A FORMER County Durham colliery town will celebrate its heritage this weekend as it stages a "Miners' Sunday" event.

The event in Stanley is aimed at celebrating its history of mining and will feature a display of colliery banners, as well as family-friendly activities and a classic car show.

Councillor Mark Davinson, deputy leader of Stanley Town Council, which is organising the event, said: "As a town council, we are focused on the future, but we will never forget our past – the mining industry helped create Stanley, so it’s fantastic for the town to come together this weekend and celebrate our shared heritage at miners Sunday."

Today marks the anniversary of the Louisa Morrison mining disaster, when 22 men were killed in an underground explosion.

Two dozen miners were underground in the “fourth north district”, between the Louisa Pit and the Morrison North Pit, in the area of Kyo bogs when a huge explosion ripped through the pit workings.

A service is being held at 12noon today, at the memorial, which is outside the Louisa Centre, near the site of the former Morrison North Pit.

The memorial was re-dedicated last year after being moved to the present location.

The Northern Echo:

The re-dedication of the Louisa Morrison disaster memorial last year

The event on Sunday will feature a display of about 20 colliery banners from the area, which will be led by Craghead Colliery Band and will be paraded along Stanley Front Street at 12.30pm.

There will be other activities, heritage attractions, street performers and singers, as well as a vintage vehicles and classic car display, which all take place between 10am and 4pm.

Cllr Davinson added: “While our former collieries and retired miners are very much the focus of the day, we have also organised a host of other activities to keep youngsters and families occupied.

“I’d urge anyone with a passion for County Durham’s former collieries and our history and heritage to come along, but also extend that to families seeking fun activities over the bank holiday weekend."

Artist-in-residence Karen Thompson, who specialises in depicting miners, will be working in the Civic Hall throughout the day. She is currently re-creating a banner for Great Lumley to replace an original, which was destroyed in 1929.