PROUD ex-miners from South Tyneside marched through South Shields at the weekend to honour the borough’s industrial heritage.
More than 50 former miners and scores of others turned out in force to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the 1984 miners’ strike on Saturday.
The march was part of a two-day exhibition at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery at the weekend.
The march saw former pitmen carrying banners, accompanied by Westoe Brass Band, march from the museum in Ocean Road to and St Hilda’s Church, along King Street.
During the two-day anniversary exhibition, former miners were on hand to talk to visitors, while artefacts and pictures from the era were also on display.
There were also talks and the showcasing of a film, On The Front Line, by Gary Wilkinson, which looked at the strike at Westoe Colliery.
To complement the exhibition, North East author and historian Ken Smith will host a talk on the history of the banners from the North East coalfields at Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare, in Low Lane, South Shields, tonight.Entry to the event, at 7pm, is free.
John Watson, secretary of the Harton and Westoe Miners Banner Group, said: “The march was very well supported by everyone, from former miners to the general public. People were lining King Street.
“I am very proud. It showed the feelings of solidarity and camaraderie in the mining communities are still just as strong 30 years on.
“The mining communities were decimated, and feelings are still very strong.
“There was also a great response at the museum. A lot of parents brought their children along and were educating them about the mines and the strike.”