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Miners Strike - Soldiers in Police Uniform?

#1
And before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion - NOT a journalist. Long time member of PPRuNe and thought this question would be better posted over here.

Looking at the Police Specials Forum (yes I know.... :( ) http://www.policespecials.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=56569 and someone has said that the Army had soldiers dressed up as police to help beat up the Miners....Long time ago I know but.....anyone like to comment on this.

The situation:

Its 1984 and the miners strike is at its height, you have been drafted in from the Met to do riot duties oop north (basically a bit f northerner bashing). Your told by your skipper to take your numbers off so no-one to identify you. When you get up there you notice a bunch of rather unpleasant squaddies have been drafted in too, yet, this lot are in police uniforms with no numbers.
Thanks and apols if this is in the wrong place or inappropriate
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#3
Didn't happen mate. They shipped a load of the Met into Notts and they acted like c*nts, burning tenners and so on just to wind up the strikers. The local Plod paid the price for that and it took them a long time to restore order after it was all over. There was a story in one of the tabloids which had a mention of someone referring to another police officer as 'Corporal' but that was tosh and sounded like some sort of propaganda made up by the extreme militant strikers and the commies who tried to use them.
 
#4
Had there been any truth in this, it would have earned a few of those who participated royalties on their subsequent books long before now.

This is as much an urban (albeit uniquely military) myth, as the 'busload of nurses', see threads elsewhere on this site for explanation.
 
#5
Thanks - couldn't see it myself either as there were more than enough cops from other areas being shipped in without the need for the Army. Urban legend being quoted as facts by Police....!!

And no not writing a book - nor a scab - was at school when it was on and no where near a mining community
 
#6
Biscuits_AB said:
Didn't happen mate. They shipped a load of the Met into Notts and they acted like c*nts, burning tenners and so on just to wind up the strikers. The local Plod paid the price for that and it took them a long time to restore order after it was all over. There was a story in one of the tabloids which had a mention of someone referring to another police officer as 'Corporal' but that was tosh and sounded like some sort of propaganda made up by the extreme militant strikers and the commies who tried to use them.
Mate, I grew up in Wales as a young teen after the old man left the army, and can confirm met coppers ripping the piss about raking in the cash on overtime whilst families starved. Cnuts to a man.
 
#7
November4 said:
Thanks - couldn't see it myself either as there were more than enough cops from other areas being shipped in without the need for the Army. Urban legend being quoted as facts by Police....!!

And no not writing a book - nor a scab - was at school when it was on and no where near a mining community
Well, I am from a Notts mining village (now pitless obviously). At the time of the strike my Dad was in the police (after 22 years Army), I was in the Army, I had one brother on strike and the other working (both miners). They still don't talk to eachother to this day. Made for interesting times.

IIRC the first person to be killed during the strike when a paving slab was dropped from a bridge onto a car was my classmate from school, who was actually on strike at the time.

I've asked my dad about the story you are questioning and he thinks it is laughable, what he did say is that there were a lot of police officers asking for the Army to be involved and he thinks that there were discussions but that's as far as it got.

Looking back on it I'm not sure who the worst thugs were in Notts, it was a toss up between the Welsh mining contingent and Kent Police and I think the Met gave a pretty good showing of contempt for humans.
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#8
leonidas42 said:
Looking to write a book you f ucking scab
Nothing wrong with scabbing. All of Nottinghamshire were scabbing due to the illegal strike called by Scargill. After six months Yorkshire miners were eating from dust-bins and living off charity. The Nottinghamshire miners worked on and were able to feed and clothe their children and pay their mortgages.

Scargill was a cnut who destroyed his own industry in the vain pursuit of power. All the strike achieved was to select the miners as the union that Thatcher would confront, and defeat. The strike also highlighted the fact that British coal could not be relied upon as an assured source. The power industry noted this and started to import cheaper coal from destinations such as Poland and Brazil. When the power industry realised that it was cheaper to ship coal to Yorkshire power stations 6,000 miles from Brazil rather than from tens of miles away in the same county, the coal mines were doomed.

