Durham Miners’ Gala cancelled for second year in a row

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Durham Miners’ Gala has been cancelled due to Covid-19 for the second year in a row, citing safety and financial risks because of Covid-19.

The 150th Big Meeting of the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), which was rescheduled last summer, will now be postponed. Despite the government “roadmap” exit plan regarding pandemic restrictions, the DMA estimates that the safety and financial risks in organising the Gala would still be too high.

The event was due to take place on 10th July 2021, just three weeks after the planned return to “normal life” on 21 June 2021 as proposed by the government. This would leave too little time to either cancel or organise the event, especially in the light of financial and logistical commitments that would have to be made beforehand. The involvement of large public crowds in the Gala was similarly considered too risky.

The meeting was cancelled last year, also due to coronavirus, and the DMA urged people to stay at home on Gala Day. It was subsequently held online, though it is unclear whether a similar virtual celebration is planned this year.

The DMA emphasised however that they “will be back in 2022 with the biggest and best Gala ever and we look forward to seeing you all there.”

The Gala commemorates Durham’s mining industry, and features speeches from prominent trade union activists, as well as Labour party figures.

Image: Colin Bainbridge via Flickr

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