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He was particularly keen to ease tensions in Barnsley between the miners and police who clashed violently during the 1984 strikes. One Barnsley miner, Russell Broomhead, was filmed being badly beaten at the Battle of Orgreave, the most violent confrontation between police and pickets. The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign are campaigning for a Hillsborough like enquiry and are claiming retired officers are prepared to come forward with damning evidence.
. . .
Getting the proud former miners on board was his toughest challenge. Dave Cherry summed up local feeling. He said: ‘Personally I think he’s raving bonkers.’
. . . the miners are reluctant to co-operate, refusing to come to rehearsals or even dance. Finally, they agreed a compromise, they wouldn’t dance but they would march.
. . .
The miners turned up and were pleased to join in. Eric said: ‘We get an immense feeling of pride when we march . . .
PC Craig said: ‘It’s the first time in my 30 years of service that I’ve been part of a body of police officers and we’ve actually been cheered to the rafters.’
Steve said: ‘They came up trumps. It was mind-blowing, the best moment of my life. To see the miners and police taking part in something together was extraordinary.’