THE NORTHERN ECHO'S photo-library is packed with great pictures of the Durham Miners' Gala over the decades.

This is a selection of them.

If you recognise any faces in the crowds, or have any information about any of the goings-on, please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk

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The Northern Echo: HOTEL STRIP: The 1957 gala heads up Old Elvet. The balcony at the Royal County Hotel – formerly the Dunelm Hotel – is still the focal point of the parade, but the Waterloo Hotel – formerly the Green Dragon Inn – in the distance has now been demoli

In the picture above from 1957, the gala heads up Old Elvet. The balcony at the Royal County Hotel – formerly the Dunelm Hotel – is still the focal point of the parade, but the Waterloo Hotel – formerly the Green Dragon Inn – in the distance has now been demolished.

Nearest to the camera is the Dunelm Hotel, which dates back to 1632. It is now part of the County.

Following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, both the Green Dragon and the Dunelm changed their names to the Waterloo Hotel, and they were only distinguished from one another by the use of the landlord's name: one was Thwaite's Waterloo and the other was Ward's Waterloo.

In the 1860s, a Darlington hotelier called Thomas Turner took over Ward's Waterloo and changed its name to the County.

In late Victorian times, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales stayed at the County, and in 1901 when he became king, the hotel became known as "the Royal County".