The Durham Miners Gala is one of the world’s biggest and most colourful celebrations of trade unions and community spirit. With over 50 banners representing mining communities, each with their own brass band, it is also one of the most exuberant!

The band travelled up to Durham on the Friday night to take part in the 135th Miners Gala held on Saturday 13th July.

The atmosphere at the Gala is electric with an estimated 100,000 people in attendance every year. All the participating bands take great pride in representing their respective banners and entertaining the crowds as they parade through the centre of Durham, and our band is no exception to this. We are extremely honoured to have been marching in the Gala again, representing the banners and the members of our sponsor Unite the Union.

Taking a band of over 35 players to this year’s event, along with some traditional marches, we entertained the crowds with renditions of Sweet Caroline, Tragedy, YMCA and Delilah. There’s even a video of the crowd singing and swaying along to our performance of Delilah under the balcony of The County Hotel on our Facebook page.

After completing the march, members of Unite the Union head on to the Racecourse and the playing fields where there are speeches, exhibitions and a fair. The band departed the parade here for a well-earned drink before making our way back to Sheffield later that afternoon.

Whilst the Gala is a celebration of the trade unions and continuing traditions, even if you are not a trade unionist, the Gala is a truly spectacular event for everyone to enjoy. It is one of the highlights of the bands year and we would highly recommend everyone to come along and experience it at least once. (Keep an eye out for the big red Unite balloons while you are there). The collieries may be gone but long may the Gala traditions continue!

For further information about the Gala, please visit the Durham Miners Association website.