Hundreds gather in the sun for first Easington festival to celebrate mining heritage in County Durham

Hundreds gathered in the sun to celebrating the mining heritage of County Durham in a new festival.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 5:26 pm
Updated Monday, 26th August 2019, 6:25 pm
Frankie Clark (3), Albie (5) and Freya (6) Parkin, all of Easingtion, at the festival

The first Easington Miners’ Picnic has been hailed a success after hundreds flocked to celebrate the area’s history.

The family event featured live music from traditional colliery bands and singers with children’s crafts, activities and food and drink stalls.

The festival took place on the site of the former Easington Colliery at Easington Local Nature Reserve from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, August 24.

Easington Colliery Band performed

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To kick start the day’s activities, walkers gathered for a traditional miners’ banner parade accompanied by music from Easington Colliery Brass Band.

Ahead of the event, festival organiser Michelle Harland, from Seaham-based Creative Youth Opportunities CIC, said: “The Easington Miners’ Picnic is a celebration of the community and an opportunity to bring together people across the generations to explore what Easington means to them.

“As well as commemorating Easington’s mining heritage and educating younger generations about the history of the village, the festival is an opportunity to look forward and celebrate the wonderful and unique natural landscape that has emerged from Country Durham’s industrial past.”

County-Durham based folk singer Jez Lowe, country artist Gem Andrews and the eclectic and energetic world-music troop The Baghdaddies complete the musical line-up alongside the Easington Colliery Brass Band and entertained festival-goers on the day.

A banner parade started the event

Food and drink was on offer from The Miners Lamp, Flamingo Café, Tynemouth Coffee, Charlton’s Horsebox and Café Together.

There was also a pop-up exhibition curated by film and photography collective Amber Films featuring photographs and memorabilia celebrating Easington’s history and heritage.

A range of activities were on offer for families including flag and banner making, cookie creation, wool craft, face painting and nature walks with National Trust rangers.

The event was supported by the National Trust as part of the national People's Landscapes programme.

Eric Wilton, general manager for the National Trust Durham Coast, said: “Once home to one of the biggest coal mines in Europe, at Easington, the former ‘black beaches’ were transformed by a massive clean-up project, Turning the Tide, in the 1990s."