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
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Friends of Durham Miner's Gala say any other stock made with their branding was "unauthorised" by them.
Friends of Durham Miner's Gala say any other stock made with their branding, including shirts and underwear, was "unauthorised" by them.
A SEA of colour paraded through Durham city yesterday as tens of thousands of people joined forces to celebrate mining heritage with the annual Durham Miner's Gala.
A sea of colour paraded throughDurham citytoday as tens of thousands of people joined forces to celebrate mining heritage with the annual Durham Miner's Gala.
THERE was a time when the Durham Miner's Gala was - among other things - a demonstration of the unity which existed between the National Union of Miners and Labour MPs.
And there is still a week's worth of live music and films to go, including the Durham Miner's Gala on Sunday, July 14.

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