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The past we inherit, the future we build

‘On November 20 1869, four good men sat at a table in the Market Tavern in Durham. They were there to improve the lives of pitmen’

Durham Miners Association

Hosted by the Durham Miners Association (DMA) since 1871 the Gala was cancelled for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic but it was back in full strength at the weekend. This celebration of the coal mining heritage (and particularly that of miners' trade unionism) of the Durham Coalfield is still at the heart of many ex-mining communities across the County. It was an impressive sight to see everyone back out on the streets of Durham for 2022 (Durham Gala). The banners that were held aloft and paraded down the streets are soon to be displayed on a more permanent basis following the completion of the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project at Durham Miners Hall.

Working closely with the Durham Miners Association we were recently successful in gaining planning and listed building consent for works to the buildings known as Redhills. The project ‘Redhills Revealedfocuses on transforming the Durham Miners Hall into a centre for culture, heritage and education to celebrate ‘the past that we inherit and the future we build’. With a new charity, Redhills CIO, established in 2021 to lead on the project and safeguard its future. The Miners Hall will be restored to its former glory. Redhills will become a living archive of the Durham coalfield and a centre of learning for schools, the local community and the wider public. It will tell the people’s history of the Durham coalfield through guided tours opening up the building and its collections as never seen before. Two contemporary extensions to the rear of the building will create a new accessible entrance and Banner Room, with additional spaces to gather and learn.

Currently out to tender, we hope to see this project on site in Autumn 2022. You can find out more about the history of Redhills and their future plans here.

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