness locally as well as running fund raising events to help the women in the camp.

However, despite the very significant levels of support from across the North West, the women had to endure much intimidation and hardship.

The occupation ended in August 1994 when the process of dismantling the pit had gone beyond recovery.