The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) is opening its historic home to the people with the launch of the first programme of regular guided tours.
The public can book places now to explore the history and meaning of the magnificent Redhills: Durham Miners Hall.
The programme of guided tours is the first in the 103-year history of Redhills, which was recently selected by Historic England as one of the country’s 100 Irreplaceable places.
Opened in 1915, Redhills was paid for by the subscriptions of the more than 150,000 miners who were then members of the DMA.
At its heart is The Pitman’s Parliament, where elected delegates from each of Durham’s collieries met for generations.
With the help of expert guides, visitors will also be able to explore the rooms and corridors or Redhills which serve as a living archive of labour movement history and culture.
The tours of Redhills are offered in partnership with mining and labour heritage organisation Education 4 Action (E4A). Proceeds from the tours will go to The Redhills Appeal – the DMA campaign to renew the Miners Hall as a centre of education, heritage, and culture.
DMA Programme Director Ross Forbes said: “Redhills is a unique and extraordinary place. It moves and inspires people who visit, and we are delighted to be able to open our doors to the public with these guided tours.
“The tours are in keeping with our plans to return Redhills to the people, and we are sure everyone who joins us will find it a fascinating experience.”
From The Pitman’s Parliament, the DMA created a social system across County Durham before the creation of the welfare state. The DMA provided sickness and unemployment benefits, retirement homes, medical care, community centres, libraries, and sports fields.
The guided tours last 90 minutes and will take place at 1pm every first Sunday and Wednesday of the month.
The first tours take place on Sunday 3 March at 1pm and then on Wednesday 6 March at 1pm.
Places are limited to 15 per tour and people are advised to book early to secure their places.
A standard ticket costs £5, with unwaged priced at £3. All tickets include a Redhills booklet worth £2 and proceeds will go to The Redhills Appeal.
To book your tickets, visit: buytickets.at/redhillsdurham