And then over the hill came a banner, and I’ve never seen in my life as many people following a banner. As far as the eye could see, it was just a mass of people marching towards Saltley. There was a huge roar, and, from the other side of the hill, even more were coming. They were arriving from every direction. And our lads were just jumping up in the air with emotion.
Arthur Scargill, NUM President
Almost fifty years ago, on a day that came to define a key moment in trade union militancy, some 30,000 Birmingham workers downed tools and joined the picket of Saltley Coke Depot in solidarity with miners striking for a 35% pay increase. This extraordinary expression of solidarity effectively secured victory for the miners.
I got to the corner, looked up the Washwood Heath Road, and there, about eight or nine across, down the road they come. All you could hear was “Close the gates, close the gates, close the gates”. On and on.
Don Perrygrove, Amalgamated Engineering Union, Birmingham
Commissioned by Birmingham TUC and the Socialist Labour Party, Banner Theatre will celebrate that momentous day by staging a full-length live performance of its rousing production, The Battle of Saltley Gate, on 10 February 2022.
It was a day that changed the course of UK history – and ultimately brought down the Government.
Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post