Highly-charged memories of an era-defining industrial dispute are being rekindled by a new exhibition.

Artefacts associated with the year-long miners’ strike of 1984-85 have gone on show at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries.

Included in the display are items linked to the National Union of Mineworkers, the National Coal Board and Fife Constabulary.

The show of objects and printed material will be accompanied by a strike-themed talk, to be given by an eminent historian tomorrow (Wednesday, February 28).

Oxford-based Robert Gildea will discuss his acclaimed account of the dispute, Backbone of the Nation, which was published last year. 

Dunfermline Press: Some of the artefacts from the miners' strike on display at at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries.Some of the artefacts from the miners' strike on display at at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries. (Image: OnFife)

The book’s title is borrowed from ex-miner Thomas Watson, interviewed at this Fife home by Prof Gildea: “My father used to say, the miners are the backbone of the nation … without them, the country just could not go.”

Fife miners went on strike one month before the rest of their UK colleagues in what was to become a bitter war of attrition.

Among the mementos on show are placards and badges with once-familiar slogans – 'Coal Not Dole' and 'Dig Deep For The Miners'. Also on display are leaflets produced by miners during the dispute, including one urging support for 200 ‘victimised’ colleagues.

Dunfermline Press: It's now 40 years since the era-defining miners' strike.It's now 40 years since the era-defining miners' strike. (Image: OnFife)

Letters in the exhibition include one sent to striking miners by National Coal Board chairman Ian MacGregor, urging a return to work.

Beside it are minute books kept by the strike committees at Seafield and Frances collieries in Kirkcaldy and an extract from a striking miner’s diary.

A ticket for a Grand Variety Show at Lochgelly in aid of Fife Miners’ Relief Fund is displayed next to a newspaper advert, placed by Bulgarian trade unionists, expressing solidarity with NUM members.

Also on show is a Fife Constabulary logbook, which outlines the police code of conduct and details the movements of officers on strike duty.