THE tradition of banner making, which flourished in the North-East trade union movement, is to undergo a revival later this year.

An exhibition of historic North-East banners, High and Mighty, will be staged in the autumn at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Accompanying it will be banner-making workshops staged in conjunction with local schools and community groups.

It will culminate in a procession through the city's Mowbray Park in November.

The programme has been made possible thanks to a £1,000 community dividend grant from the North-Eastern and Cumbrian Co-op.

Ten groups are to take part, initially viewing the exhibition, before discussing the ideology behind the banners.

They will then work with an artist to design a banner illustrating their collective aims and ideals.

High and Mighty will feature banners made for various North-East organisations, dating from 1897 to 1983.

The collection features banners from the region's unions, Sunday schools and political groups, and includes the late 19th Century Co-operative Women's Guild banner for Newcastle.

Banners played an important role in the social and cultural history of the region, featuring prominently in industrial strikes and marches.

They are first believed to have been carried by early miners organisations in the North-East coalfields, a tradition kept alive each year at the Durham Miners' Gala.

Hazel Edwards, keeper of history at Newcastle's Discovery Museum, said: "Sadly, many older banners have been lost over time.

"This exhibition offers a rare chance to see some local banners from the museum collections.

"We would be very interested to know the whereabouts of any historical banners, so that they can be recorded and we can offer advice about storage and conservation."

Further information is available on 0191-553 2323.