Ghost of 1984 miners' strikes casts a shadow over Durham police band involvement in Darlington production of Brassed Off

Police band pulls out of Brassed Off after ex-miners raise sensitivity concerns

BRASSED OFF: Durham Constabulary brass band has pulled out of a production of Brassed Off, in Darlington, after complaints from the mining community

PICKET FEARS: Darlington Civic Theatre

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

A POLICE band has withdrawn from a theatre show about the decline of the coal industry after its involvement stirred up ill-feeling among the region’s mining community.

Durham Constabulary brass band had been lined up to play a major role in Brassed Off, at Darlington Civic Theatre, next month.

It has pulled out amid fears objectors could set up picket lines outside the theatre.

Many members of the region’s mining community felt the involvement of a police band, albeit one made up of civilians, was insensitive in the context of the force’s role in the 1984 miners’ strikes.

That has left producers with just over three weeks to find a replacement so the show can go on.

Their task has been complicated by the fact that brass bands from across the North will take part in a demanding competition in Darlington the week before Brassed Off is due to open.

Producer Jenny King said a brass band is integral to the show, which is based on the 1996 film telling the story of a band in a fictional Yorkshire mining town where the pit is facing closure.

Durham Miners' Association, which objected to the police band’s involvement, is helping to find a replacement.

A post on the Facebook Durham Mining Communities, which has more than 2,000 followers, said the use of a police band was ‘inappropriate and insulting’.

Durham Miners’ Association said it was pleased the police band had pulled out, while stressing its support for the production.

A spokesman said: “We don’t want to embarrass [the production company] any more – we would like to help as much as possible to make [the production] a success.

“We will be encouraging people to go along and see it.”

The band said it was disappointed that a ‘small but vociferous’ number of people campaigned against its involvement.

Honorary secretary Neil Ibinson said: “Members were delighted to get the invitation and were looking forward to the production.

“However, due to the strength of feeling, we feel the only option is to withdraw.”

Mr Ibinson, 55, who plays solo euphonium in the band, said the band has a number of young members and he did not wish to expose them to potential protests.

He added: “There are no police officers in the band, we are all civilians.

“Many of us are from mining backgrounds and several, including myself, also used to play in colliery bands.

“We hope the producers are able to find a replacement band.”

Some of the band’s fee for performing in Brassed Off would have gone to local charities, Mr Ibinson said.

Assuming another band can be found, the show will run from March 18 to 22.

Comments (25)

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7:30am Fri 21 Feb 14

BMD says...

How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background.
How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background. BMD
  • Score: 47

7:38am Fri 21 Feb 14

detachedbystander says...

Sad indeed. What a narrow minded bunch the DMA must be.
Sad indeed. What a narrow minded bunch the DMA must be. detachedbystander
  • Score: 48

7:57am Fri 21 Feb 14

Darloresident says...

DMA - entrenched in the past and unable to move on.. Here was an opportunity to mend bridges and help local charities. You really must look in the mirror and ask yourself how you can be relevant in 2014.
DMA - entrenched in the past and unable to move on.. Here was an opportunity to mend bridges and help local charities. You really must look in the mirror and ask yourself how you can be relevant in 2014. Darloresident
  • Score: 50

8:16am Fri 21 Feb 14

laboursfoe says...

If this is now being steered to be solely for the Mining community, perhaps the public should boycott the show and leave it for the DMA instead.
If this is now being steered to be solely for the Mining community, perhaps the public should boycott the show and leave it for the DMA instead. laboursfoe
  • Score: 52

8:17am Fri 21 Feb 14

darloboss says...

BMD wrote:
How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background.
its not who they are its what the represent
it was a bad choice of band in the first place
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background.[/p][/quote]its not who they are its what the represent it was a bad choice of band in the first place darloboss
  • Score: -52

8:27am Fri 21 Feb 14

rat man says...

Pull the plug on the show, and leave the ex miners to look forward to worshipping Red Ed and all the other Labour Party cronies on Big Meeting Day
Pull the plug on the show, and leave the ex miners to look forward to worshipping Red Ed and all the other Labour Party cronies on Big Meeting Day rat man
  • Score: 29

8:42am Fri 21 Feb 14

darloboss says...

was this a deliberate act to gain publicity
bit like waving a red rag at a bull ?
was this a deliberate act to gain publicity bit like waving a red rag at a bull ? darloboss
  • Score: -16

8:49am Fri 21 Feb 14

laboursfoe says...

darloboss wrote:
BMD wrote:
How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background.
its not who they are its what the represent
it was a bad choice of band in the first place
I'm sure the public wild much rather go and support bands thanks provide community cohesion than a bunch that reject law and order for their own end and worked as hard as they could to try and bring the country to it's knees.

