RE “RAKING over the coals”, Spectrum, 2 March. Thank you for the excellent article remembering the coal strike of 1984-1985 and its devastating effect on many areas of Scotland.
I spent nine years of my life working in the coal mining industry and can thank the NCB for my mechanical engineering training and many life skills besides. Whilst I had left the industry when the 1984 strike started, having moved on in my engineering career, the hard-hearted and narrow approach taken by the Thatcher-led UK government has never left my thoughts.
Your piece should remind us all about the economic and social deprivation that resulted and must inform future generations of the need to accept compromise as well as showing compassion for your fellow man.
Deep coal mining in Scotland had a future, but the government of the day coupled with the unfortunate choice of Arthur Scargill’s dogma led the industry to its death. That said, we should take inspiration from the people in the article such as John Kane, Rab Wilson and Janet Connachan.
Coal mining has always been a dirty business. However, it gave employment, career development and inspired a sense of pride within the community. We forget these points at our peril, and since we still have millions of tons of coal underneath the ground in Scotland, should we not be looking to extract it?
Thank you to the journalists who produced the article.
Kevin A McCallum, Glasgow