MY BEST SHOT Face off in Yorksh ire

NPhoto - - Sneak Peek At Our March Issue -

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

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