Ex-miners from across South Tyneside get set for parade

Taking part in last year's gala event former miners and their families
Taking part in last year's gala event former miners and their families

Former miners from South Tyneside are getting set to take their place alongside thousands of colleagues as part of the annual Durham Miners Gala.

The 133rd event will be held on Saturday and see speeches made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as well as film director and activist Ken Loach.

The ex-miners from Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare, will join the procession which makes its way from the Market Place to the racecourse, accompanied by Westoe Brass Band.

This year, they will be carrying the Westoe and Harton Colliery banner.

The Durham Miners gala attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the event, each year.

Coun Ernest Gibson, who previously worked at Westoe Colliery said: “The miners from South Tyneside have had a presence at the gala for many, many years.

“When the pits closed there was a period of time when we had no banner to march with, which is why the banner group was set up.

“The gala is such an important event as it highlights an important part of our heritage and an important part of our history.

“It’s good to see the coal coming into the Port of Tyne as it is providing jobs on the river, but it’s also sad as the mining industry did provide a lot of jobs for the people in South Tyneside.”

Throughout the event, there are rides for the children and a variety of stalls selling a range of items from books to fast food.

Marquees are also set up with exhibitions linked to the history of the mining community.

The group will once again march without the town’s MP.