THE enduring spirit of the miners’ strike will inspire future campaigners three decades on when it is encapsulated in a new banner.

Work on a commemorative 30th anniversary banner starts next week so it will be ready in time to be paraded at this year’s Durham miners’ gala.

The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), Durham Bannermakers, the union Unite and Durham Unite community support centre have teamed up for the project.

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Organisers want the public to help design the banner ahead of the gala on Saturday, July 12, which will mark the 1984-85 miners’ strike over pit closures - one of the longest and bitterest acts of industrial action in modern British history.

The trade union movement is leading and funding the project as a sign of ‘unbroken spirit 30 years on from the heroic struggle of the National Union of Mineworkers’.

As well as being a tribute to the past, it will be used by Durham Unite and the DMA for future campaign work.

Unite regional community coordinator, Joe Rollin said: “We’re asking for the community to come together, young and old, to inspire and create the banner so it reflects as many aspects of the Durham community as possible.

“Every year tens of thousands of trade unionists come to Durham to celebrate our shared history as well as look to the future, I hope our new banner will take pride of place at this year’s gala, which will be bigger than usual as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike.”

Davy Hopper, general secretary of the DMA, added: “The banner will preserve the history and heritage of that strike, remind people what we were up against to protect our jobs and the fact that they have to fight back against the capitalist society that is making so many lives a misery.”

A meeting about the banner will be held at West Cornforth Community Centre, on Station Road, West Cornforth, in County Durham, on Friday, April 18, from 11am to 3pm.

Guest speakers on the morning will include Mr Hopper and Mr Rollin along with Florence Anderson and Heather Wood, key figures during the strike, and there will be group banner design work from 1.30pm.