With Banners Held High returns to Wakefield city centre on 40th anniversary of the miners' strike

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Banners representing the district’s collieries were paraded through Wakefield as part of a trade union festival on the 40th anniversary of the miners’ strike.

This year’s With Banners Held High Festival looked back to the industrial dispute and reflected on issues still facing mining communities today.

Unions from a range of industries were on display as part of the march from Smyth Street to Wood Street.

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A statement from co-chairmen Philip Boyes and Trevor Howard published ahead of the event said: “It is now 10 years since the first WBHH was held in Unity Hall, and it has developed and evolved since then into the street festival that we know today.

With Banners Held HighWith Banners Held High
With Banners Held High

"The festival was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the most bitter and divisive dispute in recent times, the miners’ strike of 84-85, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the start of that strike.

"Since then, the issues faced by the mining communities have not gone away, and the restrictive legislation that the Tories have brought in over the years have curtailed trade union freedom and that of many other organisations to exercise their democratic right to protest.”

The festival included folk and punk acts, and exhibitions in Wakefield Town Hall, as well as campaign and food stalls.

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People who attended the festival commented on the Banners Facebook page.

Heather Wood said: “A really great day. Banners gets bigger every year.”

Michelle Anne Rodgers said: “Fantastic. Great speakers and entertainment.”

Paul Whiteley said: “The best turnout by far.”

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