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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The South Wales Miners


The booming coal industry of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was paramount in the rise of modern south Wales, and the miners played a key role in shaping the region’s economics, politics, and society. This book explores the history of Welsh mining between 1964 and 1985, covering the challenges the miners faced, including the concerted effort to diminish the coal industry under the Wilson government, the growth of miners’ resistance, and the eventual defeat of the epic strike of 1984–5. The first full-length academic study of the miners and their union in the later twentieth century, The South Wales Miners will appeal to anyone interested in this significant group of workers within the British labor force.

320 pages | 16 halftones, 2 maps | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Studies in Welsh History

History: British and Irish History

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“A solid contribution to understanding the political culture and activity of the mainly militant south Wales miners as part of the National Union of Minders from 1945 to their final defeat by Thatcher’s government in 1985. . . . Recommended.”

M. J. Moore, Appalachian State University | Choice

“This is a welcome and significant contribution to our understanding of the radical and benign politics of the south Wales miners in the post-1945 period. Implicitly, it raises questions about the wider legacy of the miners’ union in shaping the devolved Wales of the twenty-first century.”

Hywel Francis, Member of Parliament for Aberavon and founder, South Wales Miners Library

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Foreword



List of Illustrations

List of Maps

Note on Capitalisation

Introduction: ‘an historical mission to lead in class struggles’

I. The Politics of the South Wales Miners

II. Closures: 1964–1970

III. Struggle: 1970–1974

IV. Interlude: 1974–1979

V. Confrontation: 1979–1983

VI. The Strike: 1984–1985




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