Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers

 

Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers is available from Brian Witts, 4 Balmoral Drive, Hednesford, Staffordshire WS12 4LT. Price £33, with cheques payable to Nine-One-Seven. Email gailwitts@hotmail.co.uk for further information or call 01543 425743.

Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers is available from Brian Witts, 4 Balmoral Drive, Hednesford, Staffordshire WS12 4LT. Price £33, with cheques payable to Nine-One-Seven. Email gailwitts@hotmail.co.uk for further information or call 01543 425743.

Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers is a new book which sets out to catalogue exactly what it says in the title – and succeeds admirably. 

In its 156 glossy pages, the book includes – at a rough count – some 1,700 full-colour photographs of different NUM badges along with full descriptions and details of the dates at which they were produced and the numbers manufactured.

This volume is undoubtedly a labour of love on the part of badge collector Brian Witts, himself a stalwart of the 1984-85 miners strike, who must have put in untold hundreds of hours’ work to produce this book.

And it has to be said, the outcome is a magnificent work that anyone with an interest in trade union or mining memorabilia would be proud to own, and which is essential for collectors, both as a reference work and for the pure pleasure to be had in browsing through its pages.

Best of all, all the profits are going to the Justice for Mineworkers campaign, which even now, a quarter of a century after the great miners’ strike of 1984-85 began, needs to continue its work on behalf of those victimised during and after the dispute.

In a foreword to the book, Rick Sumner, national convenor of Justice for Mineworkers, acknowledges the part played by the 1984-85 strike in virtually creating a new badge culture in the NUM, building on a relatively small tradition of national and area badges in previous years.

As he puts it:

“With the 1984-85 strike, a whole new scene developed. Every pit and workshop produced badges to show their loyalty to the union and the strike and a wonderful contemporary art form developed. Men on the picket lines not only wore their own branch badge but also collected others from across the whole of Britain. Many pits produced a series of badges that could be sold to raise money for the struggle.”

Make sure you order your copy of Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers while stocks last. It is likely to become a collector’s item – and valuable historical source – in its own right.

Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers is available from Brian Witts, 4 Balmoral Drive, Hednesford, Staffordshire WS12 4LT. Price £33, with cheques payable to Nine-One-Seven. Email Brian Witts for further information or call 01543 425743.num_book003

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