Striking with Pride: Exploring the real story of the empowering film Pride’s LGSM movement

Virgin Radio

4 Jun 2024, 12:40

A real-life miners strike protest and a shot of a LGSM march from the film Pride

Credit: Pathé UK

Virgin Radio Pride’s Steve Denyer was joined by Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) co-founder Mike Jackson today (4th June) and documentary director Ashley Francis-Roy to discuss the true story behind the much-loved film.

Pride (2014) documents the true story of how a community of gay men and lesbians from London - led by Mike and others - formed an unlikely alliance with South Wales’ striking miners to fight for each others’ rights in the mid 80s.

As the film celebrates its tenth anniversary, a new documentary entitled Striking with Pride: United at the Coalface (directed by Francis-Roy) has been released on Sky to explore the real-life story which inspired the movie.



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“When I first saw that movie, I was at university. It was one of the first times that I’d seen a story about queer people, about the LGBT community that felt really positive and inspiring and uplifting,” Ashley-Roy told Steve on his mid-mornings Virgin Radio Pride show.

“It just felt like a really engaging, heartwarming story, [and] when we looked into this 10 years later, we realised that there hadn’t been a documentary about it. We couldn’t really believe that!

“We contacted Mike and some of the other people in [LGSM], and it emerged very quickly to us that there’s an incredible story here, and told by some amazing characters… 

“Mike and the other people who are part of LGSM and who were in the mining communities in South Wales, they’re wonderful people. They’re inspiring, they’re passionate, they’ve committed their whole lives to trying to change the world around them for the better.

“They tell their story with a wonderful charm in this documentary and we’ve managed to find some amazing new archive pictures and footage that have never been seen before that bring the story to life in a really exciting way.

“You’ve got this amazing film that was made 10 years ago, but the real story, in my view, is even better and richer and more nuanced,” Francis-Roy finished.

LGSM co-founder Mike Jackson shared that working on the documentary film with Ashley and the team was a “moving” experience. “And also for them to interview people who’ve never been interviewed previously, as well. That’s given a wider range of perspectives, and so we’re really pleased about that too.”

On how LGSM came to be, the life-long campaigner explained: “The miners strike was all encompassing, and you know, Britain was completely divided over the [it]… When we formed [LGSM], some of the people who joined that initial group had already been sending money to that particular mining community in South Wales. 

“And so we just said, ‘Yeah, we might as well continue supporting that particular community.’ It could have been any community in the UK. But you know, we just settled on that South Wales mining community.”

Asked what his friend and prominent LGSM member Mark Ashton (who sadly died in 1987 after being diagnosed with AIDS) would make of LGSM’s longevity, Mike reflected: “He’d be thrilled with it, I’m sure. Mike was one for the limelight… 

“He’d be absolutely delighted that we were getting all this attention. But you know, what’s really important here is the message behind the documentary and behind the movie as well, which is a very serious message about the importance of solidarity, the importance of standing together to fight a common and powerful enemy.”

Striking with Pride: United at the Coalface is available to watch now on Sky Documentaries and NOW.