My first experience of the Durham Miners Gala

On Saturday 14th July myself and Dan Lewis attended the Durham miner’s gala, representing the North West young workers committee.

The night before the gala we went out in Durham and the streets were filled with trade unionists, the town had been taken over. After speaking to few people who live in Durham and work in the pubs/restaurants they said how great it is every year that the town is just full of people from around the country coming together for the gala. The whole weekend it was just a really good atmosphere and just full of people attending the gala enjoying the socialising with other trade unionists.

As neither of us had been before we did not quite not know to expect. On the way to the gala on the Saturday we seen/heard the crowds of people with banners and loud music. Walking through the streets with union banners celebrating and marching in support. It was great. It took such a long time to even get to the gala as the streets were packed with everyone celebrating, marching and listening to some of the brass bands.

Once we made it to the gala it was amazing. It was like a festival, there were stalls all around the back, food stands, fairground rides, hook a duck games for children there was everything. It was full of trade union members, families and groups of local people who come to celebrate. There was something for everyone.

There was a huge stage at the front of the gala and throughout the day they had guest speakers who spoke to the crowds. The highlight was listening to Jeremy Corbyn and seeing the crowds gather when he was on and applaud him throughout his speech.

The CWU stall was set up at the back next to some other tents. It was great to see how big it was and the information inside. Also, it was good to see people walking round the gala with pink CWU balloons and glasses. It was a really good atmosphere around the CWU stall and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The North East region done a really good job with the stall and having a massive CWU presence at the gala.

It was a great weekend and such a good event. Next year I would encourage as many young workers to attend as possible as it really is a brilliant event.