July 9th: The Miner’s Gala

The Durham Miner’s Gala is held every year in Durham, once a major center of coal mining in England. Thousands of marchers—the miners and their families—play in brass bands and carry banners. Every banner represents one of the lodges of the National Union of Mineworkers. Mining is no longer a major industry, but the gala remains a huge political gathering–there were more than 10,000 people there. It has a very socialist feel to it . . . Che Guevara shirts, and raised fists, and red banners were all over the place. Check out the details of the banners–very elaborate. The processions goes across Elvet Bridge, but there is a banner blessing in Durham Cathedral in the afternoon.

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