Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises minutes, correspondence, press releases, fliers, accounts and financial records, ephemera and labour movement song sheets.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) originated from a collection made at the 1984 Pride March for the striking miners. Shortly afterwards a meeting was held at the University of London Union with speakers from the South Wales National Union of Miners (NUM), this led to the formation of LGSM. LGSM was a single-issue group, which sought to support the miners and their communities in their fight against Thatcherism.

The organisation held weekly meetings at Gays the Word bookshop to organise publicity and collections. Members of LGSM were from across the gay community, from trotskyists, communist and anarchists to Labour Party members and liberals. The organisation lasted only for the duration of the 1984-5 miner's strike.

Many of the Gay community felt that supporting workers who had traditionally been seen as homophobic was na ve. However the organisers of LGSM believed that not only could they raise support for the miners but their campaign would also tackle prejudice in the mining communities.

A sub group called Lesbians Against Pit Closures (LPAC) formed a few months after LGSM was established. This was partly because many women in the group felt intimidated by the gay men who formed the bulk of the membership. Both groups had strong links with the mining community of Dulais, South Wales. Exchange visits were arranged and benefits organised, the money collected went to support striking miners and their families.

During its two years of operation LGSM raised twenty thousand pounds, from collections, jumble sales, merchandise and sponsored bike rides such as pedal against pit closures. A Pits & Perverts benefits gig headlined by Bronski Beat held in Camden, London raised five thousand pounds. The success of the LGSM was illustrated by the 1985 Pride march, which was headed by a NUM banner, followed by a large contingent of men, women and children from Dulais.

To commemorate its achievements LGSM created a travelling exhibition of photographs and a video which it lent to Trade Unions, community groups and local branches of NUM.

Conditions Governing Access

Access by appointment

Acquisition Information

In 1991 the collection was donated to the People's History Museum (formerly National Museum of Labour History). The collection is now held at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, which is based at the head office of the People's History Museum and managed by the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.

Note

Collection level description created by Janette Martin.

Other Finding Aids

The collection has not been listed and there are no finding aids at present.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents. Prior written permission must be obtained from the Archive for publication or reproduction of any material within the Archive. Please contact the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD Tel.: +44 (0)161 834 5343.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal, destruction or scheduling has taken place.

Accruals

Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

The People's History Museum holds photographs and ephemera from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners organisation including the LGSM's travelling exhibition.

Geographical Names