As the air turns brisk and the streets light up with festive decorations, Christmas has arrived in County Durham! Nestled in the heart of the North East, this historic county is renowned for its rich mining heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm community spirit. What better way to celebrate our community spirit than by embracing the unique charm of County Durham through a thoughtfully curated Christmas present roundup?

This year, we invite you on a magical journey through the quaint towns and picturesque landscapes that define County Durham, all while discovering the perfect gifts to make this holiday season unforgettable. From handcrafted treasures to locally sourced delights, our Christmas present roundup is a celebration of the talents and offerings that make County Durham truly special.

We’ll guide you through a festive shopping adventure, highlighting the best that County Durham has to offer for the holiday season. Whether you’re searching for the ideal gift for a loved one or are eager to explore the region’s hidden gems, this roundup promises a delightful blend of tradition, creativity, and community spirit.

Get ready to experience the joy of giving and the warmth of a County Durham Christmas with our handpicked selection of gifts that capture the essence of this wonderful corner of the world.

Just a Pit Lass – Book by Heather Wood

Heather describes the daily life and experience of growing up in a pit village (Easington). It is her story but also a story that is representative of the strong mining families of the British Coalfield. Heather hopes that those who read it will get a sense of the community spirit and the friendships that made mining villages special. The book is £10 if can be collected from Heather or £15 posted. If you’d like to buy you can do so by contacting Heather via Facebook here (you must be logged into facebook to do this).

Friends of the Durham Miners Gala Merchandise

If you know someone who had a great time at Durham Miners Gala in 2023, why not commemorate this great event by purchasing some merchandise from the Friends of Durham Miners Gala? There is currently a sale of 2023 merchandise on the ‘Marras’ website and all profits go directly back into funding the 2024 Miners Gala. You can visit the Friends of the Durham Miners Store here.

People’s Bookshop

As you may know, we have partner with People’s Bookshop in the Durham Edition of Left Behind Bookclub, so we have seen the variety of great books on offer in the shop. Pop in to the People’s Bookshop for all of your book requirements this Christmas. They don’t stock all of their items online, so if you’re in Durham browsing their bookshop on 70 Saddler St, Saddlers Yard, Durham, DH1 3NP is your best bet for some rare finds.

The Last Miner – Alfie Joey

We were delighted to welcome Alfie to compare our family friendly activities at the 2023 Durham Miners Gala. Did you know he is also a published author? Thornley raised Alfie, brought the story of coal mining to life for children ages 7-11 and reflects on the history and heritage that shaped communities forever. You can purchase The Last Coal Miner through Alfie’s website by clicking here. He has recently illustrated another book called Never Stop Drawing which is also an inspirational story which celebrates difference in the world and is aimed young people aged 8 and above – it is inspirational but also a tear jerker for parents who wish their children could see themselves through the eyes of those who love them.

Wedded Wife: A Feminist History of Marriage

In 2023, Redhills Trustee Rachael Lennon published her first book titled, Wedded Wife: A Feminist History of Marriage.

The book explores themes such as the pressure to marry, the politics surrounding proposals, the spectacle of marriage, and the business behind it. As well as a look at the pressures tied to consummation, issues such as taking a man’s name, the nuances of marriage vows and obedience, ‘having it all’ and trying to keep up the fight to have an enduring marriage.

You can purchase Rachael’s book online here

Coalface Washington

We are selling the complete works of our Coalface Washington project which is a visual, written and verbal exploration of the sense of place of Washington through the stories of ex-miners and coal board workers. Last postage will be on 15th December so grab your copy from our online store while you can.

Durham Mining Museum Calendar

For 2024, Durham Mining Museum have produced two different calendars, both of new banners produced since the end of mining. One is of West Durham and the other East Durham.

The banners chosen for West Durham were all taken by Roy Lambert at recent Durham Miners Galas, and these are the chosen banners:- Browney, Craghead, Rough Lea, Women’s Banner Group, Chopwell, Morrison Busty, Burnhope, Eldon, New Brancepeth, Sacriston, Brandon and Chilton.

Cost £8 plus £2.50 postage details of how to buy can be found here