1. Tyne Tees

Baroness Thatcher's funeral

The reaction to the funeral of the former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

View all 137 updates ›

Miners set to party on day of Thatcher's funeral

Ex-miners will next week mark the 20 years since their pit closed, with a party in Easington in County Durham - on the day of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.

Alan Cummings, chairman of the Durham Miners' Association, said the timing of events was "remarkable" and "one of those quirks", though he added:

"She couldn't be cremated on a better day."

– Alan Cummings, chairman of the Durham Miners' Association

The party will be held on Wednesday at the Easington Colliery Club, in the former pit village, subject to the committee's approval, he said.

On Tuesday evening there will be another party for the women's groups who supported the striking miners, he said.

"We are planning to have a colliery band and we are inviting ex-miners and their families to go back over their memories of the strike and what has happened since the closure of the pit."

– Alan Cummings, chairman of the Durham Miners' Association

The pit in Easington Colliery, which was the setting for the film Billy Elliott, closed in 1993, with the loss of 1400 jobs and it is one of the most deprived parts of the country.

Mr Cummings, an ex-NUM Lodge secretary, said the event was not in poor taste and he had only received positive feedback.

"I couldn't stand her.

"She had a very patronising manner and I could have put my foot through the television whenever I saw her on there.

"We opposed and hated everything she did. She has wrecked thousands and thousands of lives so, no, it's not in poor taste.

"We can understand why people are happy and rejoicing that she has gone because they remember these communities have never recovered."

– Alan Cummings, chairman of the Durham Miners' Association

More on this story