Pit village celebrates its past with new banner for the future
A new banner has been unveiled so that generations to come can honour their pit village’s past.
Horden’s new £7,000 display shows the Ray Lonsdale artwork Marra stood before its colliery, while St Mary’s Church, Labour politician Manny Shinwell and miners shaking hands across the world were also chosen to feature on the front of the new piece.
The reverse shows Harold Wilson, who served as Labour Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and again in 1974 to 1976, in a recreation of one side of the village banner made in 1966, which is now on show inside Horden Social Welfare Centre.
The new banner, commissioned from Durham Bannermakers, will be paraded for the first time at Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday, July 13, replacing one made in 1981 which is beyond repair.
It will also be paraded up to Durham Cathedral for the annual Big Meeting service to be blessed.
Gary Tate, secretary of Horden Banner Committee, said: “After 38 years, the old one started to rip. It was taped together with Sellotape to try and keep it together. “It’s owned by Horden Parish Council, and it was decided, right, let’s get a new banner to carry at Durham.
“This is the first time since then one has been commissioned and it looks absolutely fantastic. “Now people will be able to march with it for another 40 years to come, it’s going to benefit the community for generations yet to come and continue to honour Horden on the march through Durham.”
The welfare centre hosted an unveiling event on Saturday, bring together supporters, Easington Labour MP Grahame Morris, Durham Miners’ Association chairman Joe Whitworth and its secretary Alan Cummings and Durham County Council chairman Councillor John Lethbridge for the event.
The cash was raised through Horden Parish Council, as well as county council ward members June Clark and Ian McClean.
The committee was formed three years ago to also help cover the cost of travel to Durham Big Meeting, with two 35-seater coaches put on to help villagers get to and from the city on the day.
It also helps funds Rossendale Scout Band, which accompanies the village banner on its march to the Race Course Field.
Discussions are under way to secure a location to put the 1981 banner on permanent show within a community building.