Durham Miners Gala’s £15,000 appeal to fund Big Meeting improvements

Thousands gathered at the Durham Miners' Gala to listen to the speakers on the Racecourse Ground.
Thousands gathered at the Durham Miners' Gala to listen to the speakers on the Racecourse Ground.

A £15,000 appeal has been launched by the leaders of Durham Miners’ Gala as they aim to take their message to the big screen.

The organisers of the 134th Big Meeting, to be held on Saturday, July 14, have decided they need to draft in big screens and a better sound system to ensure the crowd can see and hear the speeches on the Racecourse Ground.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn on the Royal County Hotel balcony watching the 2017 Durham Miners' Gala.

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn on the Royal County Hotel balcony watching the 2017 Durham Miners' Gala.

Up to 80,000 people are estimated to have been on the field for last year’s address, and this year’s will once again feature Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among the speakers.

The event costs about £250,000 to stage, and the Marras appeal is asking people to support the campaign with additional cash to put on the extras, which are among a series of improvements in the pipeline for the event.

The day attracts about 220,000 people, with Durham County Council supporting the running of the celebrations with road closures and barriers and Durham Constabulary ensuring the day is policed.

Alan Cummings, secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, said: “What we are looking at is trying to raise an amount because people come to hear our speakers, but only half can see or hear them.

People need to be able to hear and see the Labour leader and the next Labour Prime Minister.

Alan Cummings

“We’ve been a victim of our own success, and we are grateful for the ordinary people who have become our friends through the Marras of Durham Big Meeting, but we know they will want to see their donation go to something they can then see the benefit of.

“People need to be able to hear and see the Labour leader and the next Labour Prime Minister.”

To support the appeal visit http://www.friendsofdurhamminersgala.org/.

Durham Miners' Association secretary Alan Cummings.

Durham Miners' Association secretary Alan Cummings.