With Banners Held High 2017: The Creative Power of Coal

With Banners Held High focuses this year on the ‘The Flame Still Burns-The Creative Power of Coal’. It celebrates an industry which inspired films, books, plays, paintings and much more. The event, on Saturday 4 March at Unity+Works Wakefield, links into the art exhibition Pit Images: Paintings and Drawings From the Coalfields running at the same venue.

The compere for the day’s event is writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton and the keynote speaker is Dennis Skinner MP. Highlights of the day include Danny Mellor’s stunning one-hander, Undermined, and a celebration of the life of Durham miners’ leader, Davey Hopper, who died last year. He played a key role in ensuring the survival of the Gala.

A new book, The Flame Still Burns: The Creative Power of Coal, specially commissioned for the event, will also be launched on the day.

The packed programme includes films, poetry and music with Matt Abbott, Ali Bullivent, The Hunch and the Commoners’ Choir. Also a series of workshops/debates link issues from the 1984-85 miners’ strike to contemporary concerns. Topics include ‘From Coal Not Dole to I, Daniel Blake’, ‘Media and the Miners’, ‘Music, Politics and the Miners’ and ‘The Legacy of Thatcherism: Zero Hours Contracts’.

‘We have put together a varied programme to appeal to a broad range of people,’ Granville Williams, chair of the planning group, said. ‘We want it to be a memorable and enjoyable day, attracting people active during the miners’ strike 32 years ago, but also a younger generation keen to learn about an industry which had such a tremendous impact on people’s lives but which has now completely disappeared with the closure of Kellingley pit in December 2015.’

Tickets for the day event (£8.00 Conc £4.00) from http://www.unityworks.co.uk/event/banners-held-high-2017/  Doors open 10.30. Event runs 11.00am–5.15pm

There is an evening fundraiser 7.30-11.00pm. The headline act is Ferocious Dog with support from Parson’s Lot and The Star Botherers. Lead singers in all the bands are ex-miners. Tickets £12.50 from http://www.unityworks.co.uk/event/banners-held-high-2017-flame-still-burns/