Saturday, 27 February 2016

Betteshanger Miners

Betteshanger colliery opened in the late 1920s and was the largest of the Kent collieries. It had two shafts of almost 2300 feet, plaques can still be seen where the shafts were once sunk. The colliery was served by a railway branch which left the main line between Deal & Sandwich.
Betteshanger had a tradition of union militancy; it was the first pit to come out on strike during the second World War and took active part in the miners' strikes of 1969, 1972, 1974 and 1984-85.
A sit-in was staged at the colliery in 1984 and those involved were sacked for trespass.The Kent Area's NUM initially refused to return to work until those sacked were reinstated and continued to picket the rest of the country after the NUM's national executive had voted to return to work, so Betteshanger was actually the last pit in Britain to return to work after the strike.
Thereafter, Betteshanger became known for the brutality with which strikebreakers were treated. Posters had gone up in the village with photographs and names of the 30 men who had broken the strike. It was the last Kent colliery to close, closing for good in 1989.

The above was taken directly from the Wikipeadia. I will attempt to write the Colliery up for the VBCW forum this week.  But in essence they are a socialist faction within Kent working against the London Fascists and Allied with the Anglican League. However they are not hand in glove with the Anglican league they are allies of convenience against a common foe. More will be explained on the forum (I Hope). But there is a rivalry and while it may result in a few punch ups and beatings it has so far not lead to permanent injury! So Far!

The figures are all for Matt and a collection of makes including Sloppy Jalopy, Musketeer miniatures and Ironclad. there is even a Warlord figure from the Dads army set. So quite an eclectic bunch.


But most importantly let me talk about the flag. The Flag is a "ONE OFF" by Pete Barfield (aka Petal aka Panserkaput) and his blog is HERE! I am very grateful to Peter as it does make these miners unique. It makes you realise how many nice people there are out there blogging!

While this is not the Official Betteshanger banner it is now the official VBCW Betteshanger Banner. (OK semi official VBCW Banner). I am very pleased to say it has the "Invicta" horse on display. When he sent it to me It really did make my day.

So if any of you VBCW players want to represent this unit contact me by leaving a comment below and I will send out a PDF. I have already gotten permission to pass it on from Pete and he is a Generous guy indeed to allow it.

These will be my last Miners for VBCW for a while I think as I am about to crack on with some socialists. perhaps they will be dock workers from the ports in Kent, who knows at this stage.

It has been suggested that I make a beer wagon to follow along behind the miners but as yet that is just a twinkle in my eye!

Thanks for Looking and I am off to the Cavalier show on Sunday so expect a show report or swag post on Monday. Until then take care have fun and do not get too cold.



30 comments:

  1. What a splendid banner, Clint. My dad would have loved to have seen it.

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    1. Thank you Vampi. The Banner is all the work of Peter Barfield. I just had to cut it out and stick it on. I am so sorry your dad is not about to see it.

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    1. Thank you Roy. It was nice to get them finished.

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  3. Lovely figures and banner Clint :)

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    1. Thank you Tamsin. I am very chuffed that Pete has done a banner for me!

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  4. Fantastic unit, Clint and the banner really tops it all!

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    1. Thank you Mathyoo. I will be starting the socialists soon.

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  5. Loverly figures and an interesting bit of history too. Excellent stuff. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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    1. Cheers lee. I am also looking forward to the first show of the year. It should be good.

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  6. Clint these are lovely! I live not too far from the colliery and often see ex miners and their families. There is a rich history this way and one that is important to the local population.

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    1. Thank you Gobbo. That is one of the exciting things about VBCW that you bring your local history to the game.

      I hope I in no way offend the miners in doing this. As I can assure you no offense was intended.

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    2. I'm sure there would be no offence mate, these guys fought the evil Thatcher and her ilk, I'm sure they can handle this :-)

      I totally agree with you man, bringing local history into a game is awesome. I have batallions of Buffs in my Napoleonics and they bring loads of character

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    3. Thank you Gobbo. I am sure they have better things to worry about than this blog post.

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  7. Absolutely sensational and that banner really is very good.

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    1. Thank you Michael. I am dead chuffed with PK's banner. he really has done a fantastic job.

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    1. Thank you Johnathon I totally agree.

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  9. We are all as enamoured by the flag as you! A brilliant effort by Pete Barfield

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    1. Thank you James. Pete supplied the flag out of the goodness of his heart as I do know he does visit this blog on occasions.

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  10. Top notch stuff, lovely banner. I actually surveyed the colliery site as part of my day job a few years back (now a country park I believe). A Shepherd Neame beer cart sounds like a great idea!

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    1. Thank you Lee. I will be at cavalier today so I will see what I can find. Sheppard and Neame would be the ideal choice for a beer cart. I might have to get two carts though (A London Pride) just for balance.

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    2. In which case you will have walked past me ;-) I was helping Friday Night Firefight Club with the Zulu game.

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    3. If I knew that I may have sat down and played a bit! For what it is worth that game has inspired me to paint some Zulus this week

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  11. Lovely work Clint! Amazing banner too. Enjoy the show.

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    1. Thank you Bob. I will do a swag post shortly. Spoiler alert very little swag!

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  12. Beautiful work, and a gorgeous banner, sir.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger. There is much I recognise about the painted figures that I would change IF I was to paint them again. But as I have no intention of that I will pass for now.

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  13. Fabulous force and that banner is the dogs! Great work by PK!

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    1. Thank you Simon. I can only hope they work as well as they look.

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