Thousands due to gather at gala Big Meeting

THOUSANDS of ex-miners and their families are set to attend the annual Durham Miners’ Gala tomorrow.

Also expected to be among the crowd at the 127th annual celebration, known as the Big Meeting, are two of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months.

Carlos Barrios Contrera and Carlos Bugueno Alfara were two of the 33 miners who were rescued in October last year after 69 days trapped 2,300ft underground in San Jose.

Thousands of people from east Durham will be travelling to Durham Racecourse to help uphold the long-running tradition of the gala, which runs on Saturday from 8am until 7pm.

Among the banners will be those from Horden and Deaf Hill, as well as a new banner from Thornley, one from Easington to mark the 60th anniversary of the Easington pit disaster, the Blackhall banner and ones representing Wheatley Hill and Wingate.

A 50-seater bus will leave Trimdon Station Community Centre, in Station Road East, for the gala at 8am on Saturday.

Free seats can still be booked by calling (01429) 880584.

The Horden banner will parade through Horden on Saturday, starting at Horden Victory Club, in Blackhills Road, at 7.45am, onto Tees Street and Park Road and then finish at Horden Labour Club, in Sunderland Road, ready for two coaches to take supporters to Durham at 8.15am.

l Durham Miners’ Gala nostalgic picture special in tomorrow’s Hartlepool Mail.