'Never give in' Arthur Scargill's message to striking doctors and rail workers at miners 40th rally

  • Video report by Michael Billington

Miners' leader Arthur Scargill has told striking doctors and rail workers to "never give in" - at a rally for the 40th anniversary of the miners' strike.

The former leader of the National Union for Mineworkers joined a march and took part in a memorial service in Dodworth near Barnsley to commemorate one of the most significant industrial disputes in living memory.

Arthur Scargill (left) joined the march

Hundreds of former workers came to pay their respects to fallen comrades and mark the demise of an industry.

Eric Richardson, event organiser said: “You’ll never understand the camaraderie in a coal mine, and that bond will remain with us for the rest of our lives. And this is the result of it. We shall walk up the high street today with real pride.”

Eric Richardson and others paying their respects at the event

Mr Scargill, who became a figurehead for the trade union movement, said there's "lessons for all trade unions leaders today."

He said: "Fight like we did, don’t give in. I have refused to go into hospital for two medical procedures because I’m not prepared to go across the picket line.

The people here today are a demonstration that when you fight back, you can stand up and say we were there.”

Women walk past Cortonwood Pit with banners flying as the Pit Strike draws to a close today Credit: Press Association

When workers downed tools at Cortonwood Colliery in Rotherham on 6th March 1984 it marked the start of a year long strike.

Pitting mining communities against the Government amid plans to close 20 mines at the cost of 20,000 jobs.

Sandra Hutchinson, from Woman Against Pit Closures, remembers those times well.

She said: "It shouldn’t be forgotten that women did participate, not only in the soup kitchen, but on the side lines. Once a miner, you’re always a miner aren’t you?”

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