Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    A share of a pensioner's Christmas 'bonus' (Manchester)

    Ballin, Deborah ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1920-3022 and Johnson, Esther (2016) A share of a pensioner's Christmas 'bonus' (Manchester). People's History Museum, Manchester, 05 December 2015 - 18 January 2016.


    A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’ is an exhibition of work that has been created as part of collaborative research. The exhibition consists of: · 26′ audio work by Esther Johnson and Debbie Ballin · A photographic series by Esther Johnson · Selection of artefacts, from the People’s History Museum archive, curated by Johnson and Ballin “We got presents that were donated…. I got a little cheap plastic watch and a coat that my auntie had made, but I just didn’t even care ’cos I was having so much fun.” – Sam, Miner’s Daughter aged 15 during the strike The initial element of this research is an exhibition titled A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’. It’s Christmas 1984. Sam, Gayle, Jayne and Craig are the children of striking miners. This is the story of how acts of generosity by total strangers made Christmas possible for them that year, and what it was like for them to grow up in the shadow of the Miners’ Strike. This exhibition bears witness to their untold stories, and includes artifacts from the People’s History Museum archive, and a newly commissioned audio-visual work. Exhibition Background During the Miners’ Strike in December 1984, the Thatcher government paid pensioners the same £10 Christmas heating bonus they had received since 1972. A nationwide appeal, in several national newspapers, invited pensioners to give up their bonus in support of the striking miners. Hundred’s of pounds worth of bonuses were donated to support this cause. Thanks to remarkable acts of generosity many children of Miners’ and their families were able to celebrate Christmas that year. Project Background A share of a pensioner’s Christmas ‘Bonus’ is part of a larger research project titled Echoes of Protest, investigating the legacy of being involved in significant protest movements from a child’s perspective. The project aims to understand the role protest can play in the politicization of children and the long-term impact of its aftermath on their lives.

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