FOR people who say you can never find a policeman when you want one, they should have been at Polkemmet Colliery in West Lothian during the Miners Strike – there were hundreds of them.

Here is a miner being arrested in 1984, basically for trying to save his job, although it would have been written up by the police as breach of the peace or whatever.

Months after the strike began, six workers at Polkemmet said they were returning to work, which led to a bitter confrontation between the striking miners and police, with 27 miners arrested.

But that was not the worst thing that happened. The National Coal Board then claimed the miners had refused to continue safety cover and the NCB had no alternative but to turn off the pumps that were keeping underground water at bay.

The NCB’s version was disputed by the miners, who said safety cover by management could have been organised.

The mine was flooded, and when the strike was over, NCB Scottish director Albert Wheeler said it would cost too much money to pump the water out, and the pit was closed with the loss of 1,400 jobs.

The six who returned to work? One of them took redundancy – and became a police officer.