The Durham Miners’ Gala will be dedicated to key workers when it’s held for the first time in three years on Saturday 9 July.
The annual gathering of the Durham Miners’ Association is set to return to the north-east city this year after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 event will be the 136th ‘Big Meeting’ since it was first held first held in 1871.
“Carers and bus drivers, delivery workers and nurses, shop staff and teachers, everyone who has risked their lives to keep society functioning throughout the pandemic will be celebrated,” according to the DMA’s website.
The traditional rally of mine workers has long since become a broad-based celebration of the wider Labour and socialist movement as modern-day union banners from across the country mingle among the old lodge banners and colliery brass bands.
The focal point of the three-hour procession is County Hotel in Old Elvet where union leaders, Labour politicians and other invited guests greet the bands before heading to the racecourse grounds for speeches, stalls, tents and a fun fair. The day finishes with a miners’ service in Durham Cathedral.
DMA Secretary Alan Mardghum said: “We know the Gala has been sorely missed. It has been at the heart of the cultural life of the people of the Durham coalfield area for more than 150 years.
“The Gala has also been a rallying point to fight for social justice throughout its long history. We dedicate this year’s Gala to the workers of this country. As the pandemic made so clear, it is they our society truly needs. Our key workers will be centre stage, and I urge everyone to join us in Durham in a massive demonstration of our support.”