McPhee’s unforgettable Orgreave images

Today (June 18) is the 34thanniversary of the Battle of Orgreave, the confrontation between police and pickets at the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire and a pivotal event in the miners’ strike of 1984-85.

It was unforgettably recorded by The Guardian’s photographer Don McPhee, who chronicled the strike throughout the year and remembered the day.

“Having driven over from Manchester, I missed being corralled into a pen the police had provided for the press. So I joined the pickets and just wandered in with them and got the picture. Then I saw 30 horses galloping at me. It was like being at the wrong end of the Charge of the Light Brigade. I didn’t stop to take any more pictures – I just legged it.”

McPhee worked for The Guardian until 2001, recording many more historic moments.

His friend and fellow Guardian journalist David Ward recalls of McPhee that "he had the knack of finding the exact image that spoke volumes about an event".

The images here are reproduced here courtesy of Fleet Street’s Finest at  https://fleetstreetsfinest.com where Don McPhee’s portfolio is available.

Don McPhee died of cancer in 2007.

at the wrong end of the Charge of the Light

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