Thursday, 23 September 2010

Fear Infeariioty Halloween 2010

Me and Lisa website had so fun and Halloween dressing up as Zombies, with my little spoken word video installation somewhere on Bricklane for a Cosmic Mega Brain one day performance.

Full Moon at the TUC

I felt angry and pissed off with Arthur Scargill at his socialist worker party demo London making the 25th Anniversary of the strike.

It takes the piss when you hear him bang on about the damage that has been cause. Ok, he is right, he sore it coming, he got stabbed in the bak and now the golden age of socialism has fading into oblvion like it never ever existed in ex pit villages.

Arthur, I love you but there not every strike baby is on the scrap head, their planty of us out there waving the banner high, you just don't seem to notice us.

I cried after this demo, it hurts so such to know that out of the 500 people in that audience I was probably the only strike baby there.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Journeys through Old Kent Coal

The Miners' of Kent were known for their militant ways, their communities’ were built upon the spirit of the miners that marched from across the country to find work in the South East.

I met with Eileen Rowbotham a mother of five and local Labour councillor, she invited me to stay in her home in the idyllic village of Deal. I felt so at ease with Eileen, bless her.

Eileen wore a Pin the Pits rosette the whole time I was visiting Kent. She introduced me to the women of the Labour Party, the Chic Group and the Move the Miner campaign both exmining collectives.

Visiting Peter Holden and ex miner and comittee man at the Beshanger Working Mans Club we ate handmade sausage rolls and drank tea. Peter discussed how the group were keeping the social club alive by opening up the venue to the wider public. One room was decked out so that local Kids could play WII games. I wished my camera was working so I could document.

Eileen told Peter about my camera and that I am broke and fed up. She explained that I use internet cafes to do print outs for the campaign and feel very unprofessional a lot of the time.

In response to this Peter commissioned me to do a painting of a statue of a miner and that he had an SLR Camera I could use for the campaign.

On the 12th of Febrarury 2009 I recieved this letter:

Dear Rachel,

Please find enclosed, a cheque for 250 pounds. in support of your very important project Pin the Pits.

The statue is a Symbol and Monument, of the finest working class people in the world, and it will remind that they where here in Kent, and around the Country.

With Sincere Appreciation P.M HOLDEN Ex Kent Miner

The mining people of Kent, like others I have met across the country, are dedicated to passing down their stories to the next generation. The spirit of our culture is far reaching and in every former pit community there are people dedicate to memorials and heritage projects, me included. But these activities are not really about the past, they are about keeping mining culture alive and by doing so my generation can feel part of this glorious evolving story, as the spirit of our culture and belief in one another is brought to life.

Leaving Kent on my return to London I realised; mining isn't just an industry it was a proud culture and way of life.

I look forward to returning to Kent in April and thank all the wonderful supportive people of the former Kent Coalfield.

Taking Liberties

Sometimes, the synchronicity in life really amazes me. Visiting the British Library exhibition Taking Liberties, I had the opportunity to navigate through the social history of law and justice throughout the U.K. I was sure that there would be something on the coal mining culture or the strike but there wasn't.

With this thought in mind I exited the exhibition where 100 post-it notes clipped on the wall were people had wrote comments. The first note I was draw to ironically exclaimed "If you believe in DEMOCRACY try telling that to the miners in 1984".

From the recent exhibition at the British Library.

"Taking Liberties: The Struggle for Britains Freedom and Rights"

Bring Out the Banners

ALL DAY PARTY! honouring the 25th anniversary of the Miners' Strike.

Date: Sunday 31th May 2009
Venue: Denaby and Conisbrough Miners' Welfare,
Denaby Main Doncaster S.Yorkshire
Time: 11.00am-4.00pm

On the 31th of May this year mining people from across the country will join forces in memory of the 25th Anniversary of the 84/85 Strike.

At the Denaby and Conisbrough Miners' Welfare last week, artist and Strike baby Rachel Horne set the date with committeemen from Denaby, Conisbrough and Corton Wood for an event that will resurrect thespirit of the Old Miners' Welfare.

"People and Mining" a group of ex miners from Corton Wood, approached Rachel Horne, the founder of the Pin the Pits cultural project and campaign. Together with the committee group of Conisbrough and Denaby Miners Welfare they intend to organise a national Memorabilia fair marking the 25th Anniversary of the Strike.

Miss Horne now 24 and living in London recently held an event in the Houses of Parliament where Cabinet Ministers and MP's pledged to support the Pin the Pits Campaign that intends to see the sites of regenerated coalmines marked on Ordnance Survey reference maps. The newly refurbished sites will be recorded as Historical features, alongside Roman Forts and battle sites.

The event called "Bring out the Banners" aims to exhibit mining banners from across the country to be displayed in the Welfare as part of the event.

The group is looking for other ideas, suggestions and people who want to help out. The next meeting will take place in a month at the Miners' Welfare in Denaby Main.

To get involved contact Rachel 07728684616 or email Join PinthePits facebook group to find out more.

Miss Horne State:

"I used to go to the Miners' welfare when I was 17, I always felt so
inspired by the banners and the history of the building. Knowing my
grandfathers and family would have marched behind them. I always
wanted to know what it was like during the strike, when the Welfare
had be the heart of the community's political and social

.....The story of our communities' history and those banners
is a history that should never be forgotten. It is important that my
generation know and understand their roots, especially as we could be
facing those economic and social hardships again....

.....Its not just about reminiscing it's about celebrating who we are,
I hope we can throw a really great party too! I am very honoured to be
curating and working on this project I feel like our grandfathers who
marched under those banners will be at peace knowing their efforts are
being remembered.

….I draw, write, use photography and film to get my message across, to
my audience. I will be screening my film at this event too. I hope it will be the
start of more celebrations of this kind".


Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Shed

Nearby Hampstead Heath and South End Green there's a very special place called the "Shed" where writer and actor Neil Tittley live.

Recently quitting smoking because of the ban Neil started doing Snuff instead . When I hang out in the Shed I snort snuff too. This is quiet appropriate for me because snuff was used down the coalmines for centuries. My mother said it was the cocaine of her day and she would snort a pinch off her hand in the local pub.

Neil acts out Oscar Wild and has travelled the world. The Shed is full of stuff collected from all over the world. After my appearance in Houses of Parliament last November Niel said I should keep a diary along with his son Shaun. This blog is therefore dedicated to them.

In 1984 Neil was an active supporter of the Kent and South Wales Miners, because of this he invited me round to the shed to watch a film about the Strike and to drink beer. The film was very moving for me and protrayed how the spirit of the mining communities were broken under the jack boot of Thatcher and Ian McGregor. It is always shocking to be reminded of the poverty of that era, whereby, people lost everything, even having to burn household furniture to keep the house warm.
The history and memory has been airbrushed out of public conciousness. Sometimes it scares the hell out of me to think the current economic change is predicted to be worse that the 1980s.

Neil has written poetry on the miners’ and I hope to hear him perform it one day.

I spent the aftermath of my 23 birthday party in the shed watching collections of music videos from the sixites, snorting stuff and eating oatcakes with my best friend Scarlett. We usually end our conversations declaring "power two the people".