Banners, brass band music, and poetry marked the 150 years to the day since the first Durham Miners Gala.
The first Gala was held in the amphitheatre at Wharton Park on 12 August 1871. Today, the Durham Miners Association (DMA) returned to the site a century and half later to honour the anniversary.Read more
The DMA has said farewell to union and community stalwart Derek Sleightholme.Read more
The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has announced that next year’s Gala will be dedicated to all our key workers.
The Gala was due to be held today (Saturday 10 July) but was cancelled for the second year running due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year is the 150th anniversary of the first Gala.Read more
It is with immense sadness that we have learned of the death of Jean Lamb (pictured front row, right), a key member of the Miners Wives support group in Hetton and across Durham.Read more
The Durham Miners Association has welcomed a parliamentary report calling for the return of at least £1.2 billion to the Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS).Read more
Everyone at the Durham Miners Association is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Rick Sumner, founder of the National Justice for Mineworkers Campaign (NJMC).Read more
After lengthy consultations with our partners we have, reluctantly, decided that this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala cannot go ahead.
The executive committee of the DMA felt we could not ask all of our partners in local government, the police, health services and banner groups to forge on towards our great day while the possibility of it being allowed to go ahead – with or without social distancing measures – seems less and less likely. Furthermore, we would be asking thousands of people to commit time, money and resources which they can ill afford.
The Prime Minister’s roadmap to Covid recovery made difficult reading for this year’s 150th Gala year. The key part of the timetable is June 21 which is the very earliest that the government says large public events could again be possible. That would leave a mere three weeks for us to mobilise or cancel the Gala which, as always, was scheduled for the second Saturday in July.
It was felt that the risk factors are too great to commit bands, banners and hard-pressed public services to the complex organisation of the Gala while the possibility of having to cancel the event is still very high.
We are also conscious that many of our Gala stalwarts may have been isolating for a year or so. Even with broadscale vaccinations, many may feel unsure about returning to large crowds.
2021 is the 150th anniversary year of the Gala and we are determined to keep the flame alive.
The Marras – the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala – have already agreed to sponsor local events should we have to cancel The Big Meeting. Marras have also agreed that all banner groups will be paid double band allowance next year to help with the financial stress caused by Covid.
We are aware that this is not the best of news but the DMA’s top priority is to keep our members and supporters safe and secure during these troubled times. We will keep you informed of the plans to celebrate our 150th, albeit without our wonderful main event.
We will be back in 2022 with biggest and best Gala ever and we look forward to seeing you all there.
The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) is continuing to prepare for this year’s Gala.
The Durham Miners’ Gala is due to be held on Saturday 10 July 2021. This would see the Gala return for its 150th anniversary, following the cancellation of last year’s event in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.Read more
The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has paid tribute to Anne Suddick.
Anne, who has died aged 72, was central to the efforts to support miners and their families during the 1984-85 strike.Read more
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.Read more