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Those were the days: February 23 1974: 3,000 turn out to support striking miners

Miners support rally pictured at the City Hall, Sheffield. 23 Feb 1974.

Miners support rally pictured at the City Hall, Sheffield. 23 Feb 1974.

An estimated 3,000 trade unionists attended a rally 40 years ago in support of the miners’ strike.

A mile-long line of marchers left the Wicker Goods Yard (now the site of Tesco Extra). Crowds lined the pavements and hundreds of shoppers outside Woolworths clapped them past en route to Barkers Pool where they assembled on the City Hall steps opposite the old Gaumont cinema (showing Executive Action about the Kennedy assassination).

There they were addressed by Yorkshire miners’ leader Arthur Scargill who declared: “Heath got a bloody nose in 1972 and he will get a bloody nose in 1974.” He was right, the Tory government called a snap general election and lost. Within weeks the new Labour government offered them a 35% pay rise and the strike was called off on March 6. There was to be a very different outcome 10 years later.

 

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