Thanks to Jean Spence for this link to a remarkable range of thought-provoking sessions during the EDUCATION FOR ACTIONS Gala week in Durham. Given the unexpected shift in the political atmosphere the week might well be one of great optimism that the tide is turning away from private greed towards collective need. And, we do well to remember the explicit commitment of the Community and Youth Workers Union to the men and women of the mining communities during the Great Strike of 1984/85.
EDUCATION FOR ACTIONS GALA WEEK ACTIVITY PROGRAMME
All meetings, unless stated otherwise will take place in the Committee Room or Main Hall (the Pitman’s Parliament), Miners’ Hall, Red Hills, Durham City. All events and activities are open to everyone and are free. The building is accessible.
The Pitman’s Parliament
SATURDAY 1ST JULY – REDHILLS OPEN DAY
10:00am – 3:00pm: RED HILLS OPEN DAY (No booking required)
Come share and celebrate with us our mining heritage, in this wonderful and unique building. A wonderful opportunity to explore the ‘Pitman’s Parliament’ and beautiful grounds. Guided tours by heritage experts: These will take place at: 10:30am; 12:00pm; and 1:30pm. There will also be an Exhibition of children’s work from Great Lumley Juniors’ School exploring their mining heritage.
Refreshments (Tea, coffee, biscuits, scones, etc.) will be available for a small donation.
For further information or to book a bespoke guided tour contact: email@example.com.
MONDAY 3rd JULY – EDUCATION 4 ACTION
10:00am – 3:00pm: RED HILLS SCHOOLS VISIT
A day long education and arts workshop, working with a local secondary school exploring history, politics, music, trade unions, mining communities and heritage. For further information or if your school is interested in attending or arranging a visit please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
TUESDAY 4TH JULY – HERITAGE DAY
1:30pm – 3:00pm: THE WORKERS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: HISTORY & HERITAGE BRANCH
A tour of the building will be followed by a presentation by Kath Connelly on the work of Education 4 Action, followed by a meeting to formalise the constitution of the WEA History & Heritage Branch.
3:00pm – 5:00pm: FILM SCREENING: ASUNDER
A film by Esther Johnson. Using archive and contemporary footage and audio, Asunder collages the stories of people from Tyneside and Wearside to uncover just what life was like on the home front, with bombs falling on Britain for the first time, conscientious objectors sentenced to death, and women working as doctors, tram conductors and footballer. The narrative moves from and Edwardian golden era, in which sport grew in popularity and aircraft and cars pointed to a bright new future, to a war that horrifically reversed this progress. In the battle of the Somme, British, French and German armies fought one of the most traumatic battles in military history. Over the course of just four months, more than one million soldiers were captured, wounded or killed in a confrontation of unimaginable horror. (Main Hall)
6:00pm – 7:00 pm. There will be a tour of the building followed by:
The NORTH EAST LABOUR HISTORY SOCIETY Presents:
MICHAEL CHAPLIN: SID CHAPLIN’S DURHAM: A VOYAGE AROUND MY FATHER’
Last year Michael edited a new collection of Sid’s poems, short stories and essays written in the 1940’s when he was a pitman at Dean and Chapter in Ferryhill. It was published in the autumn to mark his birth centenary. Born in County Durham Michael Chaplin is a theatre, radio, television and non-fiction writer and former television producer and executive. (Committee Room)
WEDNESDAY 5th JULY – EDUCATION 4 ACTION
10:00am – 3:00pm: RED HILLS SCHOOLS VISIT
A day long education and arts workshop, working with a local primary school exploring history, politics, music, trade unions, mining communities and heritage. For further information or if your school is interested in attending or arranging a visit please contact: email@example.com
THURSDAY 6th JULY – STRIKES, PROTESTS & SOLIDARITY
Join us from 5pm, for evening of literature, music, talks, film and poetry
5:00pm – 6:00pm: BOOK LAUNCH – JUSTICE DENIED: FRIENDS, FOES AND THE MINERS’ STRIKE
This is a timely book written by former miners and radical academic researchers, the majority of whom were participants in the 1984-85 miners’ strike in Britain. It is particularly welcome today as calls intensify, despite the attempts by the establishment to silence them, for a public enquiry into the policing of picketing at Orgreave. Not only is it a marvellous account of the bravery of the men and women and their allies during one of the longest industrial strikes in British history, it is also testimony to the resilience of mining communities in the face of state repression. (Committee Room)
