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Queens of the Coal Age

Maxine Peake dramatises the story of four miners' wives, who attempted to save pits from closure by occupying a mine.

Maxine says "I've always wanted to write about aspects of the miners strike that I felt had been under explored in British drama. How the women mobilized, became the backbone of the strike and why they kept on fighting. The 80s was the era women from mining communities became emancipated and found their voice. I was overwhelmed by their strength and courage."

In 1993, nearly 10 years on, Anne Scargill, Dot Kelly, Elaine Evans and Lesley Lomas tried to smuggle themselves down a Parkside pit, when the remaining 31 pits were threatened with closure. Maxine tells the story from their point of view.

"I'd had this idea for over eight years and this story was the first thing I wanted to write but, aware it was a hard sell, I sat on it. After my first radio play about the cyclist Beryl Burton, I felt more confident. As with Beryl's story, this is about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. It's a piece about friendship, camaraderie and perhaps surprisingly, much laughter."

Anne Scargill, Dot Kelly, Elaine Evans, Lesley Lomas also feature as themselves.

Musical Director / Guitarist: Alan E Williams
Humming Miners: Saddleworth Male Voice Choir
Female Singers: Cast, Original Women, Crew
Female Vocalist: Keeley Forsyth

Director / Producer: Justine Potter
Sound Engineer and Designer: Eloise Whitmore

A Savvy production for BBC Radio Four.

Release date:

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 13 Nov 2015 14:15

Anne Scargill is interviewed by the Press

Anne Scargill is interviewed by the Press
Anne Scargill is interviewed by the Press on Easter Monday 1993 after her occupation of Parkside Colliery to protest against the remaining pit closures.

Crowds including Arthur Scargill gather outside Parkside Colliery

Crowds including Arthur Scargill gather outside Parkside Colliery
Crowds including Arthur Scargill gather outside Parkside Colliery to support the women who have occupied Parkside Colliery, when news is announced that the 4 women are coming out of the mine.

The cast and crew go down Kellingley Colliery to experience a working mine

The cast and crew go down Kellingley Colliery to experience a working mine
L-R: Maxine Peake (playing Anne Scargill), Betty Cook, Lorraine Cheshire (playing Elaine Evans), Justine Potter (Producer/Director), Rachel Austin (playing Lesley Lomas), Anne Scargill and Elaine Evans.

Safely back above ground

Safely back above ground

Safely back above ground after the research trip down Kellingley Colliery for cast and original women whose story is told in Queens of the Coal Age.

 

 

 

 

 

L-R: Maxine Peake (playing Anne Scargill) Lorraine Cheshire (playing Elaine Evans), Elaine Evans herself, Justine Potter (Producer/Director) Rachel Austin (playing Lesley Lomas), Betty Cook and Anne Scargill.

Credits

Role Contributor
Anne ScargillMaxine Peake
Dot KellyJulie Hesmondhalgh
Elaine EvansLorraine Cheshire
Lesley LomasRachel Austin
MichaelGerard Kearns
Under ManagerPeter Slater
RileyPeter Slater
WriterMaxine Peake
DirectorJustine Potter
ProducerJustine Potter