Mark Drakeford says 'scars' of 1984 miners' strike 'live on' 40 years later

  • ITV Wales' National Correspondent Rob Osborne sat down with First Minister Mark Drakeford to talk about the legacy of the miners' strike to mark its 40th anniversary.

First Minister Mark Drakeford says the scars of the 1984-85 miners' strike "live on" in Wales 40 years later.

The strike, which lasted three days short of a year, began on 6 March 1984.

Mr Drakeford said: "I think we're still dealing with the legacy of it in a whole series of ways.

"It was such a traumatic experience for Wales that it continues to echo down the years in terms of people's memories of it, the shaping impact it had on people's views of the world."

He says Wales is still recovering from the end of heavy industry, which he says came to an end in "the absolute opposite way that we talk about today, 'a just transition'.

"The way the mining industry in Wales came to end was brutal, and that continues to leave its legacy."

Although he acknowledged that "coal mining was coming to an end", he said it "ought to have come to an end in a way that was managed, that was sympathetic to those communities, and that created new opportunities alongside the opportunities that were diminishing.

"None of that happened."

Speaking of his own memories of the strike, as a probation officer sent to observe the pickets, he said: "They are absolutely vivid in my mind, the memories of standing there and watching what was happening and writing reports about it afterwards.

"The strength of feeling was such that I think the first thing to say is that you recognise that the scars live on.

"You hope, of course, that the scars will heal and people will find a way to reconciliation.

"But I don't think people fell out over trivial things, they fell out over the most profound challenges that those communities were facing."

You can watch ITV Wales' special Wales at Six programme on the 40th anniversary of the 1984 miners' strike at 6pm on Monday 4 March.