OVER 200,000 people have enjoyed a sun-drenched Durham Miners’ Gala with a series of rousing speeches from passionate political speakers.

Huge crowds attended the 134th Big Meeting on Saturday, filling the show field at Durham racecourse by the River Wear.

The atmosphere was friendly and jovial, following the carnival of brass music and banner processions through the cobbled city streets earlier in the day.

Former pit communities from the North-East and trade unionists came together once again for what is one of the largest shows of socialist solidarity in Europe.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn used his speech to say schools need to teach children about trade unions, collective action and equip them to uphold their rights as workers.

He said: “We know that power in society, and in our workplaces, has become concentrated in the hands of a few, at the expense of everybody else.

“But history shows those at the top have never conceded anything, without it being demanded from people below, things we all enjoy but now take for granted, like weekends and paid holidays.

“For too long, trade unions have been marginalised, vilified and undermined, and workers have lost out, while more and more money lines the pockets of shareholders.

“Children should not only learn about trade unions and their rights at work, but should be fully equipped to exercise and develop those rights.

“Schools need to teach these values and together we can, and will, transform society so it works for the many, not the few.”

A huge new stage and screens have been put up on the Gala show field to allow people to see and hear the messages of solidarity from politicians and trade unionists.

There was a surprise specially recorded message from United States socialist Bernie Sanders broadcast on the big screen.

He said: “We must develop an international movement that takes on the greed and ideology of the billionaire class and leads us to a world of economic social racial and environmental, instead of the hate and divisiveness coming out of the Trump administration and other right-wing leaders.

“We must offer a message of hope and solidarity.”

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump, who was in Scotland as part of a controversial UK visit, came in for fierce criticism for his politics as well as his racism and misogyny.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Donald Trump is an alt-right nationalist. He is a two-bit racist. He is a sexist scumbag too.

“He takes children from their parents and locks them in cages. What kind of monster does that? Pack your bags, and do us all a favour, take Boris Johnson with you.”

Gala stalwart Dennis Skinner, Emily Thornberry and Ian Lavery were among those addressing the crowds before music from singer-songwriter Billy Bragg.

The Gala, which is organised by Durham Miners’ Association dates back to 1871, and this year marks 25 anniversary of the closure of the last pit in the county.

Mr Skinner, the Beast of Bolsover, was presented with painting for his decades of service to the Gala.

He said: “We have to make sure that the families of miners and all of those worked in the pits join this happy band here today and vote Labour and get Jeremy into Number Ten.

“Even the opinion polls before I came here today, gave him a lead over Tedious Theresa.

“I might get thrown out for that. But she is bloody boring, isn’t she?”

By teatime on Saturday police officers had made two arrests, both local men who were detained for being drunk and disorderly.

A significant police presence continued in the city centre into the evening.

Officers were seen speaking to one man after two others jumped from the pedestrian bridge near the racecourse into the River Wear.

Chief inspector Richie Allen said: “We would like to thank everybody who attended the Gala for making it such a great day and making it run so smoothly.

“The atmosphere was really friendly, the weather was fabulous and everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

“There are always high spirits at the Gala, but we only had two arrests and there were no unexpected issues for us to deal with.

“A lot of the officers I’ve spoken to today said it was the most enjoyable Miners’ Gala they can remember and we’re already looking forward to next year.”