At the end of 2014 we were the technical partners on the 30 Years Of... art project to explore the 30 years since the Miners' Strike. We mentioned it briefly back when we released the Node-RED RFID module that we developed as part of the project.
It was an interesting blend of latest technology - RFID tags hidden in 3d printed analogues of the miners' tallies - with objects and memories of the past three decades and of an industry that has all-but-disappeared from the UK.
In the run up to the exhibition the artist Neil Winterburn ran a series of workshops with ex-miners and other members of their local community. Some of the workshops discussed the history since the strike, and were when the artefacts and interviews were collected. In others we shared the progress on the technological side of things, and got the participants to build the Node RED flows themselves so they gained an understanding of how the final exhibits would work.
Although the strike was many years ago, feelings still run strong within the community and some of the rifts it caused haven't, and are unlikely to ever, heal. It was impossible to be involved in the project and not be moved by the passion for mining and the camaraderie and comradeship of the trade unions (although that wasn't blind, uncritical belief).
It raised thought-provoking questions about how we'd react to a similar situation today, in a "what did you do in the war, Daddy?" vein.
Tim Brunsden, another member of the Re-Dock artists collective who ran the project, produced a short film about it. It gives a flavour of how the exhibition worked, and captures some of the memories of the people involved: