Get ready to mark your calendars because the arrangements for the highly anticipated 2023 Durham Miners Gala, also known as the 137th Big Meeting, have been officially confirmed. On Saturday, 8th July 2023, the streets of Durham will come alive with the vibrant celebrations of this historic event.
To ensure the smooth functioning of the Gala, road closures will be in place from the early hours of 4 am. This will allow the organizers to make all the necessary preparations for the parade, which will weave its way through the heart of the city.
While traditionally the Gala parade has marched down the iconic North Road route, this year, due to the redevelopment of the city’s bus station, a slight alteration has been made. Instead, Framwelgate Waterside will serve as the new route for the groups that would typically march down North Road. It’s important to note that no other groups or Gala routes will be affected by this change.
In addition to the altered route, the Durham Miners Association (DMA) informs us that Redhills, the esteemed Durham Miners Hall, is presently closed for refurbishment. Consequently, it cannot serve as a meeting point for any groups during the Gala.
To accommodate the adjustments, new coach parking bays will be established along Framwelgate Waterside. These bays will be used for dropping off groups, who can then proceed to form up at the bottom of North Road. Fear not, as stewards and traffic marshals will be readily available to provide assistance. Once groups have formed up, coaches can park at the designated Sidegate car park, specifically allocated for Gala coach parking. When it’s time to depart, groups can conveniently return to their coaches along Framwelgate Waterside, where coach bays will be provided for their egress.
Expressing their gratitude, DMA Secretary Alan Mardghum said, “The thanks of the DMA goes to everyone at Durham County Council and the emergency services who work with us year-round to help us ensure the Gala is as safe as possible. The safety of everyone who attends the Gala is our first priority. I urge everyone who is joining us on the day, either as participants or spectators, to cooperate with our staff, stewards, and partners working on the day. We look forward to seeing everyone again in Durham on the second Saturday in July.”
To facilitate the festivities, the city centre will be closed to traffic starting from the early hours of 4 am on Gala day. Visitors are encouraged to utilize the three convenient park-and-ride facilities available at Sniperley, Howlands Farm, and Belmont. Coaches will have the option to park at Sidegate car park or Belmont Park and Ride.
Expect to witness an impressive sight as banner groups make their way into the city from 8 am onwards. The speeches, a key highlight of the Gala, will commence on the Racecourse at 1 pm. The DMA will be announcing the lineup of esteemed speakers for the 2023 Gala in the coming days, leaving attendees eager to hear from inspiring voices on this momentous occasion.
For those seeking a spiritual connection, the Miners Festival Service will take place at the awe-inspiring Durham Cathedral. The service, scheduled to begin at 3 pm, promises to be a memorable experience for all who attend. Stay tuned for further details to be announced soon, allowing you to plan your day accordingly and ensure you don’t miss out on any of the Gala’s captivating moments.
If you’re not ready to bid farewell to the festivities just yet, the official Gala campsite will be open at Houghall Campus. Located just a short walk from the heart of the celebrations, the campsite offers a convenient and immersive experience.