News Story

2022 marks 50 years since what is known as "The Battle of Saltley Gate", which is a Birmingham and national story about unionised workers successfully picketing a fuel storage depot in support of a miners' strike for better pay. This video brings the story to life through the recollections of people who were there, and film from a Banner Theatre production, commissioned by the Birmingham TUC and the Socialist Labour Party, to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

The Battle of Saltley Gate was the mass picketing of a fuel storage depot in Birmingham in February 1972 during a national miners' strike for better pay. A large stockpile of solid fuel was held by a West Midlands Gas Board coke plant, where up to 700 vehicles were collecting fuel each day for supply to industry. Stockpiled fuel was relied upon by power stations, businesses, and heavy industries during the strike. Thousands of pickets came from South Yorkshire and South Wales, along with workers from other Birmingham industries. The picketing of the fuel depot was a pivotal event during the strike, and symbolic of the support for the miners. The large number of pickets led to the closure of the fuel storage depot and helped to secure a victory for the National Union of Mineworkers. The strike lasted seven weeks and ended after miners agreed to a pay offer on 19 February 1972.

Thank you to the Saltley Gate 50th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, led by the Birmingham TUC, for making this video possible.


WSA Community Consultants and Merida Associates worked with Birmingham Museums Trust on the Birmingham Stories project.

WSA Community Consultants specialises in community development, meaningful participation and social inclusion. They have a strong ethical approach and values, with an emphasis on being inclusive, respectful and accessible. They focus their work on ensuring that the voice of lived experience is felt through community development, training, evaluation and research.

Merida Associates are consultants to the public and voluntary sectors. We provide specialist support in engagement, evaluation, organisational development and cross-sector working.