Nobody will forget what unions in general did in the late 70's.
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: How sad, 30 years on and the Miners are still confused between a police person and a civilian from a mining background.[/p][/quote]its not who they are its what the represent it was a bad choice of band in the first place[/p][/quote]I'm sure the public wild much rather go and support bands thanks provide community cohesion than a bunch that reject law and order for their own end and worked as hard as they could to try and bring the country to it's knees. Nobody will forget what unions in general did in the late 70's. laboursfoe
  • Score: 25

10:01am Fri 21 Feb 14

sineater says...

Yes what they did in the seventies,expecting a government to keep it's promises,we can't hav e workers fighting to keep their jobs,when they have served their purpose they have to go on the dole so that they can be labled scroungers, a lose lose situation for them !
Yes what they did in the seventies,expecting a government to keep it's promises,we can't hav e workers fighting to keep their jobs,when they have served their purpose they have to go on the dole so that they can be labled scroungers, a lose lose situation for them ! sineater
  • Score: -20

10:58am Fri 21 Feb 14

Traser says...

They could invite Paolo Di Canio to hand out awards at the end of the evening?

A fascist leader and a police band.

Only the Tory readers of The Northern Echo would think either or both would be acceptable.
They could invite Paolo Di Canio to hand out awards at the end of the evening? A fascist leader and a police band. Only the Tory readers of The Northern Echo would think either or both would be acceptable. Traser
  • Score: -30

11:43am Fri 21 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

Well that's something else the Durham Miners Association has killed off!

The show will likely be killed off - just like the premature death of the mining industry in the North East! Many still blame Mrs Thatcher for it's closure but I point the blame closer to home - the Union themselves. Anyone who worked as a miner will know of all the restrictive practices and constant friction created by the Unions that made mining uneconomic in the most of the UK - they refused to change/modernise then - so no change there then!

Pathetic!
Well that's something else the Durham Miners Association has killed off! The show will likely be killed off - just like the premature death of the mining industry in the North East! Many still blame Mrs Thatcher for it's closure but I point the blame closer to home - the Union themselves. Anyone who worked as a miner will know of all the restrictive practices and constant friction created by the Unions that made mining uneconomic in the most of the UK - they refused to change/modernise then - so no change there then! Pathetic! DarloXman
  • Score: 36

12:51pm Fri 21 Feb 14

chrisby33 says...

Why is the DMA still going? the only members they have are the numpties that have been unemployed for almost 30 years and were unemployable anywhere else due to there rubbish attitudes.


the whole thing should be disbanded
Why is the DMA still going? the only members they have are the numpties that have been unemployed for almost 30 years and were unemployable anywhere else due to there rubbish attitudes. the whole thing should be disbanded chrisby33
  • Score: 23

1:29pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Haji el Maveric says...

I see all the right wing idiots are out in force again.
I see all the right wing idiots are out in force again. Haji el Maveric
  • Score: -9

1:51pm Fri 21 Feb 14

David Lacey says...

Seems to me that there are plenty of apologists for violence and murder as well. I am of course referring to the miners who killed David Wilkie, just doing his job taxi driving when he was attacked and murdered.
Seems to me that there are plenty of apologists for violence and murder as well. I am of course referring to the miners who killed David Wilkie, just doing his job taxi driving when he was attacked and murdered. David Lacey
  • Score: 8

2:04pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Longbowman666 says...

One day this area might just stop living in the past and wake up...until then it will continue to lose out.
One day this area might just stop living in the past and wake up...until then it will continue to lose out. Longbowman666
  • Score: 15

3:28pm Fri 21 Feb 14

sineater says...

I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive.
I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive. sineater
  • Score: -1

4:07pm Fri 21 Feb 14

darloboss says...

sineater wrote:
I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive.
well said fully agree
[quote][p][bold]sineater[/bold] wrote: I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive.[/p][/quote]well said fully agree darloboss
  • Score: 1

4:48pm Fri 21 Feb 14

laboursfoe says...

darloboss wrote:
sineater wrote:
I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive.
well said fully agree
I'm sure you won't, just like others won't forget what Labour did.

You seem to forget that Labour started losing seats in 2005 during the boom years, Labour also claim that it is only since the 2010 election that benefits has become an issue.

