MY BEST SHOT Face off in Yorksh ire
In 2005, when I asked Don McPhee to describe the events at Orgreave in June 1984, the first thing he recalled was the weather. “It was a beautiful summer and I thought, ‘No-one’s going to be burning coal today!”’ Orgreave was the site of a British Steel coking plant and the site of a picket line by striking miners trying to prevent trucks taking coke from the plant to the steel mills of Sheffield.
The strike by members of the National Union of Miners had begun in March following the decision by the National Coal Board to close dozens of pits. The strike quickly became a political struggle between the NUM and the government of Margaret Thatcher.
McPhee’s photograph was made before the confrontation between police and miners turned ugly, but tension was in the air. “It had all the hallmarks of being confrontational