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Sunday 13 October
My.Anglia > Faculties > Alss > Miners strike > Context, Ethics, Informed Content

Context, Ethics, Informed Content

Annette Holroyd, Secretary of the Blidworth Action Group

How Were the Interviews on this Website Conducted?

  • Each participant was asked several questions relating to their experiences.
  • These were discussed briefly with them before we started the interview to give them time to think about their responses.
  • Video and audio footage of each interview was made using either an iPad or a video camera.
  • The Nottinghamshire miners and their families were all recorded specially for this website in the offices of the Nottinghamshire NUM in Mansfield. Jim Line and Tony Williams were interviewed in Abertillery. Morag Shiach and Tobin Aldrich were interviewed in London. Vivien Bailey was interviewed in St Albans. Jon Lawrence was interviewed in his office overlooking Parker’s Piece in Cambridge. All other interviewees were given the choice of being recorded in their own home or at Anglia Ruskin University.


The Importance We Attached to Ethical Methodology and Informed Consent

Each interviewer completed the training in ethics that Anglia Ruskin University requires of all staff and students conducting research which requires the co-operation and informed consent of living people.

Each participant was made aware of their right to:

  • Stop the interview at any time.
  • Refuse to answer any of the questions with which they did not feel comfortable.
  • Take a break if they become distressed for any reason or end the interview completely.

Each participant was asked to sign a form stating that they understood: 

  • Recordings would be edited and put on the Labour History Research Unit website. 
  • Transcripts of the audio recordings would put on the website with the recordings.
  • They had the right to view the final video and listen to the audio before it was published online.
  • They had the right to have anything they said or did removed from the video/audio.
  • If they were unhappy with the recordings, or no longer wished to be part of the project after the footage was taken, this would not be used and all recordings destroyed.


How Were the Participants Chosen?

All the participants were chosen because they have a connection with the Cambridge miners support group’ and a special insight into the subject area of the project. The miners and their families in Nottinghamshire and South Wales were chosen because they were willing to talk about their first-hand experiences of the effects of the miners’ strike of 1984 on their own lives and the communities in which they lived. 


What are the Likely Benefits to Those who Took Part?

This project gives a voice to those who participated in the miners’ strike and their supporters and allows them to share their experiences with those who know little or nothing about the strike and its effects upon ordinary people.

What Questions Were asked?

We asked all the participants why they supported the strike in an effort to find what motivated them and what words such as solidarity meant to them at the time. We asked participants in Nottinghamshire and Wales for first-hand accounts of what happened to them, and their families and what their communities were like before, during and after the strike. 

This website is part of a wider project, ‘Cambridge and the Miners’ Strike '84-85’ conducted under the auspices of the Anglia Ruskin University Labour History Research Unit. This has had impact on the local community who were invited to participate in a ‘Witness Evening’ recollecting their memories of the strike in November 2015.

The oral history interviews were conducted in July and August 2015 by second-year History student Shona Hoey as part of the undergraduate research programme funded by the Faculty of Arts, Languages and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University. The undergraduate research programme is intended to integrate staff research and undergraduate learning by enabling students in their penultimate year to gain practical experience and develop the skills necessary for research at postgraduate level by working as interns under the supervision of the academic staff.

Shona recorded the interviews of Vivien Bailey, Morag Shiach, Frank Wilkinson, Jim Line and Tony Williams on her iPad.

Tony Carter, Paul Marris, Lucy Munby, and Alison New, were filmed by first year Film Studies undergraduate, Alexandra Petkova acting as an unpaid volunteer. 

Five further interviews were added in the summer of 2016 with Mary Joannou conducting the interviews and Alexandra Petkova returning voluntarily to the project to film Zoe Munby and Philip Brown.

Ray Parr, who had participated in the 1984 Cambridge Miners’ Support Group filmed Tobin Aldrich, Jon Lawrence and Bethan Rees.

Image: Annette Holroyd, Secretary of the Blidworth Action Group.