A flowery tribute has been unveiled to County Durham’s 150 years of mining union history.

The display – on Durham City’s Gilesgate Roundabout – is part of Durham’s entry for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom competition.

Every year, a special theme is chosen for a floral display on the roundabout, and this year’s exhibit is a tribute to the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) and the 150 years that have passed since it was founded.

The display – planted by Durham County Council staff with the help of children from Gilesgate Primary School – features flowers in the shape of the DMA emblem.

The Durham Miners’ Association secretary, Alan Mardghum, and programme director Ross Forbes recently joined Durham County Council’s head of environment, Oliver Sherratt, and cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens, at the unveiling of the display.

Alan Mardghum said, “The planting is a great tribute to the 150th year of the miners’ union. It is a commemoration of a central core of our heritage and culture.”

“It means a lot to the Association and to the people of the county that our anniversary is commemorated in this way.”

Cllr Brian Stephens commented, “Since its establishment in 1869, the DMA has provided unprecedented support for thousands of former miners from County Durham.”

“As this year marks its 150th anniversary, we thought this floral display would be a fitting tribute, especially when we will be welcoming hundreds of visitors to the city this summer for the Durham Miners’ Gala.”

County Durham will also see other floral displays that celebrate the area’s history of mining, including one on Leazes Roundabout.

The Durham in Bloom group will welcome judges from the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom Champion of Champions competition on Monday 29th July.

Any groups that would like to get involved with improving their local environment can contact the council’s Civic Pride Team by emailing civicpride@durham.gov.co.uk or telephoning 03000 261 000.

(This article’s featured image shows Oliver Sherratt, Cllr Brian Stephens, Alan Mardghum and Ross Forbes with pupils from Gilesgate Primary School and their headteacher Mark Turner.)


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