A COALFIELD community banner will be paraded at Durham Miners’ Gala today for the first time in several years, marking the 50th anniversary of the closure of a village pit.

Handen Hold Colliery closed in 1968, and the banner, which was restored ten years ago, has been missing for the last few years.

But it was recently handed into Durham Miners’ Association and is now back on display at West Pelton Primary School, near Chester-le-Street.

In 2008, Handen Hold Miners’ Banner Group secured £41,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project to restore the banner.

It is partly based on the one in use when the colliery closed and features Labour politician Nye Bevan and a view of the pit, which is now Roseberry Grange Golf Course.

Councillor Alison Batey, who represents the area on Durham County Council, said: “It is an absolute honour to have something like this, which acknowledges our local heritage back where it belongs.

“It is important that our heritage is allowed to continue for our younger generations.

“It is massively poignant that it is the 50th anniversary of the pit closure and I am looking forward to marching with it at the gala.”