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THE Durham Miners’ Gala has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The cancellation is the first since 1984, when Durham mining communities were under attack and siege by police during the miners’ strike against pit closures.
The gala is Britain’s biggest celebration of the labour and trade-union movement, attended by 200,000 people.
Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) secretary Alan Mardghum said: “We have decided we should not burden our public-service colleagues with the extra work involved in staging the event.
“They will be stretched beyond belief over the next weeks and months and we need to do all we can to help.
“Furthermore, the DMA represents communities and members who are at most risk because they are older, and many have serious health problems related to our industrial past, particularly respiratory diseases.”
Mr Mardghum said that the gala will take place next year, marking the event’s 150th anniversary.
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