What is the Background History Related to this 1984/85 Miners Support Group Badge?

Can someone provide any back ground history behind the miners' strike support group and/or twinning badge illustrated above? It has been issued in the joint names of South Celynen N.U.M. and Portsmouth Polytechnic Student's Union. It measures 25 mm in diameter and is a hard enamel type badge with a gilt back. Its central design depicts a Welsh dragon below a simple outline of a colliery headstock. The badge's reverse bears a "B+" monogram. This is understood to be the maker's mark of the company "Badges Plus" who were well known makers of badges during the 1984/85 miners strike.

This is a fairly well known badge amongst collectors and is understood from the collecting circles to date from 1985 or just after the end of the great miners' strike of 1984/85. South Celynen Colliery itself closed in 1985.

On the face of it this badge appears to be just one of a series of contemporary Miners Support Group or Twinning badges. Many similar ones are known from the 1984/85 strike. The one puzzling thing about this particular example is that neither the pit manager or the N.U.M. Lodge Secretary of South Celynen at the time of the strike know anything about it or its origins. Several other ex-miners from the pit who were active in fund raising all over the UK during the strike have also been quizzed about the badge. However, as yet nothing about it or the would be link between this particular South Wales N.U.M. Lodge and Portsmouth Polytechnic Student's Union can be traced.

Given that the above badge is only 19 or 20 years old we feel sure that someone out there will know the answers to our questions.

Submitted By : Lyn Gladwin & Others.
Date: October 2004

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