Closed for the day

My apologies if I’ve been grumpy with anyone on the phone or by email this last few days. Grumpier than usual that is!  I hadn’t realised how much would resurface from thirty years or so ago following the death of the PM from that time.  Having discussed it with Ann we’ve decided to clear off somewhere quiet for the day.  Two images kind of sum up the era for me. The first is one of our steelworks being torn down, two years after one of Sheffield’s biggest industrial strikes forced them to ‘promise’ to keep it open.  The other is a photo by John Harris which I’ll never forget seeing for the first time, showing Lesley Boulton who was taking pictures during the demonstration at Orgreave just a few miles across town from where we live (the end of the baton missed her face by millimeters, a friend managed to pull her back).  We now import 40% of our coal from abroad.

Normal cheery service will resume on Thursday.

thatcher buried hadfields


22 Responses to “Closed for the day”

  1. IanG Says:

    I grew up in Glasgow in the late 70’s/early 80’s so I know exactly what you are on about, Simon. The misery that she caused is incalculable. To make matters worse David Mellor has emerged from under his stone to lecture us about values. I’d forgotten just what a c**t he is.

    • simon robinson Says:

      I was reading comedian Bill Bailey on the current situation the other day, and he feels the Governments amazing trick of diverting all the blame away from the banking industry and trying to persuade us all that the poorest members of society are the ones who are really at fault is breathtakingly audacious.

      • IanG Says:

        Same old story, Simon. I’m sure Bill has an interesting angle, I also read some good stuff Stewart Lee wrote on the subject but when it comes down to it only Jerry Sadowitz truly has the words to describe Maggie and her crew.

      • simon robinson Says:

        Very big admirer of Stuart Lee as well, just finished his latest book, riveting.


    That’s a great photo by John and reminds me of a few incidents at G20. The Feds are rightwing but I am not sure if some of the police went rogue or whether orders were given. There were a few rights violation that day. I think we in North America did not get a proper perspective of Maggie’s regime back then…

  3. Tracy Chaplain-Payne Says:

    You have to put up with some c***p don’t you Simon?

  4. steebu Says:

    Living in London 1980/81 was an interesing time – saw first-hand that Thatcherism was beginning to ruin the country (remember hearing the daily job-loss number on the telly – usually in the tens of thousands) also remember the tour you gave us, Simon, of the shut down steel mills… very sad. Thatcherism / Reaganonomics have destroyed the middle class and our respective economies for the past 30 years – it’s long past time to turn the corner and get rid of “trickle down” and supply-side economics! So – here’s to grumpy solidarity…

    • simon robinson Says:

      I’ve seen the devestation on some of the US manufacturing cities in documentaries and appreciate proportionally America got it even worse. Carbrook Hall where we had lunch that day is still there, 500 years and counting, despite being surrounded by 80s tat!

  5. The Ranting Git Says:

    I hear you Simon. I’m a Northerner as well, in a county next door to yours, so feel and share some of the pain. Been cursing the fact I’m too skint to be had been able to jet off someplace to escape the madness. Some things can and never will be forgotten.

  6. Robert J Tyler Says:

    Last place I thought I would find political views, maybe some pictures of the Winter of Discontent to even the balance?

    • simon robinson Says:

      I don’t have to do balance! But I also had run-ins with the Unions myself (being self-employed I wasn’t allowed to join, so some printers refused to print design jobs I’d done), so appreciate something had to be done to sort out the poor relations between the two sides. But there had to be a better way of going about it.

  7. Mark Nolde Says:

    I do empathise totally.
    Tramp the dirt down!

  8. Gmail Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Just to say having grown up in Salford through the Thatcher era and experienced my Dad losing his job in the shipyards and several relations suffering both job-wise and mentally during that time, Thatcher’s passing has also resurrected a lot of feelings for me and as you found, surprisingly strong ones maybe. I feel that she and her government divided Britain and that is still evidenced today by the fact that the pro-Thatcher faction could appropriate a ceremonial funeral for her despite how she has divided the country. It makes me really angry in fact.

    Just wanted to share that with you and let you know that I actually found your message quite comforting in that I realise it’s engendered the same feelings in others.

    All the best Phil.

    • simon robinson Says:

      Thanks Phil. We had tea in the indie café in town. You know those offices which have clocks telling the time in different countries? This place has four clocks, telling the time in Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster! The guy at the counter had even dug out an old Coal Not Dole t-shirt to wear for the day. Cheered us up.

  9. Rob Corich Says:

    So I guess ‘Our Lady’ or ‘Place In Line’ is not going to be the top of your play list today… ‘Demons Eye’, ‘Into The Fire’ or ‘Stormbringer’ will be spinning on the turntable at DP Towers today no doubt….

  10. Dick Pimple Says:

    Do I really want to hear about your politics and reasons for having a day off? Do I f**k. Should anyone be interested in what I’m up to today I’m just off to take a dump.

  11. Gabriel Says:

    PM… I know.

  12. Paul Littlechild Says:

    I said a similar thing to my wfe, the way all those feelings have resurfaced is surprising. And unpleasant.

  13. Twanky Says:

    It makes my stomach turn to see all the sycophants who have crawled out from beneath their rocks this week. End of rant.

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