Miners' Gala memories; FEEDBACK.
The pits have gone but the spirit of solidarity so characteristic of the people has not faded.
There still is the service in the cathedral and the parade and big meeting. There are still the speakers and the controversy and refusals to share platforms with someone else. Human nature is there in its full flowering.
When I started courting my late wife, one of our first dates was at the gala, and it was about this time when I told her how important it was for me that we shopped at the Co-op.
Looking back at that time it must have been implicit in what I was saying that I was proposing marriage, because I don't remember ever asking her in terms of a formal proposal but one thing led to another and we had a happy marriage.
GEOFFREY BULMER, Billingham