BARNSLEY is getting involved with what could be a revival of the traditional miners’ gala.

The gala is being held in Wakefield later this month and hopes to unite representatives from Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Wakefield in a march through the city centre, with the traditional banners on full display.

The march is just part of a day which will also feature live music, poetry, drama and film as well as appearances from keynote speakers Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, and MP for Hemsworth Jon Trickett.

It is hoped it will celebrate the culture and diversity of the trade union movement.

Dodworth Miners’ Welfare chairman Eric Richardson is one of the ex-miners from Barnsley who is getting involved.

Eric said: “The event is like one of the old Yorkshire Miners Galas, which they would hold once a year in a different mining town. This could be the start of a regional miners gala for our area again. If you go up to Durham they have a fantastic event. I’d like to see if it would be possible to get that going for Yorkshire too.”

With Banners Held High organiser Martyn Richardson (no relation to Eric), said the event is a chance for former miners to celebrate their culture and heritage.

“We’ve been working with the TUC and lots of other unions to get the word out. It is an event for everyone and with a community atmosphere.

“The event is a week long with the week prior to the march featuring a banners exhibition in Wakefield Cathedral. On Sunday May 20 we start the march and this is for the first time an outdoor event. It will only be a short march as we don’t want people’s mobility to get in the way of their participation.”

The march begins at Wakefield Cathedral at 9.30am. The rest of the day’s events take place from 10am to 5pm on Wood Street in Wakefield.

For more information visit or contact Martyn on