The long walk is over, so the miners take to a bus

THEY WERE treated like FA Cup winners, riding on an open deck bus through a congested city, a Dixieland band playing, the crowds waving back, the odd celebrity to greet them, community leaders waiting to shake their hand.

They were players all right, but not sporting. They were the eight Scottish coal miners who had walked from Glasgow to London - 636 miles by their route - to urge the Government to think again about its pit closure policy.

If the response of a London taxi driver who delivered me and two Scotsmen to where the miners began their bus tour is anything to go by, they were successful indeed. The taxi driver told us we need not pay. His fare was given to the cause.

The TUC called for lights in thousands of houses and public buildings across the country to be switched off at 8pm last night to show support for the miners. The Christmas tree lights at Westminster Abbey were turned off by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Michael Mayne, as part of the protest.

The miners left Glasgow five weeks ago with only lukewarm backing from Arthur Scargill, the English miners' leader, and the English TUC. Yesterday, union leaders and Labour politicians clamoured to be seen with them.

Led by George Bolton, president of the Scottish NUM and one of the walkers, the men delivered a letter to the Prime Minister urging a 'genuine rethink' of the pit-closure decision. They said they had received enormous warmth and friendship from people of all walks of life during their journey.

Their letter to John Major said: 'We are appealing to you to respond, not only to the popular mood but also to the long- term national interest and develop a sustainable energy policy which incorporates a component of coal as a reliable, efficient and economic fuel.'

The chairman of the Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee, Richard Caborn (Labour, Sheffield Central) said yesterday that the committee's investigation of the industry indicated five or six mines from the Government's list of 10 to be closed could continue production on a short-term basis. The committee's investigation is separate from the government review of the industry.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz