Story of how Castleford learning centre helped community during Miners’ Strike

Castleford Community Learning Centre, set up during the miners' strike to run courses to help people find other jobs, is about to lose �230k in funding. Ian Clayton's edited a book of stories of people who have used the centre, and they hope this will raise some money.'Margaret Handforth
Castleford Community Learning Centre, set up during the miners' strike to run courses to help people find other jobs, is about to lose �230k in funding. Ian Clayton's edited a book of stories of people who have used the centre, and they hope this will raise some money.'Margaret Handforth
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The story of how new educational opportunities were provided for people after the demise of coal mining is told in a new book.

Wisdom of our Own tells how Castleford Community Learning Centre has been helping people learn new skills after being set up during the 1984-5 miners’ strike.

People who have studied at the centre have written about their experiences in the book, which was launched yesterday.

It has been put together by writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton and Margaret Handforth, the centre manager.

Mrs Handforth said: “The book has different stories from people who have learnt here over many years.”

The centre on York Street was launched by Women Against Pit Closures, a movement which ran soup kitchens and helped families survive during the year-long strike.

It was set up as Castleford Women’s Centre, offering courses ranging from cake making, calligraphy, IT and social studies.

People have gone on to study degrees after being helped at the centre.

Mrs Handforth said: “Women Against Pit Closures was a group of women brought together because their husbands were striking.

“We never thought the centre would still be here 30 years on.

“When we set it up, IT was just in its infancy.

“A lot of have told us that the relaxed way of learning at centre was the right way of studying for them.

Wisdom of our Own - Living and Learning Since the Miners’ Strike, is now on sale, priced £15.

It can be bought from the centre or by calling 01977 511581.

To find out more about courses on offer at Castleford Community Learning Centre, log on to www.cclc.co.uk