New beer raises a glass to magnificent miners’ hall and Silksworth pitman

A new beer has been launched with a special significance for one of the people producing it.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 4:55 am

As well as pleasing the pub-goers’ palate, Redhills Red Ale is being made to highlight the appeal to renovate Redhills, the magnificent miners’ hall in the City of Durham, which was the heart of the mining community of the Durham coalfields.

The beer has great personal significance to David Snaith from Sunderland business manager at the Barnard Castle Brewing Co which is producing the 4.3% ABV ale.

David’s father Matthew Snaith, who died in 2008, was a lifelong miner who worked at Silksworth Colliery and later Wearmouth Colliery, where the Stadium of Light now stands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Redhills, the historic home of the DMA, Davis Snaith, business manager at Barnard Castle Brewing Co and Redhills red ale, their latest brew.

Matthew was also an accomplished musician as a trombone player and dedicated member of the Silksworth Colliery Brass Band, the band became Third Section National Brass Band Champions in 1982.

David, a former Ryhope Comprehensive pupil, was also a member of the band as both cornet player and drummer, then later for the Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band, where he met and struck-up a friendship with Kevin Carr, the brewery's head brewer and another Sunderland lad.

The Grade II listed Redhills Durham Miners’ Hall first opened in 1915. Construction was funded by 150,000 members of the Durham Miners Association (DMA). It houses the Pitman’s Parliament, where elected delegates met for generations.

From Redhills, the DMA created a social system across County Durham, which then included Sunderland, providing education, sickness and unemployment benefits, retirement homes, medical care, community centres, libraries, and sports fields.

Silksworth Colliery Band - Third Section National Champions 1982. Matthew Snaith is front row third from right. David Snaith is back row, third from left.

David Snaith said: “We’re delighted to take this opportunity to produce a beer that promotes the Redhills Appeal; a building that signifies the shared mining heritage of families all around the North East of England."

In April the crumbling Durham Miners’ Hall was given a “life-saving” £4.5 million grant to preserve it and help continue the history of the North East’s colliery culture.

Durham County Council is providing £1.1 million of matched funding toward the £7.25 million project, with the DMA raising the remaining £1.65 million from trades unions and other supporters.

Read More

Read More
Historic Sunderland city centre buildings including original Binns store saved f...

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.