Preparations under way for Redcar Steel Gala

Final preparations are underway as a much-loved Teesside event is back this weekend.

On Sunday the Steel Gala will transform the Corus Club in Dormanstown, Redcar, into a vibrant gala packed full of traditional entertainment and community fun.

This year it promises to take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a few modern twists and turns for good measure – the community are very much involved in the build-up to this family event from taking part in regular flag and costume making workshops, to voting for the gala princesses to the local school making the banners for the parade.

The parade will launch the 2019 Steel Gala in style, celebrating local creative and community spirit.

Debbie Powlay explained: “The workshops have been a fantastic way to get involved with the gala celebrations and even encourage some people have a starring role in the parade!

“It’s also been great for families who have wanted to do something creative together during the holidays and take part in the parade celebrations.”

The parade will take place on Sunday 18 August at 11am.

The album will be launched with a live performance at the 2020 Steel Gala and will be available as a limited-edition CD and digital release.

For many years the Steel Gala was a highlight on Redcar’s event calendar, steel workers and their families traditionally celebrated and communities came together and had a good old-fashioned family day out.

Over time the Steel Gala reduced in size but the memories and the ethos behind it are very much alive in the communities of Redcar and the gala continued with the support and passion of local volunteers.

This year the Gala is being ‘reimagined’ by the team behind it thanks to funding from the Great Place Tees Valley project. Very much at the heart of the event are the ‘The Ladies of Steel’ who have been running the event as volunteers for the last 11 years.

Ladies of Steel founder Debbie Powlay explains: “The Gala is still retaining the same traditional values of community and celebration but this year we are adding a few more modern-day influences.

“We are working in partnership with Tees Valley Arts to ensure the event is the perfect mix of traditional fairground rides, marching bands and artistic performance.

“We want everyone to come to the Gala and celebrate the past and look to the future together.”

One of the exciting developments for this year is the Artists Residency that has been developed in partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Tees Valley Arts.

The gala team are really excited to be working with Joe Hammill frontman of popular Teesside band Cattle & Cane.

He will be creating a ten-track album of songs inspired by exploring the history, thoughts and memories of the traditional Redcar Steel Gala and Redcar’s steel heritage.

The album will be launched with a live performance at the 2020 Steel Gala and will be available as a limited-edition CD and digital release.

Councillor Karen King, deputy leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: “Steel is in our region’s blood.

“At Kirkleatham Museum, thirteen thousand people have visited our Steel Stories exhibition which pays tribute to the men and women of steel.

“The steel made in our area has helped to build and shape the modern world, something we are keen to ensure continues for many generations to come.

“We’re thrilled the Steel Gala will be celebrating this proud heritage while also looking to the future.”

In true traditional gala style, the community parade will kick start the event, complete with a marching band or two. Parking and refreshments are available onsite all day.