VIDEO: Miners’ unveil their banner after five decades without a standard

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A MINING banner is back in its home village after a gap of nearly 50 years.

The Sherburn Hill Colliery banner was last paraded through the village and at the Miners’ Gala in 1965.

Unveiling the restored Sherburn Hill Collieries Banner, left to right Stephen Guy, Les Manning, Keith Smith and Adam Forster with his children pupils at Sherburn Village Primary School, Harry, 4,  and Elspeth Forster aged six.

Unveiling the restored Sherburn Hill Collieries Banner, left to right Stephen Guy, Les Manning, Keith Smith and Adam Forster with his children pupils at Sherburn Village Primary School, Harry, 4, and Elspeth Forster aged six.

It has now been restored and is going on permanent display in Sherburn Workingmens’ Club in the village’s Front Street.

“We don’t know exactly what happened to it,” said Keith Smith of the Sherburn Collieries Banner Group.

“It was found in a chapel in Hetton and had been used by Elemore Lodge at some point because their name was painted on it.

“It was in a poor state of repair, but has now been renovated and will be displayed, in a case, on a wall in the club.

“There has already been a lot of interest in it and we are hoping lots of people, not just those who usually go to the club, will come and see it.”

Banner group chairman Stephen Guy said: “People will remember my father David , who with Dave Hopper, was heavily involved in the gala.

“He always said every village should have its banner, so I am delighted this one is back in Sherburn.

“It’s too fragile to take to the gala, but we hope to raise enough money to pay for a replica which we should be able to parade next year.”

The banner was unveiled to villagers at an evening event attended by North East MEP Stephen Hughes, retired miners, and primary schoolchildren from the village.

Mr Hughes said: “Miners’ banners have a long tradition and communities do have a proud attachment to them.

“They contain messages of struggle and hope, many of which still ring true today.

“I was delighted to join the Sherburn group for their evening of celebration.”