Tyne & Wear

Century-old Durham Miners' Hall to offer public tours

Redhills Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Redhills was constructed when the city's first miners' hall became too small to house it swelling membership

A century-old miners' hall is to offer a series of guided tours for the first time in its history.

The Grade II-listed Durham Miners' Hall, known as Redhills, opened in 1915 and replaced the previous facility on the city's North Road.

Visitors will be shown the ornate Pitman's Parliament - a focal point for generations of colliery delegates.

Ross Forbes, from the Durham Miners' Association, described the building as "a unique and extraordinary place".

It was funded through subscriptions from more than 150,000 members of the association.

Proceeds from the 90-minute tours will go towards the Redhills Appeal, which aims to see the building become a centre for education, heritage, and culture.

They will take place every first Sunday and Wednesday of the month.

The Pitman’s Parliament, where delegates from each colliery would sit Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Delegates from each colliery would sit in the the council chamber, known as the Pitman's Parliament
Durham Sixth Form students working on an arts project in The Pitman’s Parliament Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption The parliament recently played host to an arts project by Durham Sixth Form students
A small stone sculpture of a miner with Redhills in the background Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption The association describes Redhills as a "living archive of labour movement history and culture"
The Committee Room Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Countless meetings have been held in the Committee Room across the decades
A sculpture of a miner in the Redhills grounds Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Sculptures are dotted around the grounds of Redhills
The Muniment Room where DMA artefacts are stored Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption A number of association artefacts are on show in the Muniment Room
Each numbered seat in the Pitman's Parliament represents a colliery Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Each numbered seat in the Pitman's Parliament represents a colliery
Statues of the Durham Miners’ Association founders in the grounds of the property Image copyright Durham Miners' Association
Image caption Association founders John Forman, William Hammond Patterson, Alexander MacDonald and William Crawford are immortalised in stone

The first tour is on Sunday 3 March, with places limited to 15 per event.

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