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Yorkshire's Flying Pickets (Paperback)

Local History Yorkshire and Humberside Mining & Miners

By Brian Elliott
Imprint: Wharncliffe Books
Series: Mining Heritage
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781903425510
Published: 30th March 2004
Last Released: 6th August 2018

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Bruce Wilson's diary is an honest and action-packed account of what life was like for five young men on picket duty during the longest and most bitter industrial dispute in modern times: the 1984-85 miners' strike. Bruce and, younger brother Bob, along with mates Shaun, Darren and 'Captain' Bob crammed themselves into an old car or 'battlebus' and, despite police barriers and blockades, journeyed into Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and elsewhere in order to express their views and support their union in a country which they thought was free. We are able to experience at first-hand and day by day events, which were often frightening, occasionally humorous but never dull; and also gain insight into major conflicts at Orgreave, Brodsworth, Rossington and Maltby as well as at locations further afield. Towards the end of the strike our flying pickets found themselves on home ground, demonstrating at Silverwood and nearby collieries, including Cortonwood where many observers consider the great strike began. Any former striking miner will find the book compulsive reading and despite the passage of twenty years the journey will seem like yesterday. But there is a great deal for us all to appreciate from this remarkably frank and moving testimony.

As mentioned in

Rotherham Advertiser
 Brian Elliott

About Brian Elliott

Brian Elliott was born in the village of Royston near Barnsley and spent his childhood in neighbouring pit village Carlton where his father worked as a miner. Leaving school early, Brian's first job was in professional football, then in local government before starting a career in teaching and Further Education. It was whilst at teacher-training college that he developed a passionate interest on local history, inspired by one of his tutors, who subsequently became a great friend, David Hey. Brian's B.Ed dissertation was on the Oaks Colliery, particularly the great disaster of 1866.

A freelance writer and editor for many years, Brian has published many books and articles on local and regional history, as well as initiating and developing series such as Aspects of Local History and Mining Heritage for the well-known Barnsley-based publisher Pen and Sword Books. He has also appeared on BBC Radio Sheffield on many occasions and has made contributions to BBC Radio 4, BBC and ITV local news programmes. He is a founder volunteer member and trustee of the recently opened Experience Barnsley people's museum and Discovery Centre.

Though now retired, Brian continues to research and write articles and books, for Pen and Sword and Script Media especially relating to coalmining history and has recently developed an interest in the remarkable contribution of miners during the Great War.

Before Brian's father died he recorded an interview with him as part of the research for the book Yorkshire Mining Veterans. This and many other interviews with former miners are deposited in the National Mining Museum for England's oral history archive.

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