Twenty five years on from the epic 1984-5 miners’ strike, David Bell’s The Dirty Thirty pays homage to the 30 or so Leicestershire miners who went on strike from a coalfield where the remaining 2,000 failed to do so.

Illustrated with period photos and ephemera, this inspirational account draws on the experiences of all involved, examining their motivations and offering insight into their tenacity in the face of adversity. The Dirty Thirty is a deeply poignant tale of the human impact wreaked by a regime hell bent on removing all obstacles in its path – one being the National Union of Mineworkers. As a powerful testament to the power of mutual aid, the book describes the emerging support networks during the dispute. The closing section also highlights “where they are now” and confirms how the thirty’s tireless campaigning came to acquire them hero status among the 170,000 strikers across the country.

This book is a story of how the courage, humour and unbreakable spirit of the miners, their families and the support groups shone through against all odds.

The Dirty Thirty (David Bell)
Five Leaves Press 2009 – 108 pages – £7.99 – ISBN: 978-1905512676

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