Developing on from the Redhills Durham Miners Gala programming in 2022; for 2023, The Redhills Charity went on to offer a whole range of activities pre-speech for the Durham Miners Gala. We were delighted to work with Theresa Easton, Woodshed Workshop, East Durham Creates, Lizzie Lovejoy, Sacriston Youth and Community Project, Investing in Children, Jack Drum, Youthsayers, Oi Musica, Bill Elliott, Kevin Youldon and Alfie Joey.

Gallery of images from Redhills pre-speech activities at Durham Miners Gala 2023– images credit Rachel Deakin

What activities could people enjoy on the day?

Compered by the brilliant Alfie Joey, we had things happening on the stage ahead of the Gala speeches and many exciting activities on the field throughout the day.

Badge Making and More

Using original posters, leaflets and stickers from the Redhills archive, artist Theresa Easton offered drop-in art workshops. Historic print-making methods and heritage interpretation are essential in Theresa Easton’s practice. 

Theresa worked with young people across the County, including at Durham Area Youth, to make their artworks inspired by the social causes that mean the most to them, including climate change, LGBTQ Rights and mental health, they were displayed in an artist workshop tent at the Gala in a nod to the pamphleteering history of Gala Day.

The Woodshed Workshop

Woodshed Workshop provide wood-working training, education, employability skills and person-centred support for people from diverse backgrounds.

On Gala Day, they showcased the conservation and repair work they are carrying out on the historic furniture from Redhills as well as offering the chance to try woodcrafts. 

Nordestinos Carnival Arts

Brazillian drumming with brass! We were delighted to welcome Jack Drum’s Nordestino’s to the Gala for the second time! This time the brilliant Youthsayers and Oi Musica joined them to provide a brass compliment to their repertoire! 

They played the Gala Field (Racecourse) at 11.30am and 3.00pm performing traditional North East folk songs and well as parading through the streets of Durham with the Rough Lea Banner.

Sacriston Youth and Community Project with Lizzie Lovejoy

It is always a delight to work with Sacriston Youth And Community Project , and this time, we invited Lizzie Lovejoy Illustration to meet the lovely young people from Sacriston, Nettlesworth and Plawsworth.

Lizzie delivered a series of poetry workshops, in which the young people participated, and the outcomes were delivered digitally and if the young people wished to do so; they could perform them in person on the Gala stage.

The outcomes were exceptional – the crowd gave the young people an enormous cheer on the day. Lizzie went over and above what was asked and created brilliant illustrations to complement the poetry.

Rowan McCabe and Investing in Children

Rowan McCabe worked with a group from the youth-rights organisation Investing in Children to write and record their own poem. Inspired by the speech-making traditions of the Gala, the group wrote about the subjects that are important to them and why young people’s voices are more important now than ever before. Outcomes were delivered via video and also on the platform before the speeches at the 2023 Durham Miners Gala.

East Durham Creates presents; Recipes for Change

A craftivist collective from East Durham worked with artists Sarah Li and Lady Kitt to create recipes, not for food, but for things, they would like to change or see more of in the world.  

A new larder full of recipes has been created for kindness, sleep, mental health, friendship and more. Taking inspiration from artworks for the Durham University Art collection about food and activism and artists who’ve made art to change the world, this “Craftivist Recipe Archive” is an unfolding library.

Kevin Youldon and Bill Elliott

We welcomed folk scene legends Bill Elliott and Kevin Youldon to the Gala Stage to kick off the Stage performances on Gala day.

Bill Elliott is the Grandson of Jack Elliott and a member of the ‘Elliott’s of Birtley’ known locally, nationally and internationally for their knowledge and performances of North East coal mining songs and folk songs from the British Isles and U.S.A.

Bill was raised in a coal mining family and community. Five generations of his family worked at Harraton Colliery near Washington until it closed in 1965. He was a History Teacher for almost years and then worked at Beamish Museum, delivering Coal Mining workshops for schools and community groups. He is currently a member of two groups Northern Roots and The Cloth Cap Temperance Band.

Redhills Youth Brass

Redhills Youth Brass Band was honoured to join Fishburn Band by playing Gresford at the opening of the Miners Gala speeches. This long-standing tradition commemorates those we have lost and cannot be with us on Gala Day.