Anne & Betty: United By The Struggle

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook’s memoir tells the story of two daughters, wives and mothers of the coalfields who rose to prominence in the 1984/85 miners’ strike as key members of the transformational Women Against Pit Closures movement.

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Book details

ISBN: 978-1901927-81-8
Extent: 256 pages + 16 pages of photos

Authors: Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, with Ian Clayton Foreword by Maxine Peake

‘Anne and Betty are a constant inspiration to me. They are two beacons of hope that show that we are all capable of affecting change, tackling life face on and having a bloody good laugh along the way. I salute you both, my heroes.’ Maxine Peake

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook met at the beginning of the miners’ strike. Betty was a proud miner’s daughter, wife and mother, who was determined to support her family and community. Anne happened to be married to Arthur Scargill, the president of the miners’ union. She too was steeped in the history of coalfield culture. Together they helped to create perhaps the greatest thing to come out of the strike, the Women Against Pit Closures movement. Inspired by the working-class values that raised them, they put their arms around those who needed support, fed the hungry, and stood firm against those whose intent was to destroy their way of life. Once the strike was over, through education and direct action, they stepped over the threshold to support working people in struggle both at home and abroad, changing not only the direction of their own lives, but many other women too.

Here for the first time in print, Anne and Betty tell their own story in their own voices. Told with humour and conviction, this is an indispensable slice of social history. It reveals the vitality of two remarkable women who possess the strength and resolve to stand up for what they believe in and how, no matter what, they never give in.

‘A must read about two women with extraordinary courage and a commitment to their community that has never faltered.’ Ricky Tomlinson

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Listen

Ian Clayton and Betty Cook on Radio Sheffield

Ian Clayton and Betty Cook talk with Paulette Edwards on BBC Radio Sheffield about the writing of Betty's joint memoir with her comrade in arms Anne Scargill, Anne and Betty: United By The Struggle.

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Anne & Betty Interview

INTERVIEW: Author Ian Clayton has worked with Anne Scargill and Betty Cook to help them tell their story in the joint memoir 'Anne & Betty: United By The Struggle'. Here Ian talks about that process and puts questions to Anne and Betty about their experience of writing the book.

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