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Ex-miners invited to reunion

MINERS CALL ... from left, Jim Perry, Ronny Peterson, Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson, Ronny Slater and Len Gardner advertising a social afternoon for Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare.

MINERS CALL ... from left, Jim Perry, Ronny Peterson, Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Ernest Gibson, Ronny Slater and Len Gardner advertising a social afternoon for Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare.

A REUNION for former South Tyneside miners has proved a such a success that a second social event is to be held.

A call has gone out to pitmen from the past to go along to a games and social afternoon being held at Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare.

The event, organised by the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) will take place tomorrow.

It will be the second event of its kind to be held in the year miners mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984 strike which changed the coal industry forever.

Former pitman Ronnie Peterson said: “We held a reunion event last month and it was such a great turnout we have decided to hold a second one in the hope it will become a monthly event.

“The afternoon has been organised by CISWO and it’s a great way of bringing everyone associated with the collieries together.”

The games and social afternoon at the welfare in Low Lane, South Shields, starts at 1.30pm.

It is hoped if enough people turn out a domino rally could be launched and included in future sessions open to all former workers of Harton, Westoe, Whitburn, Boldon pits and Monkton cokeworks.

South Tyneside Mayor, Coun Ernest Gibson, who is a former miner, said: “South Tyneside had a number of mining communities that had such a close-knit bond.

“When the strikes happened, it changed the face of the mining industry and its communities forever.

“Social events like this one are a great way for people associated with the collieries to come together and enjoy a social afternoon talking about years gone by, what they have done since the closure of the mines, as well as recreating the friendships that may have been lost over the years following pit closures.”

This year marks 30 years since the start of the year-long strike which started after the government, then led by Margaret Thatcher, announced plans to close 20 pits with a loss of 20,000 jobs.

At South Shields’ Westoe Colliery, thousands of miners came out in protest at the proposed closures and ramained on strike for a year.

Twitter @shieldsgazlisa

 

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