Doncaster former miners bid to be Christmas No1

Joe Solo and the Hatfield Brigade are bidding to become Christmas Number One with their single, Merry Christmas from Hatfield Brigade.
Joe Solo and the Hatfield Brigade are bidding to become Christmas Number One with their single, Merry Christmas from Hatfield Brigade.
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A Christmas single released by a group of former Doncaster miners in aid of the borough’s food banks has received the backing of Jeremy Corbyn, Ed Miliband and filmmaker Ken Loach.

The single, Merry Christmas from Hatfield Main has been recorded by Yorkshire singer/songwriter Joe Solo and the Hatfield Brigade, comprised of former miners from Hatfield Main Colliery and their families.

Since it was released last month the single has sold thousands of downloads and is currently at number 20 in the Amazon singles’ chart.

Hatfield Main, which featured in the film Brassed Off, was Doncaster’s last working colliery and closed last year despite a long campaign to save it. The Christmas single from its former miners currently has odds of 100-1 to top the festive charts. 

Mick Lanaghan, who was the third and final generation of men from his family to work at Hatfield Main, says all profits from the single will be given to Doncaster food banks as a way of saying thank you for the support he and others received throughout the Miners’ Strike in 1984/85, particularly at Christmas.

The 57-year-old former miner of West Avenue, Stainforth said: “32 years ago we were supported by strangers throughout the miners’ strike, so now we’re doing our bit for strangers who need some help.” 

Mick said: “I don’t know how many copies we’ll sell or how much we’ll raise with this single but every penny will be needed by food banks in Doncaster.

“We’ll remember the Miners’ Strike until we die, and we’ll also always remember the kindness we were shown.

Mr Miliband said of the single: “It’s a great song and the proceeds will be donated to help families here in Doncaster.

“I hope everyone in the borough, and beyond, gets behind it – and help to push it as high up the charts as possible.”

The single is available to download from all major outlets.