GEORDIES — WA MENTAL, is the first volume in the autobiographical trilogy (Stardust and Coaldust) of David John Douglass, a coalminer for 40 years. It tells the fascinating story of the radicalisation of a working-class Geordie ‘baby-boomer’ during the first twenty years of his life and provides a unique and valuable insight into the political and cultural movements of the 1960s.
See ChristieBooks Films
Geordie anarchist-marxist miner and author of the extraordinary autobiographical trilogy ‘Stardust and Coaldust’ (‘Geordies – Wa Mental’; ‘The Wheel’s Still in Spin’; ‘Ghost Dancers’) Dave Douglass lives for a week with Chief Scout Lord Rowallan and tries to educate and enlighten him – unsuccessfully, of course, but a fascinating and very funny lifestyle documentary’ . .
DAVE DOUGLASS was a miner for forty years. Here, the author reads extracts from the first volume of his trilogy Stardust and Coaldust, the story of the radicalisation of a young, working class ‘Geordie’ in the Britain of the 1950s and 1960s . . . Dave Douglass is available for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, funerals, bar mitzvahs, saint days, stadium tours, book festivals, miners’ welfares and May Day celebrations — but he definitely draws the line at masonics …
FILMS: COAL NOT DOLE! The Miners’ Videotapes (1984) ; STRIKE! When Britain Went To War — The 1984-85 Miners’ Strike ; Dave Douglass reads from his book, Ghost Dancers, at the Radical Independent Bookfair in Glasgow (May 2010) ; Stardust and Coaldust ; LIVING WITH THE ENEMY
BOOKS: Geordies — Wa Mental; The Wheel’s Still In Spin and Ghost Dancers are all available from Central Books
NEW FILM: STRIKE! When Britain Went To War — The 1984-85 Miners’ Strike (click the Films link)
Also, announcing GHOST DANCERS, the final volume in Dave Douglass’s mining trilogy, Stardust and Coaldust, published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the end of the miners’ strike. A first-person, insider’s view, of, probably, the last generation of miners and their union. Following on Cameron’s description of ‘a broken Britain’ this book comes close to describing who broke it and how.
The definitive history of the great coal strike of 1984/85 and the background to it, this book explodes all the prevailing myths around that epic period, and corrects the inaccuracies in dozens of books previously penned by academics and journalists. Written by a participant at the sharp end of that struggle, it uniquely deals with the poststrike period, which hitherto no other writer has attempted to describe, nor any commentator understood. It portrays the efforts of the miners to stay in the ring and stay on their feet, in the run-up to the John Major assault in ’92/’93 and the last stand of the miners as a social force. The book reveals the harsh internal relations within the National Union of Mineworkers in the post-strike years, set against a backdrop and commentary on other world and domestic events like the Poll Tax, the Gulf War, and the Good Friday Agreement. Inevitably, it addresses the role of Arthur Scargill both during and after the strike — which in the author’s view displays two distinct and conflicting aspects of his leadership. However, Dave shows how the central role in both periods was that played by the miners themselves organised in their Union. Dave has not sought to exclude those smaller, more personal aspects that intersect this trajectory and link the personal to the political, the major to the minor. Though it is not written in the style or with the pretensions of academic neutrality, this book will be an essential reference for any serious academic study in the future. The title of this work, Ghost Dancers, is inspired by the last stand of the Native American Indians in their efforts to retain their culture and dignity, and by the Durham Miners’ Gala as a mining equivalent of that same endeavour. The book records the last stand of the last generation of pitmen and their communities.
David Douglass is a long-standing and well-known member of the National Union of Mineworkers in the Durham and Doncaster coalfields. He was a coalminer for 40-plus years and a branch official of the Union for 25 years, as well as a member of its Yorkshire Executive during its most testing and dynamic period. He remains a full member of the NUM and is still active in the internal affairs of the Union, as well as being one of its more public and well-known representatives and a published author and historian of the coal communities.
Ghost Dancers — The Miners’ Last Generation, David John Douglass (ISBN 978-1-873976-40-1) LOOK INSIDEAlso available from the eBookshelf and Kobo ; Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE
Available from Central Books Ltd, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN. Tel: 0845 4589911 Fax: 0845 4589912