THE National Coal Mining Museum for England celebrates its 20th anniversary with a number of special events to mark the occasion starting next weekend and continuing throughout June.

Celebrations begin in style with a performance from the outstanding vocal group The Clerks next Friday – when, for the first time, the museum will be holding the performance underground.

Then, next Saturday it is Colonel, the shire horse’s 20th birthday.

A special exhibition – Basically Banners – opens to the public for the summer on Friday June 6.

This exhibition showcases many of the colliery banners that are held at the museum along with a few others donated specially for the exhibition.

A number of the banners have been specially conserved for the exhibition and most have not previously been on public display.

In the middle of June there will be two performances at the museum.

The first is Brassed Off, portrayed by the Wakefield Little Theatre on Saturday June 14 in a special outdoor performance with the original pit-head as the backdrop. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and a chair and enjoy the sunset.

Saturday June 21 sees Last Night at the Proms, when Elland Silver brass band will be playing a special outdoor concert. The band has an extensive repertoire including arrangements of popular orchestral classics, from film music to jazz and popular selections, and of course, brass band standards and marches.

Again – visitors are being invited to enjoy an evening of tuneful music in beautiful surrounds. There is free admission and free car and coach parking. Certain activities carry a charge.

Opening hours 10am-5pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

CONTACT: For more information call the Museum on 01924-848806 or email: or visit the website at