Film ID:
NEFA 12564



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A record of the Durham Miners' Gala of 1969,  filmed by the Durham Police Film Unit. Scenes include police gathering and planning for the event, miners and their families parading with union and colliery banners through the streets of Durham, and fairground scenes during the picnic at the old Racecourse.

Credit: Durham Constabulary Presents

Credit: By permission of the Chief Constable A.A. Muir C.B.E., D.L.

Credit: A Technical Aid Branch Production

Title: Durham Miners Gala

Various shots of miners marching through the streets of Durham led by a brass band. Miners carry a number of colliery banners, each indicating the lodge that the miners are from, and these are raised high above the crowd. The streets are packed with onlookers watching the parade. A small crowd walks towards the green; the focus is on two women with a small boy.

Panoramic view of the racecourse gathering, filled with miners and their families. Tents and amusements are dotted around.

A mounted police officer makes his way through the crowd. The crowds relax on the grass enjoying the event. Various leisure scenes at the event follow.

Some of the event's attractions include a wrestling and boxing pavilion, a boxer and a masked wrestler (luchador) standing outside the front entrance to promote the attraction. The luchador is next to a punch bag (speed bag). A crowd watches.

People ride the fairground rides.

Tracking shot of a car driving through Pierce Street, which is filled with shops and shoppers. The street branches off at an intersection, where a police officer directs traffic. Tracking shot of a black car driving down a narrow Durham street. Cars and pedestrians line the street.

Now progressing along a wide quiet street, a silver Mark II Jaguar is in the foreground. Cars are parked on both sides of the road.

View overlooking Old Elvet Street at the Royal County Hotel.

Panoramic shot of the old racecourse where the Gala picnic is taking place.

General view of Durham Police HQ. A Police Commissioner looks over paperwork in his office. Another officer enters. The officer hands over a set of documents. The Commissioner checks the policing plans for the Miners' Gala. He points to several locations highlighted on a map of Durham.

Various shots of roads leading to the Miners' Gala are pictured. There is a police presence on the roads with officers directing traffic. At one of the roundabouts, a sky blue mini comes into view as it drives towards and around the roundabout.

A coach is parked at the end of a secluded street. A number of officers get off the coach and make their way down the street.

In the courtyards outside the main Police Headquarters, a large number of officers are gathering. Police cars and ambulances are parked up. Officers gathered within the courtyard are receiving instructions. A circle of higher ranking police officers are grouped together, addressed by a senior police figure. Officers begin leaving the station courtyard on foot. A police car follows a few seconds later heading in the same direction. A small group of mounted police officers leave the station courtyard.

Outside Durham Cathedral, small pockets of people are gathered; one group is sitting down on a grass embankment.

The Miners' Gala parade begins. ‘National Union of Mine Workers’ banners are raised. There are also banners representing the miners' various lodges.

Labour leaders and senior mining figures are on the balcony of the Royal County Hotel watching as the parade goes by, which is led by a brass band. Close-up of the balcony at the Royal County Hotel, the leaders are waving at the crowds and the parade passing by below. They include Harold Wilson, Roy Mason, Michael Foot and Judith Hart.  The procession of miners and their families move down the street. Directly outside the Royal County Hotel, police on horseback are monitoring the crowd. A brass band is playing. Labour leaders are escorted on both sides by police.

View of a small bridge spanning a river with people heading to and from the Gala. A ferris wheel towers over the event; tents and crowds cover the racecouse. A helicopter flies overhead.

Union leaders take their seats on a raised podium during the Miners Gala, a large crowd in attendance. Speeches are given, including the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

On the podium, a man addresses the crowd. Women begin to step up onto the podium, taking part in a beauty contest. The contestants gather in front of judges, then make their way around the podium for the winning announcement. First, second and third place winners are wearing swimsuits, each holding an envelope. The beauty contest winner in a brown and white swimsuit has a 'Coal Princess' sash draped over her shoulders; a tiara is placed on her head. She is Rose MacLauchlan, representing Westoe Colliery, South Shields, and here she is winning the regional coal queen heat. The runners-up return to the crowd and are congratulated.

Views of Durham Cathedral, people are sitting on the grass outside. A mounted police officer is at the front of a procession, behind him are a priest, a brass band, and various held colliery banners: a Cowden Lodge banner, and a Dawdon Lodge banner, draped in black cloth. The procession makes its way towards the entrance to Durham Cathedral with crowds of people on either side.

Overhead shot of the mass gathering of miners and their families. Two police officers walk through the crowd on the green, one of them wearing a long navy coat and speaking on a radio. A brass band member relaxes on the grass next to a wooden fence. A Seaham Lodge union banner can be seen in shot.

An ice cream van is parked on the green: groups of people relax around the van. Miners' union advertising and paper documentation is laid out on the ground: signs and newspapers supporting the miners.

Morris dancers perform for the crowd.

Overhead views of the Court Inn and Dun Cow Inn. People are gathered in groups outside chatting and drinking pints of beer. Close-up of a man with long hair and tattoos on his right arm as he kneels at the corner of a street drinking a pint of beer. View of the Half Moon Inn on New Elvet Street. People are sitting on the pavement, drinking and waving.

General view at the racecourse, tents dotted around and the Ferris wheel in the background. Shot of the Ferris wheel as it is turning, an excited crowd observing. Groups of people are gathered around the white sweet stalls where bags of pink candy floss are hanging. There is also an inflatable balloon stall selling balloon animals and vehicles such as a green rabbit and a submarine.

A small group of officers are outside Police HQ. A beige ambulance is in the background. A line of officers walk out into the street with coats draped over their arms. Two senior police figures are speaking in front of a group of police officers in the courtyard. Another group of officers leave the police station as a police car is being refueled; a red fire engine is also in the background. Officers with Alsatian police dogs make their way into the street. Two mounted police officers leave the station and head around a street corner.

A police officer in the control room is making a phone call. The same officer talks on a police radio. Another policeman stands outside his car, the door open, answering his radio. Close-up of the officer speaking on the radio. Two police motorbikes leave the police station courtyard, followed quickly by an ambulance.

Panoramic view of the Miners' Gala picnic taking place on the old Racecourse. The area is packed with tents, attractions and people. View looking up to the Ferris wheel silhouetted against a cloudy sky. Selection of colorful fairground rides spinning around, enjoyed by crowds of people.

The final shot is of an empty hotdog stand.

Credit: Filmed by D. Sgt. H. Geddes D.C. S.A. Davison

Title: The End