Ashington Choir To Commemorate Coal Mining Anniversary

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Ashington Choir will commemorate through their music a significant anniversary of an event which had a lasting impact on this region.

It is 40 years since the last Miners Strike in this country. This is an event which had a devastating impact on so many families, particularly here in the Northeast, and has affected lots of local communities.

Ashington was once classed as ‘The largest mining village in the world’!

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Many local traditions however have still lived on, and this Saturday will see the annual Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn Museum.

Ashington & District Male Voice Choir at their recent Annual ConcertAshington & District Male Voice Choir at their recent Annual Concert
Ashington & District Male Voice Choir at their recent Annual Concert

It is fitting that on this occasion, the local Ashington & District Male Voice Choir will return to sing at the Memorial Service in the morning. The Choir will be performing ‘The Colliers’ Requiem’ before the laying of wreaths and will support the congregational singing of ‘Abide with Me’.

Music can be an effective and moving tribute. The words and music of ‘The Colliers’ Requiem’ by Derek Hobbs and Mike Kirkup were written as part of ‘Fell ‘Em Doon’, which was performed as part of ‘A Century of Coal’ at the Ashington Festival in October 1994.

“Let’s close the door, on what has gone before; Don’t look back, move further up the track; One by one, the mines have come and gone, one by one, now there’s none. We sing a Requiem for Coal and Collier Men.”!

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The Choir will also be performing two concerts on Saturday, 6th July 2024 at Beamish Museum. It is appropriate that these will be held in the Miners’ Pit Chapel which will be a commemoration to all the miners in the Durham coalfields. The Choir will not just be performing ‘The Colliers’ Requiem’ but a selection of coal mining, popular and traditional Tyneside music.

Kevin Lillie, the Choir’s public relations and stakeholder officer explains, ‘We are delighted that we be able to take part in these events and dedicate our music to those men, past and present, who worked so hard under extreme hardships to support their families.’

‘The Choir is also pleased that some of our newer members recruited during 2024 will be able to join us in what are likely to be moving experiences.’

Ashington & District Male Voice Choir is recruiting new members as it looks to continue to build towards its 110-year anniversary in 2026 and ultimately 200 years. You do not need to have previous singing experience and you will be made very welcome. Singing in the Choir can be so much fun but also good for your health and wellbeing.

You will be able to find recordings and video links from the Choir’s successful concert on their website, https://www.ashingtonmalevoicechoir.org.uk. They are also on Facebook and YouTube.