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.