Replica miners’ banner finds new home in library

Left to right: Michael Millmore, Morrison Lodges Banner Group; Louise Smith, library operations officer; Cllr Katie Corrigan, Durham County Council Chairman; Cllr Jeanette Stephenson; Cllr Carole Hampson, Mayor of Stanley Town Council; Alan Mardghum, President/Secretary of the Durham Miner’s Association and Cllr Joan Nicholson.
Left to right: Michael Millmore, Morrison Lodges Banner Group; Louise Smith, library operations officer; Cllr Katie Corrigan, Durham County Council Chairman; Cllr Jeanette Stephenson; Cllr Carole Hampson, Mayor of Stanley Town Council; Alan Mardghum, President/Secretary of the Durham Miner’s Association and Cllr Joan Nicholson.

A new replica miners’ banner has been officially unveiled at a County Durham library, celebrating the county’s rich mining past and the people who lived it.

Annfield Plain Library will offer a permanent home for the banner, following its official unveiling.

The Morrison Lodges Banner was commissioned in 2018 to commemorate the Morrison Pit, open between 1809 to 1964, and the Morrison Busty Pit, open between 1927 to 1973, both situated in Annfield Plain.

The unveiling was attended by Cllr Katie Corrigan, Durham County Council chairman, and Cllr Carole Hampson, Town Mayor Stanley Town Council.

Alan Mardghum, president and secretary at the Durham Miners Association, and Michael Millmore from Morrison Lodges Banner Group also welcomed the banner.

Cllr Corrigan said: “The miners’ banners are not only incredible to look at, but are unique, important pieces of social history. It is a celebration of the local spirit, and our libraries play an important role in our communities, making it a fitting place for the banner to live.”

The design of the banner is unique in that it has two ‘front’ sides. The Morrison side is based on a 1956 banner, featuring portraits of union leaders A.J. Cook and Tommy Hepburn, with the slogan Knowledge is Power.

The Morrison Busty side is based on a banner made in 1959 which originated from Lumley 6th Pit when it closed and was repainted as Morrison Busty. The design shows a biblical scene of a child with a lion and lamb and has the message The Reign of Peace. The original banner was kept at Annfield Plain Central Methodist Church until it was destroyed in an arson attack in 1993.    

The event was accompanied by music from the Craghead Colliery Band, who played miners’ hymn, Gresford.

Annfield Library is open Monday, 10am to 7pm; Tuesday, 9am to 1pm; Thursday, 1pm to 5pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm.

For library out more about local libraries at https://www.durham.gov.uk/libraries

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