Saturday, 20 October 2018.

New parade banner on display at heritage centre

12 January, 2018

Taking pride of place on a wall in the Aylesham Heritage Centre is a newly made miners’ parade banner.

Delivered from the Durham manufacturer in December, the six feet square banner depicts a spring time view of Snowdown Colliery seen from across a field of yellow rape seed just before its final closure in the late 1980s.

The new banner replaces one used by the Snowdown branch of the National Union of Mineworkers for many years at miners’ galas and marches between the 1960s and the 1980s – but over time that has unfortunately been lost.

An added touch to the new banner is that it bears the numbered tallies used by centre members and former miners Philip Sutcliffe and Eric Norton. Tallies were used by miners to indicate whether or not they were underground.  They would be carried while working and hung on a large board at the pit head at the end of a shift.

Philip Sutcliffe indicates his tally on the banner – number 202.

Heritage Centre Chairman Keith Owen said: “The new banner is a terrific work of art and has been carefully handmade. When it arrived, we were almost speechless as we looked at it for the first time and realised how good it is. We chose Philip and Eric’s tally numbers in appreciation of the work they have done for the centre.

“The new banner isn’t a replica of the old one as we wanted to reflect the future as much as the past.”

Eric Norton points to his tally included on the new banner – number 667.

Visitors can see the banner when the centre, in Dorman Avenue South, Aylesham, is open every Wednesday between 10am and 2pm.