Stories of Easington
Thursday 24 November, 4 – 8pm
An after dark festival celebrating who we are!
An evening full of lights, brass, dance, crafts, art, stories, remembrance, hot broth and magic in Easington Colliery.
Dennis Donnini Memorial Garden
The beautiful Dennis Donnini Memorial Garden commemorates the Royal Scots Fusilier who was awarded the Victoria Cross after his death. Aged just 19, Dennis Donnini became the youngest person to be given this honour. The garden was lit up by artwork local school children and later on, there was a moving memorial performance of ‘The Last Post’ by the The Royal Scot Fusiliers.
Based in the heart of community, the Social Welfare Centre provided essential facilities for miners and their families. Today the Welly is as busy as ever and will be our main information point. The Welly hosted activities by Easington Writers Group, local photos from J-Peg, arts and crafts and performances by Easington Colliery Band.
Memorial Avenue & Church of Ascension
On 29 May 1951, 81 men died together in Easington Colliery. Following an explosion, and in the rescue bid, two men gave their lives. The trees here were planted in honour of those lost in the disaster and we paid our respect by beautifully lighting up their trees. The audience were invited to take a quiet moment to walk along the Avenue, visit the Church of Ascension and listen to stories of the Easington Pit Disaster.
Billy Elliot is probably Easington’s most famous character! The story of an 11-year-old miner’s son who follows his dream to become a dancer captured hearts across the world. A special dance was created by our friends The Garage NE which anyone could join in with on the night. You can learn the moves for the Billy Elliot inspired dance here!
Seaside Lane was once a bustling place running through the heart of the community down to the old pit site. Today it takes you to the clean, beautiful Easington Nature Reserve and the perfect beach for sea glass collecting. Artist Frank Styles was at the Welly during the event, inviting people to vote for their favourite artwork from a selection of his designs. The winning design will be used to decorate Seaside Lane at a later date.
Café Together has been serving up warming meals to members of the local community for more than three years. The team provides freshly prepared food to residents for just £1 and also runs cooking courses, helping people to make low cost, healthy meals. During Stories of Easington, visitors were invited to enjoy delicious homemade broth made by the Café Together team.
Created and produced by East Durham Creates in partnership with the lovely people of Easington, made possible with the kind permission of East Durham Trust.
Special thanks for the support, hard work and imagination of:
Church of Ascension
Councillor A Surtees
Councillor D Boyes
Easington Colliery Brass Band
Easington Colliery Heritage Group
Easington Colliery Methodist Church
Easington Colliery Parish Council
Easington Community Garden and Seedpods
Easington Regeneration Partnership
Easington Ukulele Band
Easington Writers Group
East Durham Trust
Nicola Balfour and The Barn Easington
The businesses of Seaside Lane
The family of Dennis Donnini
The Garage NE
The residents of Avon Street
The Welly (Easington Social Welfare Centre)