With Banners Held High is a cultural and trade union festival celebrating the working class culture of Yorkshire, and will be especially significant this year as it will mark the 40th Anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.

This year’s event will commemorate the historic struggle of 1984-85 with banners from across the coalfields of Yorkshire and beyond. Marching alongside members of the NUM will be comrades from other trades unions bringing their banners, to celebrate the solidarity shared. The parade of banners will be headed by a brass band, with a samba band adding percussive rhythms to the soundscape for marchers and onlookers alike, with a further band bringing up the rear.

Behind the brass band will be the procession of colourful banners, both historic and new, from unions and community groups across Yorkshire and wider. The march starts outside Unity Works and walks into the City Centre and around Wakefield Cathedral to assemble for speeches outside the Town Hall. There will be childrens’ activities during the festival either in Mandela Square or in the Town Hall.

Wood Street will be filled with information stalls about building a green future, environmental groups, and other community group and trade union stalls. On the stage outside the Town Hall members of the public are invited to join the marchers to listen to speakers and musicians, including Atilla the Stockbroker, Joe Solo and Sally Cinnamon.

There will be speeches from people involved in campaigns associated with mining communities and from prominent trade unionists as well as Jon Trickett MP.

This year there will be an exhibition of photographs and mining memorabilia, and a presentation of photographs from the miners’ strike in the Town Hall and workshops in the preceding week in the Town Hall and other local venues.

Bands and Banners assemble at the Smythe Street Car park, march around city to Wood Street for stalls and mainstage programme outside the Town Hall with exhibitions inside the Town Hall.

    Access facilities

  • Wheelchair Accessible

Venue Details

Find us at

Town Hall, Wakefield, WF1 2HQ