New chairman for Durham miners

Stephen Guy has been appointed the Chairman of the Durham Miners’ Association.

The former miner takes up the position as the DMA continues its work to ensure a vibrant legacy for the region’s proud mining heritage.

In the voluntary role, Stephen will support the DMA Secretary Alan Mardghum and executive in their efforts to secure the future of both the Miners Hall at Redhills and the Durham Miners’ Gala, as well as continuing the vital work to provide advice, support and representation for former miners.

Stephen said: “It is a real privilege to be asked by the Durham Miners’ Executive to take up this position, and a great responsibility, particularly at such a crucial time in our long and proud history.

“It is imperative that we retain and grow the Gala and ensure that the Redhills project reaches its zenith. Together they will provide a fitting legacy for all the Durham miners who have gone before – and a platform and source of inspiration for generations to come.”

The position of chairman was created in 2012 following the passing of Stephen’s father Dave Guy, the last miner to be elected as the President of the DMA.

Stephen was a coal miner at Woodside and Middridge Drift collieries. Following the closure of the collieries, he worked in local government representing the unemployed and people with disabilities, and as a service development manager in the charity sector. He currently works as a trade union official for the North East region.

Throughout, Stephen maintained his involvement with the DMA, holding positions at branch and regional levels for the last 33 years.

He added: “In many ways I feel like I’m coming home. I look forward to putting the skills and experience I have developed since the closure of the collieries in to use in service of the DMA and our communities.”

With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the DMA is progressing its plans to secure the future of Redhills and renew its historic home as a centre for culture, heritage and education.

Thanks to the support of the public through Marras – Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, the Gala has not just survived but has thrived in recent years with more than 200,000 people in attendance. Following the cancellation of this year’s Gala, the DMA is working to ensure the event returns bigger and better than ever for its 150th anniversary in 2021.