Mini miners Gala to take place in South Shields - Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare organises event after cancellation of Durham Miners' Gala

South Tyneside’s rich mining heritage will be celebrated at the weekend with an action-packed day of events.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 4:44 pm
A previous Durham Miners' Gala

Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare is holding its own gala on Saturday, August 28, at its site in Low Lane, South Shields.

It is one of a number of events being organised across the North East by miners welfares after the decision to again cancel the Durham Miners’ Gala, which usually takes place each July, due to covid.

David Farham of Harton and Westoe Miners said: “The (Durham) Gala is a huge event but sadly had to be cancelled the past two years due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.

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Picture from 1970 as the banner of Harton and Westoe Miners' Lodge hung high outside the empty buildings of Harton Colliery, closed the previous year. Lodge officials and members were pictured outside the former pit before marching to South Shields station on their way to the Durham Gala.

“However Miners Welfares throughout Durham including Harton and Westoe are holding individual galas and fun days."

The events programme will begin at 12noon on Saturday, and entrance is free of charge.

David said: “There will be a display of colliery banners, a performance from Westoe brass band, Bouncy Castles, kiddies’ rides, children's entertainers, balloon making, face painting, live entertainment featuring Terry Slesser and Stephan Mulvain and lots more.

“As well as a licensed bar serving alcoholic and soft drinks there will be food stalls serving hot and cold food and snacks.

“South Shields police, fire brigade and the coastguard will be in attendance to demonstrate their services and to informally meet with everyone attending especially children.

“It promises to be a great day out and is open to everyone, not just miners, so we look forward to welcoming lots of people on the day.”

After last year’s Durham Miners’ Gala was axed due to the pandemic and celebrations moved online, the 2021 gathering on Saturday, July 10, was to be the 150th Gala.

The DMA said local events would be held, with sponsorship from The Marras, the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, while banner groups will get double band allowance in 2022.

The gala developed out of the miners' trade union activities, the first union being established in 1869.

The DMA organised the first gala, which was held in 1871 in Wharton Park, Durham.

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