Washington County Durham


Memories of ...

Colliery Lodge Banners

Colliery Lodge Banners

The Banners of Usworth Lodge & Washington Glebe Lodge

Les Simpson, Chairman of Usworth Miners' Banner Group,
with the Washington Glebe Lodge Banner

[ Posted by kind permission of Les Simpson. ]

Follingsby Colliery Lodge Banner

Harraton Colliery Lodge Banner

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Tony Benn MP Unfurls New 'Cotia Lodge Banner

Tony Benn MP honouring two 'Cotia Miners at Harraton Miners' Hall / Community Centre - 2004

[ Apologies for not passing on the source of the Tony Benn image.  The website didn't have a McAfee security rating. ]

[ Phone number redacted. ]

Birtley man Jack Elliott and fellow 'Cotia Miner, Scotsman, George 'Jock' Purdon,
were both known nationally as Mining Folk Singers and Songwriters.

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New 'Cotia Banner & 'Cotia Choir

'A Hearty Rendition'

The 'Cotia Banner of 2004, featuring Jock Purdon and Jack Elliott, is unique in Big Meeting history as the only Durham Banner
to be accompanied by a 'band' of local folk musicians.  Usually a banner is joined by a brass band,
which will play to the dignitaries on the balcony of the Royal County Hotel.

The 'Cotia Choir, led, as always by Doreen Henderson, daughter of Jack Elliott, would give instead, a hearty rendition of the
American union song 'A Miner's Lifeguard', the rousing chorus of which, always draws appreciation
from those on the balcony and in the assembled crowd.

The group in this 2017 photograph shows Doreen, front centre, accompanied by her husband Brian, far left, in the cap.
Support is offered by Marie Little, with the guitar, behind Doreen, whilst the three guys behind Brian, hail from the Marsden Inn Folk Club.
It's always a moving occasion when the group remembers those who have gone before, whilst the performance is
a fitting tribute to the mining communities of County Durham generally.

I believe Doreen Henderson was probably 86 years old when these pictures were taken. A real gem of a lass!

The Choir photo comes from Friends of Durham Miners' Gala.
The guy behind the accordion player is a former 'Cotia apprentice fitter and WGS pupil.
The majority of the 'Cotia Choir were attendees of the Davy Lamp Folk Club which is based at Washington Arts Centre.

[ Comments and 2017 'Big Meeting' Photographs (above & below) contributed by former 'Cotia Apprentice Fitter, David Jones.  Many Thanks, Dave. ]


Note the Royal County Hotel balcony, far-right.

Springwell Colliery Lodge Banner

North Biddick Colliery Lodge Banner

Usworth Colliery Lodge Banner

Washington 'F' Colliery Lodge Banner

Washington Glebe Colliery Lodge Banner

Extract from Michael Richardson's book - The Durham Miners' Gala

The single page extract below is from



The Durham Miners' Gala

1935 - 1960

(Hardcover - 30th June 2001)

Check it out; copies may still be available.

The Banner of the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers

NACODS Banners

"The Sam Watson Rest Home, Richmond"
[ This banner, displayed at Murton, replaced the banner on the right in 1963. ]

"Safety Is Our Concern"
[ Thanks to Dave Jones for supplying banner information and pictures. ]

Sam Watson's Rest Home

The Sam Watson Rest Home in Richmond, North Yorkshire, opened in May 1961. It provided short breaks for miners' wives and widows, as well as female workers in the coal industry. The Rest Home took its name from the then-General Secretary of the Durham Miners' Association who played a big part in the creation of this excellent recuperation centre.

Over the decades, thousands of women stayed at the Rest Home, including many from Washington mining families.
It could accommodate 29 all-lady guests for an enjoyable, 11-day break, before returning them home, fully refreshed.


[Information from The Northern Echo]

Women's Labour Section Banners

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If you love Colliery Banners, you must visit:
There's a link at What's Where; Recommended Links; Local Websites.