Scargill was weaker than Thatcher and lost the battle that he had chosen to fight. The 'scabs' were on the winning side and half of the Met paid off their mortgages early.
 
#10
Mr_Logic said:
leonidas42 said:
Looking to write a book you f ucking scab
Nothing wrong with scabbing. All of Nottinghamshire were scabbing due to the illegal strike called by Scargill. After six months Yorkshire miners were eating from dust-bins and living off charity. The Nottinghamshire miners worked on and were able to feed and clothe their children and pay their mortgages.

Scargill was a cnut who destroyed his own industry in the vain pursuit of power. All the strike achieved was to select the miners as the union that Thatcher would confront, and defeat. The strike also highlighted the fact that British coal could not be relied upon as an assured source. The power industry noted this and started to import cheaper coal from destinations such as Poland and Brazil. When the power industry realised that it was cheaper to ship coal to Yorkshire power stations 6,000 miles from Brazil rather than from tens of miles away in the same county, the coal mines were doomed.

Scargill was weaker than Thatcher and lost the battle that he had chosen to fight. The 'scabs' were on the winning side and half of the Met paid off their mortgages early.
My bold.

I agree with just about everything you have put but just for the record, I think that at our pit about 60% of the workforce were out on strike, in most other local pits I think the split was about 50/50. The fact that the Notts pits stayed open actually gave the impression that no-one from the county was striking. This was not the case at all. Throughout Notts now there are still very deep divides within small communities as a result of that sad part of our history.
 
#11
Off topic slightly but does anyone know if the Bevin boys were paid the same as HO's [those called up for the duration] or did they get a miners wage of that period?
 
#12
Spoke to Ex miners from St hellens area, east Sutton pit iirc, and they said that there were "coppers" with no idents on their uniforms at their pit and they did have "millitary" bearing in their actions. Now the other guys who where in the room at the time said that they heard simmilar stories from other pits......who knows.

If anyone was there..........lend us a mill or two!
 
#13
Biscuits_AB said:
Didn't happen mate. They shipped a load of the Met into Notts and they acted like c*nts, burning tenners and so on just to wind up the strikers. The local Plod paid the price for that and it took them a long time to restore order after it was all over. There was a story in one of the tabloids which had a mention of someone referring to another police officer as 'Corporal' but that was tosh and sounded like some sort of propaganda made up by the extreme militant strikers and the commies who tried to use them.
When will people learn that local coppers allways know best. Similar thing happened in hollyhead a few years ago with farmers complaining about irish meat imports. one bobby rocks up in his panda and has situation under control. good spirits all round but then....HQ orders MASSIVE backup..farmers arrange more protesters...HQ draft in coppers from Liverpool who show up in full riot kit.....cue major kickoff!!!!

Lots of dodgy things happened during the miners strike...comunities still not recovered...and for what.
 
#14
Datum's,

The miners might have thought that way because many ex services had probably joined the cop shop by then.

Remember, this was a time shortly after many serious public disorder events in London.

I can say no more than this, the only Army involved was the Salvation Army.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
Jesus, strange coppers with a 'military bearing'? What? They didnt slouch and smoke pot? Give me a frocking break.

There was coppers bussed in from all over. There was SB and spooks wearing flat caps and trying to pretend they were miners. It was chaos and bad times all round.

But trust me, there was not any squaddies pretending to be cops that I know about.

David Shayler was there mind. I got his autograph.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
I dunno. I heard E Div Regional Crime Squad came out of retirement for the overtime. On a Brittania Airways jet from the Costa. Paid for by Hellestine.

Just what I heard.

But if squaddies were involved, where was the CAS? Again?
 
#18
TheIronDuke said:
Jesus, strange coppers with a 'military bearing'? What? They didnt slouch and smoke pot? Give me a frocking break.

There was coppers bussed in from all over. There was SB and spooks wearing flat caps and trying to pretend they were miners. It was chaos and bad times all round.

But trust me, there was not any squaddies pretending to be cops that I know about.

David Shayler was there mind. I got his autograph.

:D was he god at the time...or just a disciple?
 
