Fans are eagerly awaiting the third season of critically-acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown and Irish actor David Wilmot was seen on set for the first time as union leader Arthur Scargill in pictures released on Monday.
The third series tackles the famous 1972 Battle of Saltley Gate, Birmingham – the mass picketing of a fuel storage depot, Saltley Coke Works, in Birmingham, England.
Around 30,000 factory workers walked out in support of the striking miners and when events first began unfolding on January 9, 1972, it was thought unlikely that they would win.
The Crown tackles the miners’ strikes: Actor David Wilmot was seen for the first time as union leader Arthur Scargill in pictures released on Monday, as the series recreated the 1972 Battle of Saltley Gate for the third series
On location: A former Horlicks factory in Slough has been transformed into Birmingham’s Saltley Coke Works, complete with wrought-iron signage
New role: Irish star David, who is best known for his role in Ripper Street, is portraying Scargill, The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)’s leader (pictured in 1985)
In January 1972, the miners undertook their first national strike in nearly 50 years when their wages had fallen behind other similar industries because of high levels of inflation, shutting down fuel depots around the UK.
The miners, led by Joe Gormley, had initially asked for pay rises of between 35-47%, while the National Coal Board said they would only 7.4%.
Four weeks into the strike, Saltley Coke Works remained open, and 2,000 miners were brought to Birmingham to try to force its closure. When they succeeded in closing the works, they secured a huge victory for the National Union Of Miners as the nation depended on fuel, so they were in a great position to negotiate.
The Daily Mirror said at the time: ‘Rarely have strikers advanced to the barricades with less enthusiasm or hope of success… The miners have more stacked against them than the Light Brigade in their famous charge.’
Pivotal: Scargill played a vital role during the strikes of 1972 and 1974, which helped bring about the downfall of Edward Heath’s Conservative government and the miners securing a 43 per cent pay rise
Clash: The famous events of the Birmingham based Battle of Saltley Gate in February 1972 were being recreated for The Crown series 3, which saw angry members of the police force trying to contain the masses
Political background: Around 30,000 factory workers walked out in support of the striking miners on 10 February 1972for the Battle of Saltley Gate
The picketing of the fuel depot, out of which tens of thousands of tons of coke were being distributed nationwide , became an important event during the strike.
Ripper Street star David was spotted on location as Arthur, bundled up in a burgundy coat and scarf, layered over a blue suit.
Scenes being filmed saw angry miners rallying around the defiant left-wing activist during the mass picketing of a fuel storage depot.
A former Horlicks factory in Slough has been transformed into a replica of Saltley Gate for the purposes of filming.
National strike: Four weeks into the strike, Saltley Coke Works remained open, and 2,000 miners were brought to Birmingham to try to force its closure
Action: The timeline of the Crown drama has now moved swiftly into the 1970s – with explosive riot scenes focusing on Arthur Scargill also getting underway over the weekend
Rallying the crowd: Scenes being filmed saw angry miners rallying around the defiant left-wing activist as he took over the mass picketing of a fuel storage depot
Arthur, an activist from the Yorkshire region of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), led the strike and became a household name and key political player of his time.
He played a vital role during the strikes of 1972 and 1974, which helped bring about the downfall of Edward Heath’s Conservative government and the miners securing a 43 per cent pay rise.
A decade later, he led the union through the 1984–85 miners’ strike, which ended on 3 March 1985 following a NUM vote to return to work.
In character: Irish actor Wilmot is a dead ringer for the union official in his burgundy jacket and navy suit
Leading the way: Arthur, an activist from the Yorkshire region of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), led the strike and became a household name
First look: This marks the first time viewers have been given a glimpse at the tense political climate of the late 70s, following months of filming for the new series
Break: David was shown something on a phone, a device they most certainly wouldn’t have had in the 70s
Justice for the miners: The strike resulted in the government agreeing to the miners’ demand for a 43 per cent pay rise
It is remembered as a pivotal moment in British industrial relations, significantly weakening the trade union movement, and marked a political victory for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives.
Police officers were being called to the scene as a struggle broke out among the furious crowd members.
This marks one of the first times viewers have been given a glimpse at the tense political climate of the late 70s, following months of filming for the new series.
