People ask when is Durham Miners Gala as soon as the last one has finished, such is the popularity of the annual Big Meeting.
The time has flown by and Durham Miners Gala 2019 is now only one month away. So what can you expect if you go to the Big Meeting, as it's colloquially known? We've got a brief overview of this fantastic event below.
When is Durham Miners Gala?
The Durham Miners Gala date is Saturday July 13 2019. A good way of always knowing the date is that the Big Meeting is always held on the second Saturday in July. 2019 will mark the 135th year that Durham Miners Gala has been held.
If you're travelling to Durham for the Big Meeting and need to stay over, there's an official Durham Miners Gala campsite. You can find the details in our Durham Miners Gala camping story.
What time should I go to Durham Miners Gala?
Unlike some trade union meetings, the Durham Miners Gala start time isn't an exact science; there's no specific start time, end time or place where it all happens. However, there are a couple of key times and places.
Durham Marketplace is the first port of call for the mine and union banners, which in years gone by would have begun their own procession to Durham from whichever community they represented. The banners will then begin making their way towards Durham Racecourse from about 8.30am.
The banners will go to Durham Racecourse via the County Hotel, where dignitaries will stand on the balcony to hear the bands play and see the banners. Although it gets busy, this is a good place to stand for a short while and enjoy the atmosphere before you head to the Racecourse. This can continue for three or fours hours and so you should be able to see it until 11.30am or 12.30pm.
The next time that's important is the official opening of the meeting, which takes place on the Racecourse at 1pm. This is when the platform party arrives and the chairman opens the meeting, before the speeches begin.
After the speeches, you can head up towards Durham Cathedral along with several selected banners and bands for the Miners' Service.
The Racecourse will also be full of marquees where you can find stalls from a wide range of organisations. There will also be fairground rides, and you can see the banners up close too.
Durham Miners Gala road closures will begin at 6am on Saturday July 13 2019.