Yesterday was a big day of industrial action up and down the country, and so we’ve had a look back at the clothing of strikers, specifically, the Donkey Jacket.

The Donkey Jacket was first worn in 1880s by construction workers of the Manchester Ship Canal who operated the ‘donkey engine’, hence the name! It soon became the chosen attire for workers – not only was it made of a hardwearing material, but the stiff collar and lack of vent at the back also made it good protection against cold weather, and the leather patches would prevent the wool from wearing as workers continually carried objects on their shoulders.

Miners striking in 1984.

During the miners strikes of the 1980s, it was not just pin badges and placards that were seen on the picket lines, as this jacket became something of a uniform. It is a significant item in British workwear history, and is considered symbolic of manual labourers and trade unionists.

Good luck to those who are striking!