The 100th anniversary celebrations of mineworkers’ homes in South Shields have been given a boost from South Tyneside Council.
This summer, the Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association (DAMHA) will commemorate the centenary of their bungalows being built in Marsden Road.
The celebrations include a special ceremony on 11th July, when the Association will unveil an engraved memorial stone, and the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum has shown its support by contributing £785 towards its creation.
Councillor Neil Maxwell, Forum Chairman, said: “We have a rich mining heritage here in South Tyneside and I’ve no doubt that many of today’s families, who have roots in the Borough, will have links to mining and local collieries.
“The Durham Aged Mineworkers Homes Association has done a great deal for former pitmen and their families over the years, helping them to find homes in or near to the communities where they grew up and then went on to serve in the pits. While the Association has come a long way from then, it continues to provide residential care and sheltered schemes for older people.
“We were delighted to support the Durham Aged Miners on such a special anniversary by making a contribution towards the memorial stone.
“It is important that we remember the contribution miners made to their local communities and recognise the great work of the association in supporting former pitmen to live in quality housing.”
DAMHA was founded in 1898 to help find homes for former miners who lost their tied colliery homes when they retired and for widows of deceased miners who had to vacate their homes to accommodate serving miners.
Nowadays, the Association provides 1,700 homes for people across the North East, not only former miners. It is also the largest almshouse charity in the country.
During the 1910s, the Association built homes in almost every Lodge area in the Durham county, including the 67 bungalows in Marsden Road in 1914. Bulmer House, which contains a further 26 sheltered flats on the Marsden Road site, opened in 1991.
Paul Mullis, DAMHA Chief Executive, said: “We would like to thank South Tyneside Council for their contribution to the memorial stone, which will mark such a very special anniversary.
“We have the original blueprints for the Marsden Road cottages, along with photographs of the then DAMHA committee members who were instrumental in getting them built, so this is an amazing part of our history.”
Resident Mary Bell said: “We are all very proud to live in these homes and having the memorial stone will mean that future generations will be able to see how important they are to local history.”
The unveiling of the memorial stone in July also coincides with the weekend of the annual Durham Miners’ Gala.