Remembering Peter Lee, the East Durham miner who fought for our area
Peter Lee, the namesake of Easington’s largest town and a great champion of East Durham, worked at Littleton Colliery in Pittington from the age of 10 before going on to become a local political figure and champion for East Durham.
Lee was born in Trimdon Grange near Sedgefield and by just 21 years old was the veteran of 15 pits.
Having been denied educational opportunities he took the relatively unusual step of returning to the classroom at the age of 20, learning many of the basics from scratch.
Lee was a local councillor, Chairman of the local Co-Operative and In 1919 became the first Chairman of a Labour County Council in England.
Lee was instrumental first as Chair of the local water board and then as Chairman of Durham County Council in securing a clean water supply for the area, by constructing the Derwentside Reservoir.
He was later Chairman and then President of the Miners Federation of Great Britain (which preceded the National Union of Mineworkers) where he represented the victims of the Gresford Colliery explosion in Wales.
He was a consciously regional politician embedded in his local community and guided by his strong religious beliefs, which in part directed his pursuit of a better society.