The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) is opening its historic home to the people with a programme of guided tours.
The public can book places now to explore the history and meaning of the magnificent Redhills: Durham Miners Hall. Last year the DMA launched the first programme of tours in the 105-year history of Redhills, which has been selected by Historic England as one of the country’s 100 Irreplaceable places. The tours quickly sold out.
Opened in 1915, Redhills was paid for by the subscriptions of more than 150,000 Durham 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 of Redhills which serve as a living archive of labour movement and Durham coalfield history.
Proceeds from the tours will go to The Redhills Appeal – the DMA campaign to secure the future of Durham Miners Hall.
There is a great deal of public interest in Redhills and public support for our efforts to ensure the Miners Hall survives for generations to come. Redhills is of great regional and national importance and is unique in the world. We are determined to share this wonderful place and all the heritage it contains with as many people as we can.
– Alan Mardghum, Secretary, DMA
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.
Over the last two years, the DMA has been working on a project to develop Redhills as a centre for education, heritage and culture. In March it will discover if a crucial funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been successful.
The guided tours last 90 minutes and will take place every first Sunday of the month from April until September. The first tour is at 1pm on Sunday 5 April.
Places are limited to 20 per tour and people are advised to book early to secure their places. A standard ticket costs £6, with concessions priced at £4. Book your place now.