2 March 2024


Bute Building, Cardiff University

Next March the 40th anniversary of the coal miners’ strike will be marked with a conference organised by the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD).

The conference will begin with a showing of the film “Breaking Point” made and introduced by the acclaimed Swedish director Kjell-Ake Andersson. The film was made in Oakdale in February 1985 as the strike was beginning to break and focuses on ways in which solidarity is maintained, the views of the Lodge officials and the activities of the women’s support group.

There will be two plenary sessions and a series of eight panel meetings. The plenaries focus on ‘Women, place and community in the strike and today’ and ‘The End of Coal – Contours of a Decarbonised Economy’. The panel discussions will examine the strike in a historical context and consider issues of public ownership, trade union organisation and strike strategy, building solidarity, the role of the state and the media in industrial relations, memories of the strike, the changing class structure and the distinctiveness of the coalfields.

The conference will feature banners from NUM lodges around the South Wales coalfield and photographic representation of coal mining and the strike.

The conference features a stellar cast of speakers from both the academy and those directly involved in the unions both in 1984 and today.

If you have any queries please email: WISERD.events@cardiff.ac.uk or telephone: 029 2087 5260.

There is no charge for admission. To register, go to:

The past in the present: Reflections on coal mining and the miners’ strike 1984-85