On the 9th January 1972 the NUM started its first national strike following a ten-week overtime ban. The strike lasted 7 weeks and ended with Lord Wilberforce intervening (the Wilberforce Inquiry) following national power cuts and blackouts. The miners were treated as a special case and they were awarded a pay increase in excess of limits set by the Heath Government. The strike was the longest dispute since 1926. East Midlands miners support for the strike was instrumental in the eventual victory for the NUM. They picketed the Trent Valley Power Stations. The miners returned to work on 28th February 1972 and the power cuts ended on 2nd March after 20 days of blackouts.
Important dates in the 1972 Strike
9th January – Beginning of the 7 week strike following at ten-week overtime ban.
8th / 9th February – Saltley Coke Depot Picketing (Flying Pickets).
9th February – State of Emergency is declared by Ted Heath’s Conservative Government.
16th February – Electricity Blackouts throughout Britain. Twelve Power Stations shut down to save coal supplies and industry put on a 3 day week.
18th February – Lord Wilberforce Enquiry into Miners’ wages as a special case.
25th February – NUM National Executive Committee accept pay settlement by 27 to 1 vote.
28th February – NUM members go back to work. The 1972 strike was the biggest dispute since the 1926 Miners’ Lockout.
2nd March – Power cuts finally end after 20 days due to the effects of the Miners’ Strike.
The MuBu Coalmining Project took place from April 2010 to the end of March 2012. The remit was two-fold - firstly to see how the once vast coalmining industry in the East Midlands was represented in the Heritage sector and secondly to bring aspects of social media to that representation. The Coal mining project was funded by Renaissance East Midlands (REM) and the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) at the University of Nottingham. The Bursary holder is Dr. David Amos who completed a PHD on the 1984-85 Miners Strike in the Nottinghamshire Coalfield. David is an ex miner, having worked in the deep mining coal industry at Annesley Colliery for 24 years.