Dave Hopper the President of the Durham Miners Association has issued the following appeal to help the ‘Big Meeting’ continue and continue to play an important role in the trade union and Labour movement.
“We are making this appeal to all our friends who believe that it is important to ensure the future of the Durham Miners’ Gala. Our Gala which was first held 142 years ago is the biggest celebration of trade union and community values in Britain today.
It is an inspiration to all who participate and I am sure you will agree it must continue. Since our coalfield was finally destroyed 20 years ago by a vengeful Tory government we have had no regular subscription to our funds from working miners.
The cost of the Gala is increasing year on year. £26,400 alone is spent subsidising the brass bands, which are an essential feature of the Big Meeting and give us so much pleasure on the day. It is self evident that without a viable source of income the Durham Miners’ Association can not fund the Gala indefinitely.
To add to our problems we have recently been informed that we have lost our case, on behalf of former miners who are suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, in the Court of Appeal. We now face legal costs which may well exceed £1.4M
However, we are confident that we have sufficient friends who want the Gala to continue and who are prepared to contribute on a regular basis.
We are therefore asking you to make a regular donation. If you donate £2 a month or a one-off payment of £24 a year you will become a member of ‘The Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala Society’ and each year you will receive a glossy magazine with photographs of the Gala and a report of the speeches.
You can of course donate more than £2 per month if your circumstances allow.
To join, please click here at The Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala page and follow the on screen instructions.
You may also wish to buy one or more of the items, advertised on this site, which we are selling to raise funds for the Gala. The books and the calendar will make excellent Christmas presents. Please visit the shop page for further information.
Please don’t delay. If we are to keep the Gala going, we need your help now.
Yours in solidarity,
General Secretary DMA