The third series of The Crown will focus on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign in the sixties and seventies.
Meanwhile, Ben Daniels has now been spotted on the set of the period programme for the first time as Princess Margaret’s ex-husband Lord Snowdon, accompanied by his second wife Lucy Hogg, played by Australian actress Jessica De Gouw.
It was an action-packed weekend for the eagerly-awaited new series since filming has also begun on scenes depicting the troubled political backdrop of the show, including the miners’ strikes of the 1970s.
First look: Ben Daniels has been spotted on the set of The Crown Season 3 for the first time as Princess Margaret’s philandering ex-husband Lord Snowdon
Ben and Jessica were seen at the wheel of a classic Triumph car as they took a spin around Notting Hill, London.
The hard-partying Snowdon wed Lucy in 1978 very shortly after his tumultuous 16-year marriage Margaret finally came to an end.
Fans will get to see the turbulent journey in the royal couple’s relationship, eventually leading to their split in 1978 – a controversy among the royal family at the time.
Princess Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon was seen by fans in the show’s second series, with Vanessa Kirby playing the royal while Matthew Goode portrayed the photographer.
In the series she fell in love with the dashing aristocrat and decided to marry him in what proved a surprise to some.
The Crown series 3: Helena Bonham Carter and Ben are embodying Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon
Despite a few years of happiness, the marriage disintegrated, with Lord Snowdon uninterested in settling down as a Royal husband, as he spent much of their relationship travelling as a photographer.
The royal couple had two children together, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah, and he was also the first real commoner to wed a king’s daughter for 450 years.
Rumours of a rift in the marriage began as early as 1967, when foreign newspapers began to carry stories of a private ‘battle royal’.
Lord Snowdon vigorously denied the reports, telling reporters: ‘I love my wife.’
Then, in August 1970, an article appeared in the prestigious Ladies Home Journal in America, claiming there were severe problems in the marriage.
Royal couple: Fans will get to see the turbulent journey in the royal couple’s marriage, eventually leading to their split in 1978 (Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon pictured in 1960)
Buckingham Palace issued denials of reports that separation was being discussed by December of that year.
Over the next five years the couple were seen together less and less, and almost all the press attention was directed to speculation about Lord Snowdon’s ‘romances’ with society ladies like Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs and Lady Harlech.
At the same time the popular press was concluding a romance was on between Princess Margaret and landscape gardener Roddy Llewellyn, fuelled by their spending a holiday together in the Caribbean.
As the relationship became increasingly bitter, Lord Snowdon reportedly would make lists of ‘things I hate about you’ and leave them in books Margaret was reading.
Early romance: Princess Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon was seen in the show’s second series, with Vanessa Kirby playing the royal while Matthew Goode portrayed the photographer
Drama: Rumours of a rift in the marriage began as early as 1967, when foreign newspapers began to carry stories of a private ‘battle royal’
One note placed in her glove drawer allegedly read: ‘You look like a Jewish manicurist and I hate you.’
By March 1976, the rift had gone too far to be mended, although many observers close to the Royal Family appeared to believe separation was unthinkable.
It was assumed the couple would simply lead separate lives without taking a formal decision.
But the split came on March 19, 1976, with the Palace announcing they had ‘mutually agreed to live apart’, adding that there were ‘no plans for divorce proceedings’. They had been married nearly 16 years.
Going for a ride: Ben was accompanied by Australian actress Jessica De Gouw, who is playing Snowdon’s second wife Lucy Hogg, as they took a vintage Triumph car for a spin around Notting Hill, London
Second wife: The hard-partying Snowdon wed Lucy in 1978 very shortly after his tumultuous 16-year marriage Margaret came crashing down. He is pictured with her in 1985 (right)
Broadchurch star Olivia has taken over the lead role from Claire Foy and was confirmed to be playing Queen Elizabeth II in October.
The first series of The Crown was one of the most critically acclaimed dramas of 2016 – winning two Golden Globes and two SAG awards, and being nominated for four BAFTAs.
The show is also the most expensive television series ever made – with the first series costing $100 million.
The new series is expected to land on the online streaming site in early 2019.
Royal royal: Broadchurch star Olivia Colman has taken over the lead role from Claire Foy and was confirmed to be playing Queen Elizabeth II in October