Women Against Pit Closures

A group of women from Barnsley set up Women Against Pit Closures (WAPC) to support miners and their families during the 1984–5 miners’ strike. Feminist ideas empowered many of these women to take up public roles for the first time. The WAPC Barnsley group spawned a movement of local groups campaigning against pit closures across the country.

WAPC used many methods to communicate their message, including adopting some of the creative tactics of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, such as holding sit-ins in mine shafts, and sending miners’ pit lamps around the country as iconic objects of inspiration. They travelled the country to speak and raise funds. Two large conferences were also held, and WAPC sought associate membership of the National Union of Mineworkers, which it received in December 1984.