Arthur Scargill returned to Saltley Gate 40 years after leading class action where miners were struggling for decent wages and conditions. There were 3000 of them highly depressed following a long and bitter strike. Then suddenly from all directions came Birmingham workers, thousands of them, in solidarity. The cry of “Close the Gates” went up and because of the vast crowd a decision was taken to do just that. The consequences were immense.
In his speech Arthur Scargill reminded us of the result of solidarityand put it into the context of today. He was well supported by Ken Capstick, at the time Deputy Leader of the Yorkshire miners and one of those involved in the dispute. Although not at Saltley them he was back in Yorkshire organising events from there.
Banner Theatre performed an excerpt from their show “Saltley Gate”, first seen in the 1970’s, containing interviews with those involved in 1972. The full show is due to be revived later this year.