Picnic keeps up our links to mining heritage

Ian Lavery MP at the Northumberland Miners' Picnic at Woodhorn.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Ian Lavery MP at the Northumberland Miners' Picnic at Woodhorn. Picture by Jane Coltman

I was fortunate to be able to attend two very special and different occasions in my constituency at the weekend.

The first was the 152nd Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn, an event that has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember. This year was especially poignant because we recalled the worst day in the pit’s history when 13 miners died in an underground explosion 100 years ago.

It was very humbling to honour the memory of those men, especially in the company of some of their relatives, who will have found it a very moving occasion. It was an honour for us also to welcome for the first time to the picnic the Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman, who delivered a beautiful address in which she recalled her own family mining background.

As a mining community we are once again indebted to Northumberland County Council and Woodhorn Museum for working with us to keep the picnic tradition alive and we sincerely hope it continues for many years. It is a link with our heritage that we must not lose.

Fast forward 24 hours and I was in Morpeth as part of the crowd welcoming back the victorious Morpeth Town Football Club – and what a wonderful sight that was.

Thousands of people of all ages lined the streets to welcome their heroes with the FA Vase and it was unbelievable to witness the joy on so many faces.

A wonderful end to a very special and memorable weekend.