Twenty years to the day after the closure of Easington colliery in County Durham former miners and their families held an event today to remember the closure of the mine and the resulting impact it had on what was one of the major coal production mines in the country. Coincidentally the funeral of Margaret Thatcher was also held on the same day in London following her death last week. Many former miners around the country blame Margaret Thatcher and her conservative government for the decline of the coal industry when she took on the mining union during the 1984/85 miners strike and which ultimately led to the resulting pit closures and all that that these closures then brought to their communities.
The impact of these closures is still felt in these communities and feelings still run very high.
The event which was held at Easington Colliery Club and Institute saw a small number of the former miners display banners outside the club which expressed their continuing strong feelings towards Baroness Thatcher.
During the course of the day I spoke with and photographed a number of ex-miners around Easington who were kind enough to let me take some pictures and who told me a little of their own stories and whilst the pit may have gone and a level of poverty, continuing unemployment and uncertainty about the future may still be in evidence one thing that comes through is the no-nonsense determination of the former pit-men and the pride they still have when they think back to the glory days of British coal production.
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