Film and music tribute to mining heritage

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A MOVING tribute to the region’s mining heritage will be screened at a Washington church.

The Miners’ Hymns, a unique music and film project, was first performed at Durham Cathedral three years ago, and has gone on to be screened around the world.

Later this month, it will be screened at Washington Village Church as part of a night which will celebrate the miners of Washington and County Durham.

The film draws upon a century’s-worth of film footage to portray the everyday life of people working in the North East coalfields. Event organiser Ashley Powell said: “I saw the film screened in Peterlee and thought it would be great to show it in Washington as a tribute to the miners.

“Washington played such an important part in the mining industry, such as experiments carried out here with Davy Lamps.”

As well as a history talk by Ashley, the night will include artefacts on loan from Beamish Museum, singers and bands. The Miners’ Hymns was created by US artist Bill Morrison who searched BBC, British Film Institute and other archives for footage that spanned more than 100 years, which he then edited with contemporary aerial footage of the former coalfield sites. Often accompanied by a live orchestra, the film has had critically-acclaimed presentations in the US and Europe, and a seven-month UK tour.

•The Miners’ Hymns is on at Washington Village Church at 7pm on September 20. Tickets £5 from Tel. 0750 4696777 or email durhamminers@yahoo.co.uk.