Durham Big Meeting to be dedicated to all key workers when it makes its return in 2022

Next year’s Durham Miners’ Gala is to be dedicated to all key workers when it makes its return.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Gala.

When it returns in 2022, on Saturday, July 9, key workers will be centre stage, with carers and bus drivers, delivery workers and nurses, shop staff and teachers, everyone who has risked their lives to keep society functioning during the pandemic to be celebrated.

The Durham Miners' Gala, which usually sees tens of thousands of people flock to the city centre to join in the event, has been cancelled for the second year running, with 2022's celebrations to be dedicated to key workers. Photo by Rich Kenworthy.

Between now and then, the DMA will work and campaign to make the event a “massive demonstration of public support for our pandemic heroes” while a series of ‘Little Big Meetings’ to be held across this summer in communities to celebrate the traditions of the event.

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It is working with trades union branches across the country to bring people into Durham, and is calling on the public to gather in greater numbers than ever before in support of the country’s key workers.

Alan Mardghum, secretary of the DMA, said: “As well as a great celebration of the spirit of our communities and our proud heritage, the Gala has always been a rallying point to fight for social justice.

“The central issue at the first Gala was the fight to end the use of child labour.

"That battle was won.

"Today, we are determined to play our part in bringing a measure of justice for key workers.

"As the pandemic has shown so starkly, it is they our society truly needs.

"We are proud to dedicate the Gala to them and we urge everyone join us in Durham in 2022 to demand the improved pay and conditions they so richly deserve.”

Before the pandemic, only the world wars and two national strikes had stopped the Gala marching on.

It is supported through the Marras, where people pledge subscriptions and donations through the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala (FODMG) since the closure of the collieries.

For more information visit www.durhamminersgala.org.

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