This year’s Durham Miners Gala is set to be the biggest of modern times, with more banners and brass bands taking part than at any time since before the Miners’ Strike.
Huge crowds are expected when the Gala returns this Saturday (July 9) after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
More than 50 Durham miners’ banners and more than 50 brass bands are now confirmed as attending. This is more bands and banners than at any Gala since before 1984-85 strike.
Following the dispute, the coal mining industry in County Durham was destroyed. Within a decade, every colliery on the Durham coalfield had been closed with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
Hosted by the Durham Miners Association (DMA), the Gala was established in 1871.
DMA Chairman Stephen Guy said: “We are seeing an extraordinary response from the extraordinary people of County Durham.
“Just as they were after the closure of the collieries, our communities are determined that the Gala must continue. The Gala is not just back – it will be bigger than it has been in decades.
“The Gala is the people’s day. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world and it happens right here on the second Saturday in July. We should all be very proud. This is Durham.”
A bumper turnout of trade unions and their members is expected to swell the crowds even further.
The 2022 Gala is dedicated to all key workers – those who risked their lives to keep society functioning during the pandemic. Key workers representing numerous sectors will be the guests of honour of the DMA taking pride of place on the famous balcony of the County Hotel and on the speakers’ platform on the Racecourse Ground. Two rank and file key workers will speak from the platform alongside the leaders of trade unions representing key workers.
Those who want to make the most of the weekend can still book in at the official Gala campsite. In a countryside setting at Houghall Campus just a short walk from the festivities, the campsite welcomes caravans and camper vans and features free entertainment exclusively for guests.
Book camping here.