Julie Moody is on the approved list of Conservative parliamentary candidates and recounts here how the miners' strike of 1984-85 politicised her as a 15-year-old growing up in the mining heartland of County Durham.
When I realised that the 25th anniversary of the Miners' Strike was upon us, my first reaction was that it reminded me how old I was. But more importantly, it took me back to the point when politics became real for me.
At 15, I was in the 4th Year at my local comprehensive school. Our classroom became a melting pot: as a policeman’s daughter and miner's granddaughter, I sat alongside miners' sons and daughters, a Coal Board manager’s son and a teacher whose husband crossed the picket lines.
Early on, our History teacher encouraged us to discuss our various views, which I think, looking back, was a healthy way to deal with the tension that without doubt existed. We got into some very heated and heartfelt arguments on a regular basis, sometimes prompted by events as they occurred. One particular morning I remember the NCB worker's son coming in after the family car had been vandalised on the drive.