The Battle of Saltley, 1972

  • Richard Clutterbuck


The 1972 miners’ strike caused a remarkable change in public attitude towards the miners. When it began in January over 50 per cent of the public sympathized with their demand for a pay rise substantially higher than that for other workers, which was restricted by government to a norm of 8 per cent. When it ended on 25 February the miners had achieved a rise of 27 per cent, but by then the public feeling had swung heavily against them and has remained so.1 This swing in public opinion followed the wide publicity given to the violence on the picket line at the Saltley Coke Depot, on the outskirts of Birmingham, between 5 and 10 February 1972.


Political Violence Labour Party Picket Line Wage Rise Industrial Dispute 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    See Alfred Robens, Ten Year Stint (London: Cassell, 1972).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Though not without a strike involving about one third of the miners and the loss of over a million working days (Eric Wigham, Strikes and the Government 1893–1974 (London: Macmillan, 1976) p. 176).Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Alan Law, ‘The Miners are Coming’, The Miner, April 1972. He gives a vivid and emotional picture of the last day at Saltley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Clutterbuck 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Clutterbuck

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