Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has issued a special appeal to everyone who believes that the Durham Miners’ Gala should live on.
The gala has been held in Durham City in July since 1871 and last year it attracted over 150,000 people, despite the area’s last colliery closing over two decades ago. With no working miners the DMA has received no contributions since 1993 and yet still continues to represent at industrial tribunals those miners made unwell by harsh working conditions.
Now the DMA has been left with a £2.2 million bill after losing a lengthy court battle on behalf of former miners suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. No one denies that the disease was contracted as a result of work but the case was lost after the judge refused to allow it to progress because it was outside a three-year time limit for claims.
An appeal against the ruling was lost and the final legal bill is a hefty one. This places the future of the gala in doubt and the DMA is seeking support to cover the £60,000 annual costs for what is currently the biggest union event in the country.
Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala was launched last year and asks people to make a minimum donation of £2 a month or £24 a year. Those who do so receive a glossy magazine packed with Gala photographs. More importantly they will be helping to secure the future of this vital event in the working class and labour movement calendar.
For more information go to:- www.durhamminers.org