Hole in the Wall banner carried at Durham Miner's Gala for first time in 50 years

The Northern Echo: BANNER LIFTED: Volunteers given permission to carry Hole In The Wall banner at the Durham Miner's Gala for the first time in decades.  Pictured outside the Civic centre in Crook are (clockwise from bottom left) David Parker, Ray Williams, Roger Ward, BANNER LIFTED: Volunteers given permission to carry Hole In The Wall banner at the Durham Miner's Gala for the first time in decades. Pictured outside the Civic centre in Crook are (clockwise from bottom left) David Parker, Ray Williams, Roger Ward,

ONE of Crook’s most important collieries will be represented at the Durham Miner’s Gala with a banner for the first time in 50 years.

At its peak, the Hole In The Wall pit employed almost 300 people and in its 29 years of operation not one miner lost his life there.

But since its closure in 1964, the pit has been unrepresented at the annual celebration of County Durham’s mining heritage.

Now volunteers and councillors have come together to ensure the pit’s banner will be flown high at the Miner’s Gala on Saturday, July 12.

Richard Hindmarsh worked at the pit for 16 years and he said it was vital its history is not forgotten.

He said: “It’s great for me that the banner will be flown for the Hole In The Wall again, a lot of men worked there together, we were like one big family, it will be good to remember them at the gala.”

The original banner made its last appearance at the gala in 1964 when, against the permission of the pit owners, the miners smuggled it to the parade on a bus.

Efforts were made to repair the banner some years ago, but in 2009 then district councillors Geoff Mowbray and Roger Ward arranged for a replica to be made.

Mr Mowbray died last year but Mr Ward said his friend would have wanted the banner to be carried at the gala.

He said: “It’s very sad Geoff won’t be there to see it but we will be carrying it in his memory as well as that of all the miners who worked at the pit, which is one of the biggest in Wear Valley.”

The Hole In The Wall opened in 1935 when it employed 38 people mining eight seams.

There were 269 employees when the pit closed on November 21, 1964.

Ray and John Williams used to work in the pit along with their brothers Brian and Eric, meaning there was always a queue for their bath at the end of a shift.

They would work in drift tunnels only 14 inches high filling tubs of coal during long lonely shifts.

Ray Williams said: “It was a barbaric place to work, only you and the rats down there and you often wouldn’t see another person for the whole shift.

“But there was a real sense of family among all the lads, we were in it together.”

Wetherspoon’s in Crook has arranged to transport the six people carrying the banner to and from the gala while Durham County Councillor Rob Yorke has organised for their insurance to be paid.

Comments (7)

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9:25am Tue 1 Jul 14

Voice-of-reality says...

So...
1. One of Crook's most important
2. That no one has bothered to represent for 50 years
3. Employing fewer than 300
4. In which conditions were barbaric

and this is to be celebrated?
Time to move on - what next - a parade of all workers of newsagents in the county that closed in the 1950s
So... 1. One of Crook's most important 2. That no one has bothered to represent for 50 years 3. Employing fewer than 300 4. In which conditions were barbaric and this is to be celebrated? Time to move on - what next - a parade of all workers of newsagents in the county that closed in the 1950s Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 1

12:40pm Tue 1 Jul 14

darloboss says...

its heritage mr bumbles heritage crook miners were the bavest of men not frightened of getting their hands dirty to support their family's
the sas of miners
its heritage mr bumbles heritage crook miners were the bavest of men not frightened of getting their hands dirty to support their family's the sas of miners darloboss
  • Score: 1

1:15pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world.
The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents.
Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world. The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -1

3:07pm Tue 1 Jul 14

settheworldonfire says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world.
The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents.
Well said...Time to move on...The unions live far too much in the past...Plus i see Ian Hirst the ex copper is in the picture....WHY? He has never seen the inside of a pit...Trying to become a councilor though, i-ve heard.....
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world. The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents.[/p][/quote]Well said...Time to move on...The unions live far too much in the past...Plus i see Ian Hirst the ex copper is in the picture....WHY? He has never seen the inside of a pit...Trying to become a councilor though, i-ve heard..... settheworldonfire
  • Score: -4

1:10pm Sat 5 Jul 14

JJTOP2 says...

