The words of the poet laureate exploring a hidden history of the Durham coalfield is among the highlights of this year’s BRASS Festival.
Simon Armitage and his band LYR will premiere new music at Durham Cathedral inspired by the incredible story of Durham’s ‘Category D’ villages.
The work is the result of a commission for the festival in partnership with the Durham Miners Association (DMA) and the Redhills charity.
In 1951, settlements across County Durham – mostly mining villages – were deemed by the local authority not to have an economically viable future. These ‘category d’ villages would not receive any further public funding in the expectation that people would leave their communities, enabling their demolition.
Simon and the band have worked closely with the DMA and the Redhills charity to explore the story, visiting some of the communities and people affected by the category d story.
Based on this, the critically acclaimed three piece – Richard Walters, Patrick Pearson, and Simon – have created new music called “Firm As A Rock We Stand: Commemoration and Celebration of County Durham’s ‘Category D’ Villages.”
It will premiere live at Durham Cathedral on Friday 15 July accompanied by Easington Colliery Brass Band. Tickets are on sale now.