#19
The anniversary of Stalin's death will be commemorated by little groups in almost every country in the industrial world, especially in his homeland, Georgia. In Britain "several hundred" are expected to turn out for a memorial meeting of the Stalin Society, with several speakers and "possibly a drink" according to chairman Harpal Brar.

The society was formed in the 1990s, after the collapse of communism. One of its founders, a New Zealander named Bill Bland, was a devoted admirer of the late Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha. Mr Bland was later expelled in a doctrinal dispute.

However, this tiny, ageing and schism-ridden society has been bolstered by moral support from the best-known trade union leader of the past two decades: Arthur Scargill, now campaigning for election to the Welsh Assembly.

Since he set up the Socialist Labour Party in 1995, Mr Scargill has reverted to the beliefs which took him into the Communist Party in his youth. At a rally to celebrate the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Mr Scargill claimed that the "ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin" explained the "real world".


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20030302/ai_n12735959

My dad, who was a copper at the time, always said he was a evil commie b@stard
 
#20
This was all moving into full swing as I moved to Germany, but from memory:

a. To call Scargill a cnut is to pay him a compliment! A cnut is, even if only to a limited extent, useful, pleasurable, something to pass the time with and of immeasurable benefit for the perpetuation of mankind - these are qualities that could NEVER, EVER, not in a million years, be credited to Scargill. I recall once carting a load of miners to hear Scargill speak in Sheffield, a get together of NUM, ASLEF and another union, could it have been TGWU? They had formed themselves into something called a Triple-Alliance or some such fancy title. Anyway, he delivered his speech (with his cassette recorder running of course - can`t run the risk of being misquoted!!) and such a load of pure plain bollox I had never heard before, or since!

Time for a giggle bit: Arthur spent quite a while studying me (yes, me, yours truly) from the stage because I was laughing and joking with his bodyguard/driver - and he didn`t have a clue who I was! All quite innocent really, his bodyguard was also the caretaker at the NUM Office in Barnsley (known as "Camelot") and a firm I had been working for used to supply him with his cleaning chemicals and materials - I was their sales agent for that area.

b. The story behind Scargill`s call to battle: It started off with the notification to close Cortonwood colliery. Cortonwood was located in a village called Brampton Bierlow, on the left as you drove out of the village to Wombwell, and next to the main entrance road to the colliery was a Yorkshire Traction bus depot - I worked there from 9/79 to 9/80.

The word from the miners that we used to pick up for work AT THAT TIME was that the colliery was scheduled for closure, nobody knew exactly when but they all hoped to get set back on at other local collieries. Apparently, there was only one viable coal seam left to work and this seam was also being worked in the other direction from the colliery located at Wath, about 5 miles away. Wath was also pulling out more coal per shift AND it was located next door to the coking plant where the coal was processed.

A couple of years later, around `82, I tried flogging my sooper-dooper cleaning chemicals at Cortonwood. They look to be very good, said the buyer, but unfortunately this colliery is subject to imminent closure, we cannot enter into any form of supply contract ourselves so anything we need is bought on our behalf by Wath, perhaps you could try there? Shite, I was already supplying them!

So there we are - by March `84 it was known by all and sundry that Cortonwood was going to close, why, and it had been known for at least five years to my certain knowledge.

Taken from Wikipedia: "and the Yorkshire miners passed a resolution that a strike should take place if any pit was threatened with closure for reasons other than exhaustion or geological difficulties".

The pre-conditions for closing Cortonwood were there.

But how did Scargill present it all? Something about a snap decision taken by management on a Friday afternoon as I recall. He didn`t go very close to the truth and reality of the situation did he?

c. Cops. At the time my Mum was working as a cook at a place called Eaton Hall, near Retford in Nottinghamshire. During the war it had been an Officer Training School (my SO1 in HQ BAOR did some of his bridging/engineer training there, on the river Idle, in `42/`43), it became a teacher training college and had become a training college for overseas students. The cops took it over, lock stock, barrel, kitchens and the accommodation.

As for soldiers getting dressed up in cop uniforms and bashing miners - I can`t imagine that at all. How many were in the Army because they didn`t want to go down a pit every day? Like me, for instance. There they would have had a sure-fire case of mutiny.
 

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