Looking back at mining heritage 30 years since strike hit Easington

The Easington Collery Band leads the parade up Seaside Lane as the miners banner is caught by a strong wind. Picture by FRANK REID

The Easington Collery Band leads the parade up Seaside Lane as the miners banner is caught by a strong wind. Picture by FRANK REID

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HUNDREDS of people are expected to flock to a former miners’ hall for a weekend that pays homage to the area’s heritage.

In the week that marks 30 years since the start of the Miners’ Strike, Easington Social Welfare Centre, in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, is hosting two events that commemorate local history.

The first is a live performance of a musical homage to the coalmining industry, from 7pm on Friday.

The Miners’ Hymns, which draws on the brass heritage of the former coalfields set against a backdrop of archive footage, is a collaboration between US film-maker Bill Morrison and Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson.

Around 270 free tickets for the event, which is held in partnership with Beamish and The Arts Council, were snapped up within three days by people both locally and from as away as London and Scotland. It will be followed by a performance by local band Central Park.

Then on Saturday from 10am-4pm, the centre will become a hive of activity when a number of organisations take part in an open day.

There will be around 20 colliery banners on display, readings from Easington Writers and music from Easington Colliery Band.

Children from Easington Colliery Primary School’s choir will also perform, there will be a Striking Times display as well as memorabilia from Heather Wood, who worked in the soup kitchen during the strike. Age UK and Age Concern will also run displays, as will East Durham Heritage Group, Easington Atlas, Womens’ Institute and Donnini House and Ashwood Park care homes.