A concertina panorama book – see the archive for other such books and how they’re made.
Each year in July, the Durham Gala is held and is a very popular event. Originally it was a miners’ gala because this was primarily a holiday for the families of miners of the north east of England, which, in a bygone era, was a massively exploited coalfield. Nowadays, the Gala is a major attraction for people from miles around and the centrepiece of the event is a huge procession of banners, bands and entertainment through the streets to the riverside playing fields where speeches by dignitaries and invited guests are made and people enjoy the attractions associated with a great day out.
The book shows the procession from the city centre down Silver Street heading towards the playing fields. The buildings are the actual ones in that street, diminishing in size as you look back towards the centre. The inside covers, which act as side panels, show an extended background view with the cathedral, barely visible, on the left, and the multi-storey carpark by the river on the right. The County Hotel has always been a focal point, with dignitaries and their families waving to the passing procession, and political guests making speeches.
The scenes are made from individual panels. The crowds and buildings were drawn out on the panels first. Each section of panels then had to be matched with the others – a task made more difficult by the increasing size of figures coming down the hill from the distant background.
The panels were painted and finally stitched together, before being stitched to the concertina background (Silver Street buildings). the concertina is then stuck to the book covers (views on each side of Silver Street). The ourside of the covers is adorned with a few trinkets to suggest a festival theme.