A CAMPAIGN to secure the future of Durham Miners’ Gala has won its 1,000th recruit.

The Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala was launched in 2012, to help fund the long-standing annual trade union rally.

Now Gala organisers Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) say it has welcomed its 1,000th member.

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DMA general secretary Dave Hopper said: “This is a brilliant start and I thank everyone who has helped us to achieve this.

“In little over a year we have got half way to where we want to be to secure the Gala’s future.

“The whole philosophy behind this appeal is for many people to give a little on a regular basis.

“Now that the Durham Miners have no regular income from working miners we had to think of some way to finance the Gala well into the future.

“If we did nothing we would simply run out of money and our Gala, which is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people each year, would die.”

Mr Hopper said there had been a sudden surge in applications since the DMA announced it was facing a £2m legal bill following its unsuccessful campaign to win compensation for former miners who developed crippling osteoarthritis of the knee due to their work.

To join the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, visit durhamminers.org or write to: DMA, PO Box 6, The Miners’ Hall, Durham, DH1 4BB.