Thursday, October 28, 2010

Badges from the Miners' struggle

PAST PIXELS was launched last year to make images of working class struggle more widely available and it kicked off with a haunting collection of cards to mark the 25th anniversary of the last great miners’ struggle. Now it’s returned with another tribute to the miners by producing 18 greeting cards depicting the enamel badges of the NUM, many from the miners’ strike of 1984/5.
There is a long tradition of trade unions producing badges but there was an explosion of designs during the miners strike. They were used for a variety of purposes, including the identification of pickets, fund raising and to signify solidarity during the year-long strike.
Brian Witts, ex-Littleton Power Group NUM, produced the majestic “Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers” in 2008, which lists and illustrates over 1,200 badges. Past Pixels, with the permission of the NUM and the assistance of Brian, have reproduced this first collection of greeting cards.
These high-quality, enlarged colour images of the original badges convey much of the epic scale of the struggle of the mining communities and their supporters to defend an industry, jobs and communities.
A proportion of the price of these cards is donated to the National Justice Mineworkers Campaign (NJMC), which continues to pursue the interests of sacked miners as well as assist them with funds. Twenty five years on from the strike and ex-mineworkers and their families still receive financial help from NJMC.

The first collection of cards can be seen at A set of five greeting cards (one of each image) costs £4.00 including post and packaging. Make cheques payable to “Past Pixels” and send to Past Pixels, PO Box 798, Worcester WR4 4BW.
photo: Martin Shakeshaft