IMHO

Time to put this stuff into a museum and move forward from the pit mentality in Co Durham. The non mining generations need the future not the past.

Over 2500 people were employed at the Shildon railway works alone as were many at North Road. Consett has it's own story. Beamish and the National Rail museums reflect our heritage. why not move on?
IMHO Time to put this stuff into a museum and move forward from the pit mentality in Co Durham. The non mining generations need the future not the past. Over 2500 people were employed at the Shildon railway works alone as were many at North Road. Consett has it's own story. Beamish and the National Rail museums reflect our heritage. why not move on? JJTOP2
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Sun 6 Jul 14

fredfromwillington says...

Well well settheworldonfire, Ive had a really good look at the picture above, and Ive known Mr Hirst for years and you right he wasn't a miner and once again as in most of your posts your totally wrong again. Mr Hirst most certainly isn't on the picture, where oh where do you get you facts. Having read your posts you are just so good at getting the wrong end of the stick, at least you consistent on that one! To be honest settheworldonfire the report was about the mining heritage of the area, not what Mr Hirst is or isn't doing, but then again you are entitled to your opinion just a pity no one is really interested as you never get it right. The miners are entitled to their history what harm are they doing they were/are a proud group something you seem to miss
Well well settheworldonfire, Ive had a really good look at the picture above, and Ive known Mr Hirst for years and you right he wasn't a miner and once again as in most of your posts your totally wrong again. Mr Hirst most certainly isn't on the picture, where oh where do you get you facts. Having read your posts you are just so good at getting the wrong end of the stick, at least you consistent on that one! To be honest settheworldonfire the report was about the mining heritage of the area, not what Mr Hirst is or isn't doing, but then again you are entitled to your opinion just a pity no one is really interested as you never get it right. The miners are entitled to their history what harm are they doing they were/are a proud group something you seem to miss fredfromwillington
  • Score: 1

5:47pm Sat 12 Jul 14

fredfromwillington says...

settheworldonfire wrote:
Voice-of-reality wrote:
Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world.
The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents.
Well said...Time to move on...The unions live far too much in the past...Plus i see Ian Hirst the ex copper is in the picture....WHY? He has never seen the inside of a pit...Trying to become a councilor though, i-ve heard.....
Well settheworldonfire, have you seen the photograph in todays Northern Echo of this banner and everyone named that's holding it!!! Yes you are TOTALLY WRONG AGAIN, Mr Hirst ISNT holding the banner, where oh where do you get your information or is it simply made up in your head. I was at the leisure centre today in Willington and saw Mr Hirst and pointed out the article on the northern echo web site. All I can say settheworldonfire is I would be looking to make an apology over your false accusation, because if I was Mr Hirst Id be looking at ways to make you pay financially for your false accusing comments, its people like you who need to take a reality check
[quote][p][bold]settheworldonfire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Heritage is fine - provided that one also lives in the modern world. The problem with much of that which surrounds the Gala is that it perpetuates wallowing and glorifies contemporary economic inaction on the part of vast numbers of the region's residents.[/p][/quote]Well said...Time to move on...The unions live far too much in the past...Plus i see Ian Hirst the ex copper is in the picture....WHY? He has never seen the inside of a pit...Trying to become a councilor though, i-ve heard.....[/p][/quote]Well settheworldonfire, have you seen the photograph in todays Northern Echo of this banner and everyone named that's holding it!!! Yes you are TOTALLY WRONG AGAIN, Mr Hirst ISNT holding the banner, where oh where do you get your information or is it simply made up in your head. I was at the leisure centre today in Willington and saw Mr Hirst and pointed out the article on the northern echo web site. All I can say settheworldonfire is I would be looking to make an apology over your false accusation, because if I was Mr Hirst Id be looking at ways to make you pay financially for your false accusing comments, its people like you who need to take a reality check fredfromwillington
  • Score: 0
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