Here we feature photos from 1985 in the Oxford Mail archive.

It was the year when a big march backing CND arrived in Oxford and a group travelled to Bonn to raise support for the miners.

And Donnington Middle School celebrated a special anniversary.

Pupils dug deep to mark the 50th anniversary of their school in April 1985.

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Oxford East MP Andrew Smith and city councillor Beryl Keen joined celebrations at the school to commemorate its milestone.

A beech tree was planted in the school grounds to leave a legacy for future pupils, while a horse chestnut sapling marked growing links with a USA school.

Pupils were set to head across the Atlantic Ocean during their summer break to visit pen friends at Lenox School, Long Island.

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School governor and former Lord Mayor of Oxford John Parker was given horse chestnut seeds by a young pupil after visiting the school the year before.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford was one of the cities where people made a special effort to support striking miners in 1984.

Despite the fact that Oxford has no mines, the city was one of the biggest supporters of the miners during the 364 days they were striking.

Thousands of miners in Wales, Yorkshire, Scotland and Kent went on strike after the Government announced 20 pits out of 131 would close with the loss of 20,000 jobs.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said the mines needed to be closed because they were inefficient and losing the country money.

There were 131 mines producing 105m tons of coal each year, less than half than 30 years before when there were 850 mines producing 225m tons annually.

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The Monopolies and Mergers Commission found that 75 percent of British pits were losing money and the industry was losing £1.2m a day.

President of the NUM Arthur Scargill said that the Government needed to invest in the pits despite the losses. In 1983 he said: “The policies of this Government are clear, to destroy the coal industry and the NUM.”

The Government stockpiled coal and most energy suppliers had switched to gas to generate electricity, meaning mass power cuts were avoided.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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