National Union of Mineworkers

Photo:1956 Programme

1956 Programme

Private Collection

Photo:Route - 1956 Programme

Route - 1956 Programme

Private Collection

Photo:Procession Order 1956

Procession Order 1956

Private Collection

Photo:1962 & 1963 Programmes

1962 & 1963 Programmes

Private Collection

Photo:Layout of Ground at Berry Hill

Layout of Ground at Berry Hill

Private Collection

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'National Union of Mineworkers' page

Private Collection

Photo:Mansfield Colliery Banner in the parade

Mansfield Colliery Banner in the parade

Private Collection

Photo:Parading down Church Street

Parading down Church Street

Private Collection

Annual Parade & Gala at Berry Hill

By Pauline Marples

The Parade

The National Union of Mineworkers (Nottingham Area), held what is referred to as an Annual Demonstration from 1949, until at least 1982. This took place in Mansfield.

 

The three surviving programmes (1956, 1962, 1963) pictured here reveal that it was an event that brought together many people for a 'colourful demonstration' of various Colliery Bands, their banners, floats, Coal Queens and attendants.

 

Colliery Bands mentioned are:- Bolsover, Bestwood, Basford, Thoresby, Clipstone, Mansfield, Harworth, Cresswell, Blidworth, Teversal, Kirkby and Calverton.

 

The parade which started on Chesterfield Road at 10.15am, then went through Mansfield and finished at Berry Hill Hall Social Welfare Centre at 12 noon.

Many people turned out to watch the parade, and then to join in all the activities at Berry Hill.

 

 

Civic Welcome

At Berry Hill a Civic Welcome was given by the Mayor of Mansfield, Mrs Agnes Milford (1956). Cllr Mrs W. M. Townroe (1962), Cllr A. H. Bailey (1963).

 

The welcome was followed by the singing of hymns led by one of the Colliery Bands or Choir. Then an act of dedication was given by a member of the clergy.

 

Resolution

A Demonstration Resolution was made each year and formally moved and seconded. For example in 1963 the Resolution was moved by The Chairman, Mr J. T. Tighe, seconded by Mr A. Martin, and supported Mr W. Painter (Secretary of the NUM).

 

Presentations

Presentation events included Ten Year Service Certificates, Cup to the Best Band on the March, and prizes for Tableaux.

 

 

Displays and Events

Berry Hill Grounds were laid out with many stands such as exhibitions by the N.C.B., Electricity Board, C.I.S.W.O. Ladies Section, and Model Railway. There were displays of Wrestling, Whippet Racing, Physical Culture, Cage Birds, Rabbits and Mice, just to mention a few.

 

Coal Queen

Additionally there was Fashion Shows and the Coal Queen Competition. This competition was where the 'Nottinghamshire Miners' Coal Queen' was chosen from all the individual colliery Queens.

The judges for the competition in 1962 were Gwynneth Tighe, Joan Chapmen (Women's Editor of the Daily Herald Newspaper, and Jack Burkitt - Nottingham Forest F.C.

 

Children’s Entertainment

Children could enjoy Punch & Judy Shows, Pony Rides, taking part in a Talent Competition (1962) compared by 'Sparty', the Lightning Cartoonist.

 

Music

Concerts were given by Colliery Bands and/or Massed Miner's Welfare Choirs (1956).

 

Food and Drink

Refreshments were an essential part of the day, with tea, minerals, light refreshments, sandwiches, cakes, and ice-cream on offer. Additionally there were licensed drinks by the James Hole & Co., Ltd and Mansfield Brewery Company Ltd (1956), and Mansfield Brewery Company Ltd and the Home Brewery Co. Ltd.(1962, 1963).

 

There were such a great variety of things for everyone to enjoy or participate in at this annual event.

 

The individual collieries were proud to participate, to march behind their banners, hear their colliery band and to hope their own Coal Queen became the Nottinghamshire Miner's Coal Queen.

 

Sadly with the demise of the Coal Industry these events are now part of our local history.

This page was added on 24/08/2009.
Comments about this page

I was crown Farm & Sutton Colliery aka (Brierly colliery) Coal queen twice, one year was Sutton Colliery aka Brierly, then second time was Crown Farm Colliery in 1954, it was reported in the free press local paper then in the Mansfield Chad.

By greta williams (nee Davies)
On 20/08/2012

I came across this page by chance and what memories it brought back. I was Blidworth Colliery Coal Queen in 1961/2 and well remember Linda Daws winning the title at the rally in 61. I can still see the lovely colours on her dress, I made it to the final 6 and was lucky enough to be invited back for the parade in 1962. I had a pale yellow dress. I left UK many years ago and now live in Australia. Wish I still had some photos from then.

By Aileen Rawding (nee Craags)
On 16/12/2012

My dad was a miner at Thoresby Colliery and was a Union Convener so the annual parade was a big event in our house. One year I had the privilege to push the Thoresby wheeled banner (like the one in the picture) and was given a few quid by the miners for my efforts. I used to love the Berry Hill event with the displays of birds and vegetables, and used to like watching the boxing. But best of all was dad letting me have a crafty swig of his pint of Mansfield Bitter, without mum finding out....although I'm sure she knew but just turned a blind eye.

By John Clay
On 04/03/2013

I would have been three when this Gala took place. In either that year or the following year I modelled children's clothes on the cat walk. I have newspaper cuttings of me on the cat walk. I think the main reason I got to do it was because the fashion show was organised by the Co-op and my grandfather worked there and volunteered me. They used to give us things to carry and I plainly remember refusing to give back the teddy bear I had carried.

By Diane Marsh
On 24/02/2014

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