6:00pm – 7:00pm: PIT CAMPS
Flis Callow and Caroline Poland, who were active in Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures in 1984/85, and in the 1992/93 struggle to keep the pits open after Heseltine’s announcement to close 31 more pits, will present and share their experiences of the Houghton Main Pit Camp in 1993. They are currently gathering archive material and stories about Houghton Main Pit Camp in Yorkshire, as well as the other 6 pit camps set up in 1993. This is a little known story they hope to tell in a book written in conjunction with Gary Rivett and Sheffield University’s ‘History of Activism’ project. They will be interested to hear from anyone involved in any of the other pit camps. (Main Hall)
7:00 – 7.30pm: THE NORTH EAST SOCIALIST SINGERS
Hailing from all over the region, the community singers will perform a range of songs, drawing on our region’s rich mining heritage and socio-political history. Expect songs of protest, freedom and solidarity. You are most welcome to join in. (Main Hall)
7:30pm – 9.30pm: MINING THE MEMORIES
The ‘Mining the Memories’ project supported ex-miners and former colliery community members in South Yorkshire to write and produced a series of short films which tell their stories of the 1984/85 miners strikes and the continued legacy the decline in the coal mining industry is having on their communities. In total 5 original short dramas, 1 original animation and 2 documentaries. One documentary focuses on the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and their continued fight for justice, the other focuses on Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire. (Main Hall)
FRIDAY 7th JULY – POVERTY IS POLITICAL
Join us from 2pm as we explore Red Hills. Followed by an evening of talks, film and lecture exploring issues surrounding one of the most prevalent problems in our society today; inequality. Food and refreshments will be available.
4:30pm – 5:30pm: HUNGER PAINS
Author Kayleigh Garthwaite volunteered with a Teesside food bank for two years, a time which inspired her acclaimed book ‘Hunger Pains’. Kayleigh shall share her work and research exploring food bank culture and poverty within austerity Britain. You are invited to share your thoughts and experiences.
Kayleigh spent two years volunteering in a foodbank in Stockton on Tees as part of a bigger project which looked at health inequalities brought about by the huge cuts in state spending through the Government’s austerity programme. Kayleigh provides a powerful insight into the realities of foodbanks. Trussell Trust data shows that 87,693 people including 35,246 children received three day emergency food from the Trussell Trust foodbanks in the North East of England 2014-2015. 13 million people live in poverty in Britain and over half of these are working families and in a town where a boy born in one of the poorest parts of Stockton can expect to live to just 67, a boy growing up just two miles down the road in Eaglescliffe or Hartburn would expect to live to 84. (Main Hall)
5:30pm – 6:30pm: THE DAVY HOPPER MEMORIAL LECTURE. SPEAKER: KEN LOACH
Education 4 Action presents ‘The Davey Hopper Memorial Lecture’ featuring Ken Loach, acclaimed film director and social commentator, director of ‘I Daniel Blake’, ‘Bread and Roses’, ‘Land and Freedom’ and many more. (Main Hall)
6:30pm – 7pm. THE FORGOTTEN WORKERS: LOW PAID WORK AND MULTIPLE EMPLOYMENT
Dr Jo McBride (Newcastle University) and Dr Andrew Smith (Bradford University) will talk about their concerns relating to low-paid work, wage inequalities, the rise of unstable jobs and in-work poverty. Whilst successive UK governments have attempted to reduce unemployment and make work pay, viewing employment as the best route out of poverty/low-pay, there has been a rise in what is termed ‘precarious work’. We have termed these people the ‘Forgotten Workers’ as they are largely absent from official statistics and policy debates. This is the first ever study in the UK to explicitly focus on low-paid workers in more than one job and to examine their work experiences and work-life challenges. We have discovered issues concerning underemployment, intensification of work, extensification of work, challenges and complexities of juggling work and home, issues with zero hours contracts and the well being of people struggling with more than one job. (Main Hall)
7:30pm: FILM SCREENING – THE SPIRIT OF 45
Ken Loach’s impassioned documentary, tells of how the spirit of unity buoyed Britain during the war years, and carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society. This session will take place in the (Main Hall)
For more information about the Friends of the Durham Miners’ Gala, please visit our website: www.friendsofdurhamminersgala.org