Miners’ wives gather to reminisce

Marilyn Johnson serves food to striking miners in Easington Colliery club
Marilyn Johnson serves food to striking miners in Easington Colliery club
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HARDWORKING women who supported the miners during the 1984-85 strikes gathered to commemorate 20 years on since the closure of the Easington Colliery pit.

Thirteen women, including ex-miners’ wives, who worked in soup kitchens throughout the strikes looked back on the testing years in East Durham when they used to serve more than 250 men every single day.

Marilyn and Jimmy Johnson

Marilyn and Jimmy Johnson

After the gathering at the colliery club, one of the women, Marilyn Johnson, 66, whose husband, Jimmy, was a miner, said: “It was lovely to catch up, sit down and look back 20 years on.

“We didn’t even mention Thatcher’s name once, it wasn’t about her, it was about our time in Easington and the miners’ time at the pit.”

Marilyn, who now lives in South Hetton, added: “For everybody who was involved with the mine back then, those times will never, ever be forgotten.

“When we served soup to the miners’ there was such a mix of emotions, for us it was just a case of trying to keep them going.

“We didn’t want them to think they were fighting the battle on their own.”