Monthly Archives: August 2015

Yorkshire Main Heritage Trust Banner Event

banner 1

On Saturday September 5th, the Heritage Trust are holding an event in the Miners Memorial Garden, followed by entertainment in Edlington Top Club. They will be unveiling and presenting to the Community a replica of the Unions 1920 Banner funded by the Heritage Lottery fund. This was made with the support of Northern Banners and used art work provided by students from Sir Thomas Wharton Community College. Strap lines for the Banner poles have been provided by the family of primary schools.

They will also be presenting a Timeline of the Collieries proud history imbedded in to the large stone in the corner of the garden. This was sponsored by Keepmoat, and will be supplemented by a piece of Pit Art sponsored by Profab Engineering.

During the event in the Garden, entertainment will be provided by City of Sheffield Pipe Band, Charlotte Leese vocalist, plus performances by local community groups.

Speakers at the event will be Michael Dugher MP, Tosh MacDonald, President of ASLEF, former Edlington residents & Chris Skidmore, Chairman Yorkshire Area NUM & David Douglass, author & former NUM official.

Following the event in the garden a reunion will be held in the Top Club, with folk music & a Gig supported by top bands for the younger generation.

On site catering will be available in the car park adjacent to the club.


County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank

After a short summer break the Clothing Bank re-opened yesterday. We had purchased a supply of brand new polo shirts, trousers, skirts, socks, vests and pants for the start of the new school year in a couple of weeks time. We had also received donated school uniforms from parents whose children had either outgrown their uniforms or were moving schools. Thank you to all who donated and a huge thank you to Dawn who did the shopping!


We  were incredibly busy. Although the Clothing Bank does not open until 12, there was a queue of people waiting to come in from around about 11.30.  And that says it all about the current economic climate and the situation people find themselves in. People who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own. And, to be honest, even if some appear to have been the architects of their own downfall, who are we to judge? If folk need help or support and we can provide it, then so we should,


A rough estimation showed that well over 100 people used the Clothing Bank yesterday.  A new record. Our colleagues at the food bank next door were also having a busy day. We were also able to help a bride to be by providing a wedding dress. No pictures because  she wants it to be a surprise on the day.



Yesterday was also special because, due to it being the school holidays, we had quite a few mini volunteers. The children and grandchildren of our regular volunteers came to help. They all worked hard putting out clothes and helping to sort things. Two of our younger volunteers went home and proudly told their Dads that they had got jobs and had been paid for their work.  Here they are modelling their wages- Luke in his Christmas jumper and Harley in his Angry Birds hat!

Luke Christmas jumper Harley Angry Birds

Once again many thanks to all our volunteers and donators. As we keep saying we could not do it without you. The next Clothing Bank will be on the 8 September at Brandon Welfare Hall from 12-2. Speaking of the Welfare Hall please have a read of one of our earlier posts here. If you can come along and offer support please do so.

Easington Colliery Heritage Day

This looks like a great day out – Unite Community will have a stall at the event and will be proudly displaying our banner.  Please contact us if you are a Unite member and would be interested in going along, as we are trying to arrange transport from across the Region.

easington heritage day

Davey Hopper On Jeremy Corbyn

Durham Miners very own Davey Hopper takes to the stage at the Jeremy Corbyn rally in Newcastle. And he brilliantly tells it how it is! Nothing else to say- watch the video and Davey’s great speech.

Marras Campaign

From  The Friends Of The Durham Miners Gala. Please consider becoming a marra!

Last month saw the official launch of our Marras campaign to get as many people as we can to become a friend or a ”marra” of the Big Meeting!

We had a very successful launch event with Annfield Plain born actor Alun Armstrong, who said: ”I’m proud to support the Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala and the Marras campaign. The Big Meeting means a lot to me. It is a celebration of my background and the values that I grew up with and still hold, of my political affiliations and the aspirations for the future that I share with people who are still living in mining communities.”

You can now see a great video report of the Marras launch  here:

So please do take a minute to check it out and then spread the word about our campaign by forwarding this email on and by sharing the video on social media.

Thank you for your support.


Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala

Brandon Community Hall

The County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank is located at Brandon Community Hall. The Committee have always been very supportive of us. So we think it is only fair that we give them a bit of publicity for a forthcoming event.

The Community Hall Committee are organising a re-launch of the Community Hall’s clubs,groups and activities over the weekend  of Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September. They want to show the local Community what the Centre can offer and what potential opportunities there may be for new groups, clubs and potential hall hirers.

The Saturday will be an open day with attractions such as face painting, balloon making, a bouncy castle and mega slide. There will be an ice cream van on site, hot and cold drinks for sale, cream teas, hot dogs and burgers. There may also be doughnuts and candy floss!

On the afternoon of Sunday 6th September from 3pm-5pm, there will be a performance in the Large Hall by the  Reg Vardy Brass Band. Tickets are £7,50 each and can be bought from any Committee Member.

The Hall’s address is Brandon Community Hall, Brandon Lane Brandon DH7 8PS. Do come along and support them. Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Sports Direct Campaign

Sports Direct urged to tackle ‘Victorian’ work practices and pay the real living wage

Britain’s largest union, Unite urged the highly profitable Sports Direct to clampdown on ‘Victorian’ work practices today (Friday 7 August), as it submitted a pay claim on behalf of workers at its Shirebrook headquarters and warehouse in Derbyshire.

The union, which represents permanent warehouse workers on the site, is calling on Sports Direct to move zero hours agency workers onto permanent contracts and pay the real living wage of £7.85 per hour.

Unite estimates that only 300 out of the 3,000 plus workers at the Shirebrook depot actually have permanent contracts with Sports Direct with the majority on zero hour contracts with two employment agencies – Best Connection and Transline.

Working conditions in depot are underpinned by a ‘six strikes and you’re out’ disciplinary procedure which have been described as ‘draconian’ and likened to a ‘workhouse’ by the union. Under the procedure agency workers can get ‘strikes’ for taking too long in the toilet, talking too much or even having time off for sickness.

With latest figures for the Sports Direct showing a 7.4 per cent increase in gross profit to £1.155 billion, the union warned the retailer that it couldn’t plead poverty and needed to start weaning itself of its addiction to low paid zero hours work.

Over 70 per cent of the workers in stores across the UK are on a low paid zero hours contract, according to latest estimates.

Commenting Unite regional officer Luke Primarolo said: “Agency workers on zero hour contracts are being subjected to working conditions at Sports Direct that are more akin to a workhouse than a FTSE 100 company.

“These Victorian era work practices where workers eke out minimum wage living in constant fear of losing their job have no place in 21st Britain.

“Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is generating massive profits and can well afford to wean itself off a business model built on low pay and exploitative zero hours contracts.

“It’s time for Sports Direct to restore dignity and security at work by paying the real living wage and putting staff on permanent contracts.”