Saturday 13 July saw a massive turn out at the 135th Big Meeting organised by the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) now in its 150th year. The organisers claim that the Gala is the largest celebration of community and working class culture in the world and is a tribute to the DMA who have revived the celebrations in recent years, giving it stronger community, national and international involvements. Despite the brutal shutting down of the UK’s mining industry following the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike and the devastation of their communities which threatened the very future of the the DMA, the Big Meeting goes from strength to strength.
Far away from the Westminster bubble, and challenges to his leadership, tens of thousands people attending the 132nd Durham Miners Gala last Saturday gave Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a rapturous reception, boosting both his confidence and his campaign to remain leader of the party against an expected challenge from Wallasey MP Angela Eagle.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the defeat of the great miners’ strike. The weekend marked the 131st Durham Miners’ Gala attended by over 150,000 people. The night before the main event on Saturday 11 July, saw a meeting held at the Miners’ HQ in Red Hill, Durham to discuss the latest developments in the campaign to get justice for the Orgreave miners and supporters, organised by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.