ON what should have been the day of the 136th Durham Miners' Gala, a simple bouquet of flowers is laid in memory of boys and men who died in a mining disaster.

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Dave Gibson, chairman of Trimdon Grange Banner Group, led a small gathering at the mining disaster memorial in Trimdon Village Cemetery to remember those who lost their lives in the Trimdon Grange Colliery explosion of 1882.

The tragedy claimed the lives of 74 men and boys when an explosion ripped through the pit, making it one of the worst mining disasters in history.

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The Northern Echo:

Mr Gibson said: "We are just devastated the Gala is not on but it is the right thing under the circumstances. We had hoped to have six people from the band play Gresford but were informed we shouldn't.

"Laying flowers on the memorial feels a small but important thing to do to pay our respects."

The Northern Echo:

Around 200,000 people take to the streets of Durham city every year, carrying banners from former pit communities and trade unions, as part of the annual celebration of the region’s mining heritage.

After cancelling this year's event in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Durham Miners' Association is instead hosting an online celebration this afternoon.

Titled The Second Saturday in July its includes new content celebrating the spirit and values of the event and a live event streamed to Facebook and YouTube at 1pm.

Supporters of the Gala are also encouraged to use social media to post their own messages and favourite photos from attending the Gala throughout the day, using the hashtag #DurhamMinersGala.