Memories of strangers‘ kind acts during miners’ strike

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A new exhibition tells the story of how acts of generosity affected the children of striking miners during Christmas 1984, when appeals invited pensioners to give up their £10 Christmas heating bonus to support the families involved in the industrial action.

‘A Pensioner’s Bonus’ which opened this weekend at the National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield, kicked off the festive season with a strong community message.

It tells the story of Sam, Gayle, Jayne and Craig who are the children of striking miners and how total strangers made their Christmas possible in 1984 as well as exploring what it was like for them to grow up in the shadow of the strike.

Reflecting the theme of community spirit, the museum is also launching a toy appeal, a community Christmas children’s party and a family workshop to look at what Christmas means to people.

The museum is asking people to join in the Christmas spirit this year and buy an extra gift for children who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged in Yorkshire.

They are collecting new, unwrapped toys and books for boys and girls aged 6 -11 years old and request that gifts should be dropped off at the museum reception/shop.