What is Stanley Fringe? It’s difficult to neatly categorise it. They have published no list of objectives. They have no charitable aims. The group is a loose collective of artists in the broadest sense from this area. It isn’t a historical society, but one of the only clear goals of the group is to remember the anniversary of the Burns pit disaster. It isn’t a political group but their work reflects the politics of the early Labour movement, Their event on 16th February is called ‘Remembrance, Rebellion and Revolt’. Without having yet attended the event I get the feeling that the Stanley Fringe will be settling scores on behalf of the men who died in 1909. Their first event last summer was branded as an ‘alternative afternoon of music and poetry’ but the music and poetry presented was steeped in the traditions of the north east. There is a certain nostalgia for old Stanley about the group but it isn’t sentimentality. Rather, their work speaks about the continued warmth and optimism of the people of this town despite all the injustices that they have endured. Pit disasters, wars, the end of the coal industry and the pedestrianisation of the Front Street. The Stanley Fringe and Stanley Town Council will be leading the remembrance for the men of the West Stanley Disaster at the memorial by North Durham Academy at 3.45 on 16th February, the 107th Anniversary of the event.
At 7pm come along to the Beamish Mary, join the group for a pint, song and poetry and settle some scores with the pit owners who sent those men down unsafe pits.
Visit the Stanley Fringe group on Facebook for more information or to get involved