Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Sunday 14 July 2019

Durham Miner's Gala

In the early seventies I attended the Durham Miner's Gala as a spectator and a jolly good occasion it was too. The miners themselves marching behind the beautifully crafted banners of their lodges as brass bands played tunes such as Blaydon Races, familiar in the region.
There was a coal mining industry still then and the unions played an important part in looking after the interests of men and women doing a difficult job as the need for their product was in decline. There was, nevertheless, a positive, joyous atmosphere in the City, a celebration of the heritage and camaraderie to be found in the community. How different it seems now. In the early seventies the miner's unions were led by Arthur Scargill, a firebrand socialist who tried to influence the politics of the day by using the miners as a battering ram to knock down the door of Conservative power. Today, there are no or very few Durham mines or miners, but still the gala is held,  now not as a proud tradition upholding all that was right about the Unions but as a rallying point for the most extreme socialists headed by Jeremy Corbyn and his left wing acolytes.

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