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Campaign to return miners' banner back home

South Pelaw mining banner
The South Pelaw mining banner was first unveiled in 1949

A campaign to repair a miners' banner and return it to the village where it originates has been launched.

The South Pelaw mining banner had, until a few months ago, been hanging in a neighbouring village, said Durham County councillor Tracie Smith.

Made in part from silk and featuring trade unionists Peter Lee and AJ Cook, it is currently being stored in Redhills.

Ms Smith said she is seeking about £5,000 to repair the emblem and return it to South Pelaw.

It had been housed in a community centre in Pelton, a neighbouring village to South Pelaw, for several years.

Stephen Guy, at Redhills, said the banner was first unveiled in July 1949 by Jack Lawson, a former coal miner.

“Banners shouldn’t be rolled up and stored away,” he said. “They’re too important for that."

Mining banner
The banner used to be on display at a community centre

Ms Smith said she had spoken to the headteacher at Chester-le-Street CE Primary School who is keen to house the banner.

“It’ll be brilliant because local children can learn about our heritage as there’s so many children now who don’t know about the mining industry,” she said.

“They don’t even know what a lump of coal looks like.”

She is hoping to raise the money to repair the banner through events such as coffee mornings and return it to South Pelaw by the end of the year.

“I think it’s important for our local heritage to have it back where it belongs,” she said.

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