A DEDICATED band of history lovers has launched a fund-raising fight to return a treasured coalmining momento to its former glory.
The Whitburn and Marsden Heritage Group has unearthed a Marsden Lodge banner, representing Whitburn Colliery, which has not been on display since 1983, when it was carried at the centenary celebration of the Durham Miners’ Gala.
It was tracked down to the Miners’ Hall in Durham, and has now been handed over to South Shields Town Hall while a restoration project is launched.
Group member Brian Cauwood, from Maple Grove, Whitburn, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather all worked at Whitburn Colliery, said: “We are delighted to have our banner back and are looking forward to the hard work ahead to complete the project. The last time I saw it was at the centenary Durham Miners’ Gala in 1983. We’ve now got the banner stored in the town hall but until we unfurl it we won’t know the damage, and the cost to repair it but it could be as much as £30,000 or £40,000. I have always wanted to restore it but haven’t had the time until now.”
The first meeting of the group will be held on January 23, at 7.30pm, at the Barnes Institute, in East Street, Whitburn.
Anyone wanting to get involved in the project, or donate any funds towards the restoration, can contact Brian on 07779374781.