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The BBC news called it ‘The most bitter industrial dispute in British history.’ Margaret Thatcher referred to striking miners and their families as ‘the enemy within’, while miners’ leader Arthur Scargill claimed, ‘The victory was in the struggle itself.’ What is not in doubt is that the legacy of the 1984/85 miners’ strike was one of social devastation and deeply scarred communities.

In one mining community, a group of working-class women, empowered by their roles in the Women Against Pit Closures movement, fought back. This is the remarkable story of how they built the award-winning Castleford Community Learning Centre on their own doorstep. Told in a series of anecdotes by nearly one hundred people who have played their part, here is a celebration of thirty years of living and learning at a centre some describe as ‘the best thing to have come out of the strike’.

Wisdom of Our Own is a heart-warming tale of how, through an ethos of sharing and good manners, helping local people to learn can bring back hope and rebuild community spirit.

Compiled by Ian Clayton & Margaret Rose Handforth