Durham Miners' Gala


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Durham Miners' Gala

Second Saturday of July
With the emergence of coal mining in the 17th century, England began enjoying the fruits of a lucrative industry. But the miners did not always receive fair compensation. Soon after founding the first union in 1869, a group of mine workers in northern England initiated a campaign to lobby their pit bosses, who met regularly to set mining wages at the Royal County Hotel in the city of Durham.
Soon an annual tradition developed in which mine workers arrived at the hotel in grand style, bringing with them brass bands and colorful silk banners that identified their unions. What began as a formal protest became a grand party, and by 1871, the first official Durham Miners' Gala was held.
Today, the gala is less political in nature. It has become more of a heritage celebration of coal mining, an industry that has steadily decreased over the years. The event usually features about 30 community brass bands, which march through the streets of Durham with banners representing member organizations of the National Union of Mineworkers. The procession ends at the Racecourse of Durham University, where attendees gather to hear speeches from trade union leaders and politicians.
CONTACTS:
Durham Mining Museum
c/o Thornley Community Centre
Hartlepool St.
Thornley DH6 3AB UK
References in periodicals archive ?
IAM a proud supporter of the Durham Miners' Gala and I believe that it is a fantastic event that celebrates the rich cultural and historical traditions of mining in the North East.
The Association has said it faces a difficult task in funding the Durham Miners' Gala after it was handed a PS2m legal bill in a failed fight to widen a Government compensation scheme.
The Durham Miners' Gala started earlier this morning, with a procession of traditional mining banners weaving their way through the streets of Durham City.
Since then, the Friends of the Durham Miners' Gala has recruited 1,000 new members after a sudden surge in people joined to show their support for the event.
Mr Jones said: "I'm on the record Gala die Hopper as a supporter of the Durham Miners' Gala, and continue to be so, but I do not think it is unreasonable to ask the association to publish its accounts and show what they have done with all the money.
Concern was raised this week that the Durham Miners' Gala could be at risk after the association was handed a PS2m legal bill after a lengthy legal battle to secure compensation for miners suffering from osteoarthritis.
We are now faced with a possible threat to the future of the Durham Miners' Gala which has a wonderful history of celebrating the achievements of the Trade Union movement and the contribution made by our mining communities over many generations before they were cynically destroyed by Thatcher's Tories.
It is donations to the Friends of Durham Miners' Gala that can ensure its continued survival.
org or write to Friends of the Durham Miners' Gala , PO Box 6, The Miners Hall, Red Hill, Durham DH1 4BB.
TIME was that every Labour leader would attend - but today it emerged the Durham Miners' Gala faces an uncertain future.
WIND turbine opponents, charities and even the Durham Miners' Gala all risk being silenced by the Government's lobbying bill, MPs have warned.
Mr Crow had led strike action in London and backed strikes by his RMT members on the Metro and was a keynote speaker at last years' Durham Miners' Gala.

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