Posted in Publication, Typeface
Craig Oldham (The Oldham Goddard Experience) is extremely proud to announce the publication of the new book, In Loving Memory Of Work. Curated and designed by Oldham, this significant new work presents a visual record of Britain’s longest ever industrial dispute: the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike. Proceeds from the book will go towards the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.
The book, published by Oldham’s own imprint (Unified Theory of Everything) marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ return to work. Bringing together myriad political graphics and cultural ephemera alongside first-hand testimonies, In Loving Memory of Work is by turn a celebration of the creativity of the working class, as well as a vital re-appraisal of the collective aesthetic of one of most important social and political events in recent history. Moving, witty and shocking in equal measure, In Loving Memory of Work explores the immediate effects of the strike, while vividly demonstrating its continuing political and cultural relevance.
Alongside a foreword from acclaimed film director Ken Loach, are original contributions from comedian Alexei Sayle, Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller, as well as notable designers including Ian Anderson (The Designers Republic), Jonathan Barnbrook, Ken Garland, and design critic Rick Poynor. Featuring rare visual material from the collections of the Working Class Movement Library, the National Union of Mineworkers, and artist Darren Coffield, the book also includes recollections and material from Women Against Pit Closure’s co-founder, Anne Scargill (former wife of the NUM leader during the strike, Arthur Scargill), alongside female activists Betty Cook and Aggie Currie, as well as political cartoonist Alan Hardman, banner artists Ed Hall and Andrew Turner, filmmaker Yvette Vanson, Mike Mansfield QC, and designer Paul Morton.
The book also explores one of the strike’s most iconic and enduring images, that of the defenceless Lesley Boulton, about to be struck by a mounted policeman during the now infamous ‘Battle of Orgreave’. Written by John Goddard, creative partner at The Oldham Goddard Experience, interviews with both Boulton herself and photographer, John Harris are included in the book.
With high-production values throughout, the book features a limited edition dust-jacket printed using coal dust taken from the old site of Barnsley Main Colliery, South Yorkshire; itself a once industrious and successful pit before it’s closure. The book has also been printed in the UK, by Pressision, Leeds.
As part of the book’s design, Oldham collaborated with designer Aaron Skipper, to created a pair of unique, commemorative fonts. The first, Liaison, is inspired by the Liaison Committee For The Defence Of The Trade Union (LCDTU) placards which were distributed and held aloft at various demonstrations during the strike, most notably during the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton, September 1984, six months into the dispute. Liaison is available as uppercase and small caps to accommodate the headline hierarchy as seen on the original placards, and is the first of numerous planned fonts for release. The second, Ferrymoor, takes its inspiration from the reverse of the NUM Ferrymoor Riddings Branch banner. Both will be available for download at the book’s website (http://www.inlovingmemoryofwork.com) with proceeds going to the causes of the book.
The book will be launched in Manchester and London on the 4th and 6th of March 2015 respectively, with an exhibition of the book’s material and a talk by the curator, Craig Oldham. Proceeds from the book’s sale will be donated to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign as they seek truth and justice for all miners victimised by the police at the Orgreave Coking Plant, South Yorkshire, on June 18th 1984 (http://otjc.org.uk/).
A labour of love
Initiated by Oldham in early 2014, the book began life as a personal side-project. Originally planned as a straightforward collection of the miners’ posters and banners, the social and political gravity of the subject soon took hold. With so many posters, objects and stories to make sense of, it became clear that this would be more than a design book. Thanks not only to Craig’s tenacity, but also the dozens of contributors who so willingly offered their time, resources, and—in many cases—personal items, each and every one of us in the agency have been touched by the miners’ plight. For Craig however, In Loving Memory of Work will always represent much more. As he explains in the book:
“Born in the mining town of Barnsley, just weeks after the formal end of the miners’ strike, it’s hard for me not to have been influenced by those events. After all, three generations of my family had worked in Barnsley pits. As I grew up, and as my parents and their community adjusted to the closures, it was impossible to avoid a certain amount of cultural fallout. Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell. Funny, tragic, or just plain interesting, these stories (recounted by relatives, neighbours or friends) described the broader narrative of the miners’ strike—a narrative that, over time, created a curious backstory to my own life.
In early 1984, alongside thousands of fellow workers at North Gawber and Redbrook Collieries, my father and grandfather walked out on strike in support of their union. For twelve long months they fought for their communities, their homes and their livelihood. Later that year, Mick, my father, picketed at Orgreave where he was assaulted, arrested, and prosecuted by a colluding South Yorkshire police force. My mother, Kerena, although pregnant during the strike, was empowered by the women’s movement, while also caring for my young brother and sister. Suffice to say, the strike directly affected and impacted all of my family. But theirs is not an unfamiliar story. Tens of thousands of mining families, from all over the country, can tell similar tales.
And yet, for those involved, the story of the miners’ strike continues. 30 years on, those who stood up against Thatcher’s cruel and senseless policies continue to fight for accountability, justice, and reform; in the hope that no other family or community has to suffer the same fate. It isn’t simply the stories of my father’s stoicism that have fascinated me, but the subsequent stories of his colleagues, friends, and mining communities nationwide. Whether making a placard at home, designing a poster, or speaking at a public event, these people did things that they had never done before. In many cases, things they never thought they could do. After three decades, these stories remain as stirring, powerful and inspiring as they ever were. More so however, they remain startlingly relevant. Among the banners, badges, recollections and ephemera within this book, one story emerges above all: the story of a brutal, and ongoing, class-war.
This is a story that I am enormously proud to tell. And a story that needs to be told.
The miners’ jobs may be forgotten. But let us never forget the work they did.”
In Loving Memory of Work is available for pre-order now, and is on general release from 9th March 2015.