Battle of Orgreave tea towel

100% Organic Cotton
Made in the UK
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  • Sturdy half panama unbleached US cotton (48cm x 70cm)
  • Our special inks mean that colours last in the wash
  • Includes hanging loop
  • Designed and manufactured in the UK
  • Delivery with Royal Mail, free on orders over £35
  • 100-day money back guarantee if you change your mind


‘There was a riot. But it was a police riot.’

One of the most violent clashes in British industrial history. A pivotal event in the 1984-85 UK miners' strike. This was the Battle of Orgreave. On 18th June 1984, a violent confrontation between police and thousands of pickets broke out at a British Steel Corporation coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire. The miners wanted to stop lorry loads of coke leaving for the steelworks. They thought that would help them win their strike, and help protect their jobs. The police were determined to hold them back. 

TV viewers were shocked by the images of the battle. The police presence was unprecedented: the use of dogs and horses, the riot gear, the armoured police vehicles. Many miners felt the operation was being run under government control, and the encounter destroyed many mining communities’ faith in the police, a legacy that lasts to this day. 

The debate goes on about who acted first. In 2012, the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign was formed to campaign for a public inquiry into the policing of events at Orgreave following revelations about corruption in South Yorkshire Police. However, in October 2016 the Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced that there would be no statutory inquiry or independent review.

This episode perfectly illustrates how Thatcher’s government used the police like an occupying army in mining areas. But solidarity poured in from all sides. Other unions – the dockers, the railway workers – stood in solidarity with the NUM. You can read more about this support in our blog post about the Orgreave police riot.

In 2009 the Guardian newspaper published an article about the photograph which inspired this tea towel design. 

At a time when news of police brutality all over the world is increasingly common, it is crucial to have accountability. For this reason, with every tea towel sold we will donate £1 to the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign: 

Half Panama unbleached cotton (heavy weight, textured finish). Stitched on all four sides. Includes hanging loop. Measures approximately 48 x 70cm. Machine wash at 40 degrees max. We recommend that before you use your tea towel for the first time you wash it at least once to soften up the material and make it more absorbent for drying dishes. Please note size can vary slightly.

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  • 5
    Battle of Orgreave Tea Towel

    Posted by Maggie T on 3rd Jan 2024

    Beautifully made reminder of this iconic event, I’ll be battling the drying up trying to match the fortitude of those brave miners in

  • 5
    Orgreave tea towel

    Posted by Patrick Healy on 1st Nov 2021

    Excellent bit of work depicting the criminality of the government & police at the time. No government minister or police officer were ever arrested for corruption or cowardice. An inquest MUST be made.