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 ?
The session gets under way at noon and introduces the history of the park, which was the location for the first Durham Miners Gala, and will encourage people to share their memories of it.
Kyrsty and Amie with our memories of our special visitor FOUR YEARS AGO, our school choir went to the Durham Miners Gala.
Finally - in the late 1940s and early 1950s an uncle and auntie of mine took me nearly every year to the Durham Miners Gala, which I found to be a wonderful day out with
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.
At the Durham Miners Gala just under two weeks ago Ed Miliband, the first Labour leader to address the meeting for 23 years, paid tribute to Mr Guy, describing him as a "true inspiration who was a miner from the age of 15.
Anyone wishing to become a friend of the Durham Miners gala can do so online at www,durhamminers.
The Durham Miners Association, which hosts the event, will today call on people to donate pounds 2 per month and become an Official Friend of the Durham Miners Gala.
At the Durham Miners Gala a few weeks ago, Ed Miliband, the first Labour leader to address the meeting for 23 years, paid tribute to Mr Guy, describing him as a "true inspiration who was a miner from the age of 15.
However the Durham Miners Gala has always been as much about Labour leaders being given the chance of coming face-to-face with the party's grassroots support and enjoying the working class traditions of the event.
WHY has Ed Milliband decided to attend the Durham Miners Gala, when no Labour leader has done so for 23 years?
The Liverpool funnyman put aside a busy schedule to make an appearance at the Durham Miners Gala, a massive event to push the plight of former mining communities.

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