Take Your Seat in the Pitman’s Parliament

The Council Chamber is a unique, purpose-built trade union meeting place at the heart of Durham Miners’ Hall. For almost a century, this impressive debating chamber was the scene of the deliberations and heated discussions which shaped the lives of our mining communities in the Durham coalfield.

Each Miners’ Lodge sent an elected delegate to speak on behalf of the colliery workers, representing the interests of their area. Key issues would be debated and decisions voted on. Delegates would sit in a given seat with that seat number associated with their lodge. At present 150 of the seat numbers are known thanks to recently discovered list of colliery numbers from December 1950.

Now over a century on from its opening, these seats are in need of renovation. As Grade II listed assets the Durham Miners’ Association is seeking to raise funds for their renewal.
We’re launching a one-off sponsorship scheme where individuals, groups, families and lodges can sponsor a seat.

Important Information

  • The minimum seat sponsorship is £100 and all the money raised will go towards the Redhills renovation project.
  • By sponsoring a seat you will be able to have a personalised “pit token” attached to the seat. This could, for example, be in memory of a loved one who worked at that pit or to acknowledge a group’s contribution to their area.
  • Each sponsor will also receive a commemorative duplicate of the token in a special presentation box (see image).
  • A full list of the 150 seats is available  – click here. Those seats that are not associated with a particular lodge or colliery are available for memorial tokens not linked to particular pit.
  • There are limited number of sponsorships per seat, allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

* Please note there are a maximum number of letters, numbers or punctuation, including spaces, that can be included on each line. The top line is a maximum of 15 characters, the central message is maximum 50 characters and the bottom is a maximum of 20 characters (all inclusive of spaces).