William was born and raised in a pit village and he remained, throughout his life, a staunch believer in the spiritual possibilities of unity based upon common hardship. He was a regular visitor to the Durham Miners Gala. He attended as a child and was last present at the 126th Gala held on Saturday 10th July 2010, only 2 months before he died. The next two poems use imagery drawn from the event.
Anna Navis, the first poem has imagery of the banners and brass bands interwoven with images of the eviction strikes, when miners used loaves of bread to make slogans on the hillside where they were camped.
'Durham Beatitude', the second poem recalls the Gala following the Easington Colliery Disaster of 1951, when 81 men were killed.
Press the jukebox button and select number 11, Anna Navis/Durham Beatitude from the menu.
The Easington Lodge Banner draped in black at the 1951 Miners Gala