THE Durham Miners' Association (DMA) has paid tribute to the oldest Durham miner, Anthony Greathead, who has died aged 104.

Mr Greathead, of Trimdon, worked as a miner for more than half a century, and served as a DMA lodge official for 34 years.

Alan Mardghum, secretary of the DMA, said: “Mr Greathead was active in the union throughout his long working life and beyond, serving his members and his community. His contribution is immeasurable.

“Though unable to attend the gala in recent years, he would wave off the Trimdon Grange banner as it left the village for Durham. Our condolences to his family and friends.”

Born in 1915, Mr Greathead began his working life at 14 as a trapper boy at Deaf Hill Colliery.

Taking a keen interest in the union from an early age, he was elected delegate and financial secretary after moving to Trimdon Grange Colliery.

Later he was part of the NCB No 4 Area Salvage Team, which removed hydraulic supports and machinery from coalfaces that had finished production.

His working life ended at Vane Tempest Colliery.

The Northern Echo:

Anthony Greathead (seated in the centre) at a presentation for his 20 years' service as delegate to Trimdon Village Working Man's Club in 1973

Looking back on his career later in life he said: “It was the comradeship that made the job so enjoyable, everybody helped each other.”