Coal Miners' Union Badges

Badges are an important way of showing a person's allegiance to a particular cause or interest. They can also commemorate a particular event.

There are many examples of badges connected to the coal industry. These badges were usually produced during industrial disputes or following mining disasters and were often sold to raise funds.

The greatest number of badges were produced during and after the 1984-85 miners' strike. They came in various shapes and colours but usually gave the name of the National Union of Mineworkers (N.U.M.) Lodge or area, as well as a particular symbol. This could be an icon of the mining industry such as a lamp, headgear, crossed pick and shovel; or an example of working class symbolism such as clasped hands, broken chains and the scales of justice. In addition, badges produced in Wales often include a red dragon or a leek.

The Industry Department of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has collected several hundred examples of these badges. Some are on display at Big Pit National Coal Museum and examples can be seen on our Images of Industry collections database.

If you would like further information, you may be interested to read 'Enamel Badges of the National Union of Mineworkers' by Brian Witts (2008).

Click on the thumbnail below for a selection of Badges from our Images of Industry collections database.

Comments (8)

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Paul Gee
23 October 2021, 14:41
I have a Miners Lamp, Keychain with 2 badges from the Cwm Colliery, South Wales. It includes what looks like a "Pixy" character, and a miners lamp ornament on the ring. One badge has a number 156 with Marine Colliery stamped on it, this is a rectangular badge, and the other badge has a number 4 and Marine Colliery stamped, this is an oval shaped badge. The lamp has a badge riveted to the front with "British Coal Mining Company Wales UK" and a serial number 292400. It also says "Type Vale Colliery Name and No. Aberaman Colliery. I was given this lamp by an ex neighbour when I lived in South Wales, and I wish to ask how much it is worth, or is it a good piece to add to the museum ? Thanks.
Ceri Thompson Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
29 April 2019, 15:33

Dear Zowie

Thanks for getting in touch. These badges seem to be more of North of England interest than Wales. I’d contact the National Coal Museum for England in Wakefield.

For their full details have a look at or ring 01924848806.

Best wishes

Ceri Thompson, Big Pit: National Coal Museum

Zowie Ormshaw
27 April 2019, 12:08

Looking for some advice from those in the know...
I have been talking to my grandad today and looking at some of his memorabilia from the past.
My Grandad has several NUM strike badges, some he has duplicates.
We were wondering if these would be valuable to a collector. Grandad now has dementia and My Nan is forcing him to have a clear out due to down sizing.

The badges include:
Sutton Manor Branch
Golborne Colliery
Bold Branch NUM
Kirkless Branch NUM
Plank Lane Branch NUM
Cokemens Area NUM
Nottingham Area - unity is strength
Derbyshire NUM 100 1880-1890
Cortonwood Branch NUM - Lest We Forget David Jones Joe Green

2 saying Yorks Area NUM, one smaller than the other

National Union of Mineworkers North Western Area
2 different badges saying:North Western Area NUM

Bakers Union
Workers of the World Unite NUR
Society of Graphical & Allied Trades SOGAT
Heating Eng's Metal Workers Coppersmith

He also has a key with a miniature miners lamp keyring - Sir Humphry Davy 1778-1829 with a tally (think that is what he called it)
NCB 372 Hapton Valley Colliery with a keyring saying King Coal.

In the box was also what I'm guessing are rugby pins - Penrith Rugby League Club and Sharks, plus an Olympic pin.

Looking for advice as to whether these would sell, whether I am better to keep hold of them for him, or would there be a collector in the North West that we could go to see???

Any advice or support would be helpful - Grandad has never used the World Wide Web so I told him I would ask for help and advice on his behalf!
At the moment they’re stuck in a box and we feel someone would benefit far more from them.

D Blair
23 January 2019, 00:02
I have a collections of miners pins and badges. Would any one be interested in buying them. 60
Bill Shaw
4 April 2018, 15:47

Full collection or single items for my personal collection. anything considered.

Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
19 February 2018, 09:56

Hi there Lee

I'm so sorry to hear that your collection was stolen. We would recommend contacting your local auction house, as they will be best placed to give advice on the purchasing of antiques and collectibles.

Best wishes

Digital Team

Lee hodkin
15 February 2018, 20:11
Would like to buy strike badges had all mine stolen when burgled
20 February 2017, 15:48
Any miners strike badges for sale