That's not the case, the waste and free for all was clear years ago, more and more people got sick of the situation and this led to Labours demise.
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sineater[/bold] wrote: I suppose in a few years certain people will want us to forget about what this government is doing to poor people,but I've got news for those people we will never forget-----or forgive.[/p][/quote]well said fully agree[/p][/quote]I'm sure you won't, just like others won't forget what Labour did. You seem to forget that Labour started losing seats in 2005 during the boom years, Labour also claim that it is only since the 2010 election that benefits has become an issue. That's not the case, the waste and free for all was clear years ago, more and more people got sick of the situation and this led to Labours demise. laboursfoe
  • Score: 1

5:00pm Fri 21 Feb 14

st-george1 says...

All night talks to solve the IRA peace process issues in Northern Ireland went on and on and on, so there’s no chance that the DMU, their families or friends would not even consider anyhing here, not even cutting off their noses or even closure of the Ciivic… just ask Scargill’s replacement Master Lavery the Labour MP for Wansbeck, somewhere in Northumberland for his PoV !
All night talks to solve the IRA peace process issues in Northern Ireland went on and on and on, so there’s no chance that the DMU, their families or friends would not even consider anyhing here, not even cutting off their noses or even closure of the Ciivic… just ask Scargill’s replacement Master Lavery the Labour MP for Wansbeck, somewhere in Northumberland for his PoV ! st-george1
  • Score: 9

5:27pm Fri 21 Feb 14

harry2 says...

How reduculous I was going to watch this, glad I havnt bought tickets,

I thought we had laws against discrimination xx
How reduculous I was going to watch this, glad I havnt bought tickets, I thought we had laws against discrimination xx harry2
  • Score: 4

7:50pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Lifetime Townie says...

There are many brass bands in the county that don't have "POLICE" in their title so why pick a police band for the job? It's obvious to those who know the story of the miners strike that it would cause trouble no matter of how long ago the strike took place.
There are many brass bands in the county that don't have "POLICE" in their title so why pick a police band for the job? It's obvious to those who know the story of the miners strike that it would cause trouble no matter of how long ago the strike took place. Lifetime Townie
  • Score: -12

9:42pm Fri 21 Feb 14

John Justice says...

I have said in other posts that I was a Police Officer on the picket lines during the Miners strike. I and many other Police officers were subject to violence by many striking miners. We are all aware of the emotive issues surrounding this most emotive period of our recent history. I do not know of any Police Officer injured or who suffered violence at the hands of some miners who bear the sort of historic grudges that still linger and are perpetrated by many on the left.
I wondered at the choice of Band for this production but what a fantastic opportunity it was to start to move on from the irrational bitterness that has been perpetuated by so many. The Miners Union has sadly scored an own goal and gained little or no sympathy for their reaction to this production.
I have said in other posts that I was a Police Officer on the picket lines during the Miners strike. I and many other Police officers were subject to violence by many striking miners. We are all aware of the emotive issues surrounding this most emotive period of our recent history. I do not know of any Police Officer injured or who suffered violence at the hands of some miners who bear the sort of historic grudges that still linger and are perpetrated by many on the left. I wondered at the choice of Band for this production but what a fantastic opportunity it was to start to move on from the irrational bitterness that has been perpetuated by so many. The Miners Union has sadly scored an own goal and gained little or no sympathy for their reaction to this production. John Justice
  • Score: 19

12:55pm Sun 23 Feb 14

yarm dave says...

it is well overdue we all moved on and looked forward to a better future for the area. instead we here the same old whining. We of the north east are the greatest people within this country. it is time for the small majority to get on their bikes and start working. lots of us did.
it is well overdue we all moved on and looked forward to a better future for the area. instead we here the same old whining. We of the north east are the greatest people within this country. it is time for the small majority to get on their bikes and start working. lots of us did. yarm dave
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Sun 23 Feb 14

yarm dave says...

i agree with my words entirely
i agree with my words entirely yarm dave
  • Score: -1

10:36pm Sun 23 Feb 14

sineater says...

Yes lets forget,and let the tories come back time and again to put the boot in,they engineered the'84 strike, and they are busy dismantling the welfare state,shall we forget this to in a few years,when we are struggling to pay for our healthcare?
Yes lets forget,and let the tories come back time and again to put the boot in,they engineered the'84 strike, and they are busy dismantling the welfare state,shall we forget this to in a few years,when we are struggling to pay for our healthcare? sineater
  • Score: 1

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