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Bands and Banners
Autumn/Winter 2000/2001 N0.7 £1.95

This double issue of Bands and Banners carries an apology in the front cover for the lateness of it's publication. Dave brought me my copy a month ago and, due to problems with my scanner, this review is even later.

Anyway, on to Bands and Banners Autumn/Winter 2000/2001.
The only criticism I could find in my last review of this excellent publication was the lack of colour photographs to be found within. With this double edition the same criticism simply doesn't apply as the whole issue oozes nostalgia and is packed from cover to cover with old photographs, depicting scenes from every aspect of life in the Durham mining communities. As we all know, nostalgia comes mainly in black and white.

Starting with the first article, "Tanfield Lea in Pictures", which is well illustrated with over a dozen photographs. The Tanfield Lea article is based around a collection of photographs collected by Gerry Ash, who's father worked as a deputy at Tanfield Lea Colliery.
With pictures covering every aspect of the colliery, from the Lodge banner (left) to the Tanfield Lea Bowling club, this article gives a fine insight into the lives of the miners of Tanfield Lea from the late 1940's onwards.

The following articles carry on the nostalgia theme, with "Bitter Sweet Memories" by Dennis Fisher, looking at how things have changed since the days of the Bevin Boys, and "A Journey to Remember" by David Hughes, an amatuer artist recounting his childhood in Seaham, his teenage years in Murton, and adult career at the Co-op.

Following on from these are four pages of extracts from "Coal", the NCB magazine (right) published in the first year of nationalisation.

Doreen Henderson shares with us the memories of her childhood in "Sounds gone from the streets", where she recalls Monday wash days, the calls of the street traders and childhood street games, such as Rounders and Platters.
The Easington disaster is recalled in, "Easington Disaster 50 years on". On 29th May 1951 an explosion at Easington took the lives of 83 men. The tragedy is remembered here, along with a roll call of those who paid for the price of coal with their lives.
This issue carries work from artist George Marsh sawyer (1917 - 1992). Robert McManners and Gillian Wales speculate on the factors which influenced this talented underground artist. Three of G.M.Sawyer's paintings are printed in the article, which tells how he struggled against terrible psychological problems following a horrific injury at the colliery where he worked from the age of 14.
Chapters 12, 13 and 14 of Ned Cowen's "Of mining life and aal it's ways" take up the next 13 pages.
This issue's collection of tales from Ned start with his recollection of events of the day he and three others were aboard a cage which, for a few heart stopping moments, appeared to be free falling to the pit bottom from half way up the shaft.
This collection of memories from Ned finishes with the newspaper clippings carrying his obituary. A colourful and much respected character, Ned's stories will bring pleasure to many for years to come.

Miners c.1920
This issue of Bands and Banners ends with more nostalgia in the shape of a poem entitled, "Women are waiting tonight" by Joe Corrie, a miner who was born in 1894 and who died in 1968, and then the final article, which is a review of a new book from Bands and Banners editor, David Temple.
Above and Below the Limestone, published by TUPS Books in Partnership with Easington Council, is a book which draws heavily on the memories of Easington people and the council's extensive photographic archive.
(Watch out for a review in these pages soon!)

Again, I can't praise this magazine enough and I urge everyone with any interest in mining, mining folk and mining history to buy a copy and read it!




Bands and Banners is published quarterly by the Durham Area, National Union of Mineworkers. In association with Trade Union Printing Services.
ISSN: 1466 - 1365
Annual subscription rates £10 per year inc p&p (four issues). Send cheque payable to Bands and Banners to PO Box 6, Red Hill, Durham DH1 4BB