Premiere for new Durham Miners' Gala film


A new feature film about the Durham Miners’ Gala will receive its premiere in the city in June.

‘The Big Meeting’ will be shown for the first time at Redhills: Durham Miners Hall before it goes on general release in cinemas later this summer.

The 94-minute film explores the meaning of the Gala and follows some of the people who make it such an inspiring event. It also includes contributions from Gala supporters including Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn.

The premiere, on Saturday 22 June, will feature a panel discussion with director Daniel Draper and some of the stars of the film.

Daniel, director of the acclaimed Dennis Skinner biopic Nature of the Beast, said: “I don’t think words alone can do justice to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is as though this great celebration of working-class life takes place in the past, present and future simultaneously. This film is an exploration of something wonderful and beyond words.Redhills is the perfect setting for the premiere and I will be proud to share The Big Meeting for the first time at the home of the Durham miners.”

The Durham Miners’ Association Band will play for ticket holders in the grounds of Redhills from 6pm

Following the screening of the film, we’ll have a panel discussion with director Daniel  and contributors to the film. They are:

• George Robson, former DMA finance officer, who organised the Gala for more than 40 years

• Heather Wood, community activist from Easington and stalwart of the Gala

Dave Temple, former miner, founder of the Marras, author of The Big Meeting - A history of the Durham Miners Gala

• Charlotte Austin, activist from West Auckland, representing the future we build 

• Ross Forbes, DMA press officer during the miners Strike, and now DMA Programme Director and Gala organiser, will chair the panel.

We’ll also hear from Labour Party Chair and former miner Ian Lavery, and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner. Both Ian and Angela are long standing attendees and supporters of the Gala and are Parliamentary Patrons of the Marras.

It’s going to be a very special night at Redhills as we see The Big Meeting hit the big screen for the first time.

Book your places here:

Hosted by the Durham Miners’ Association since 1871, the Gala attracts more than 200,000 people to the city every second Saturday in July. The 135th Durham Miners’ Gala will be held on Saturday 13 July 2019.


Proceeds from the film premiere will go to the Marras – Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, which was established to fund the event following the closure of the collieries.

Dave Anderson, chair of the Marras, said: “We are delighted that Daniel and his team have captured the sights and sounds of this unique event. We hope this film will expose more people to what is the world’s greatest celebration of community, solidarity and working-class culture. We look forward to seeing The Big Meeting on the big screen. We’ll be joined at the premiere by some good friends and special guests and we are sure it’ll be a very special occasion at Redhills.”

The premiere will be held at Redhills: Durham Miners Hall on Saturday 22 June with doors opening at 6pm.