Durham Miners' Gala 2019: speakers and event timings on the day

This Saturday (13 July) will see the 135th edition of the Durham Miners' Gala take place, in celebration of community, international solidarity and working class culture.

By Claire Schofield
Wednesday, 10 July, 2019, 12:40
This Saturday (13 July) marks the 135th edition of the Durham Miners' Gala

Every year, more than 100,000 people take to the streets of the city to enjoy the spectacle of The Big Meeting - a vibrant carnival of hope and unity.

Order of events

Jeremy Corbyn is among the speakers at this year's Big Meeting

Hosted by the Durham Miners' Association since 1871, the gala has given a voice to the oppressed and shown the importance of trade unionism, while helping to commemorate the past.

The event kicks off in the city centre in the early morning and runs until mid-afternoon.

Here are all the timings you need to know for the day:

8.30am

Banner groups and bands gather in Durham City Centre Market Place. Other assembly points include Redhills: Durham Miners Hall and Whitechurch pub.

Banners celebrating Durham's working class history are carried through the streets of the city to the sound of brass band music.

From the initial assembly points, groups will then proceed towards the County Hotel at Old Elvet. Here, labour movement leaders, guests and local dignitaries will greet the march from the hotel balcony and the bands will pause to play their ‘party piece’.

This part of the procession can take a few hours to pass the County Hotel, due to the huge numbers in attendance.

The procession then continues along Old Elvet to the Old Racecourse by the River Wear, where banners will be strapped around the perimeter fencing.

12pm

By the afternoon, tens of thousands of people will have gathered to browse stalls, enjoy the fun fair and listen to the platform speeches.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

1pm

The Chair will openThe Big Meeting and guest speakers will address the crowd.

Once the speeches have concluded, brass bands will play and new banners are blessed at Durham Cathedral during the Miners' Festival Service.

2.30pm

The procession of bands and banners kicks will take place.

3pm

The cathedral service begins at 3pm. Those hoping to attend are advised to arrive early as it is always at full capacity.

Who will be speaking at the gala?

The speakers at the gala will take to the stage on the Racecourse from 1pm, once the bands have made their way past the County Hotel.

The big name for this year's event is Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, who will speak at 2pm.

Here is the full list of speakers who will take to the stage at The Big Meeting:

Jeremy Corbyn MP - Leader of the Labour Party Rebecca Long Bailey MP - Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Laura Pidcock MP - Shadow Minister for Labour Len McCluskey - General Secretary of Unite the union Shami Chakrabarti - Shadow Attorney General Dave Prentis - General Secretary of UNISON Dave Ward - General Secretary of the The Communications Union Kevin Courtney - Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union Doug Nicholls - General Secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions

Filmmaker Ken Loach will be giving a bible reading at the gala cathedral service, addressing issues of social injustice.

For more information on the event visit friendsofdurhamminersgala.org