The Miners' Strike 40 Years On: State repression, solidarity and civil defence

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9 May 2024

A panel discussion exploring the role of the law, the state and communities in the 1984-5 Miners' Strike

  • Lord John Hendy KC on the role of the law and the state. 
  • Heather Wood on Women Against Pit Closures
  • Ann Field in the Chair


Lord John Hendy KC spent most of his years in practice at the Bar representing workers and trade unions. During the miners' strike of 1984-5, he appeared for the NUM and its Area unions in practically all of the civil litigation against the unions including the the injunctions, sequestration and receivership. It took over a year after the strike before the sequestrators and receivers were finally removed. He was Standing Counsel to the NUM (and 7 other UK unions) for many years. He is now a member of the House of Lords, appointed by Jeremy Corbyn, and an honorary professor in the Faculty of Law of University College, London. He is chair of the Institute of Employment Rights, president of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights and a vice-president of the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom.   

Heather Wood trained as a nurse and later entered the probation service. In 1983 she was was chair of Easington Constituency Labour Party when they formed Save Easington Area Mines, a group which she also chaired. In 1984-5 Heather set up 14 support groups in Easington District and a number beyond.

Ann Field was a national officer of Unite/GPMU and represented print and publishing workers from 1974 until 2009. She is joint creator of the Wapping exhibition and archive at MML.