Wisdom of Our Own

The Best Thing To Come Out of The Miners’ Strike

We were always singing and chanting during the strike. It made us feel part of something, that we were all together as women. There was one song that was very special to all of us. It was written by the musician Mal Finch and it’s called ‘Women of the Working Class’. Every time Mal went to meetings and rallies she got up on the platform to sing and we all joined in. After thirty years I can still remember that song word for word. There’s a lovely verse in it that says, ‘Don’t need anyone to tell us, what to think or say, we’ve strength enough and wisdom of our own.’ These words meant a lot to us and we loved to sing along.

The thirty-year commemoration of the end of the miners’ strike also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the birth of Castleford Women’s Centre. A new book, Wisdom of Our Own, tells the remarkable story a group of working-class women who, empowered by the Women Against Pit Closures movement, built an award-winning community learning centre on their own doorstep.

Told in a series of linked anecdotes by nearly one hundred people, Wisdom of Our Own celebrates thirty years of living and learning since the miners’ strike. It’s a heart-warming, grass-roots tale of how a group of women rebuilt community spirit by encouraging people to learn. Some people say that the centre was ‘the best thing to come out of the strike’.

From serving soup to hungry miners’ families to offering degree courses to eager learners, Wisdom of Our Own is a story of hope, positivity, fighting back and doing something useful.

Wisdom of Our Own
Compiled by Ian Clayton and Margaret Rose Handforth

Exclusive Hardback Edition
This edition will not be available through bookshops. Available exclusively from Castleford Community Learning Centre or Route Publishing. £10 + P&P.  Click here to place an online order.

Castleford Community Learning Centre: www.cclc.co.uk : 01977 511581 : info@cclc.co.uk
Route Publishing: www.route-online.com