A vision by Dr Robert McManners OBE and Gillian Wales has came to life as they've helped open the first of it's kind in the country, The Mining Art Gallery. The gallery, situated in Bishop Auckland is dedicated to celebrate and preserve a unique part of our heritage.
We attended the opening of the gallery last week, which displayed over 100 pieces of art, mostly from ex miners, including my dad Bob Olley, Tom McGuiness, Norman Cornish and many more. These men, who spent their days working underground, the constant mixture of pit smell, black grease and sweat, and for some having the fear of being underground, chose to express themselves through art, capturing the mining heritage, the trust and friendship they had for eachother and the community spirit that pit villages and surrounding areas showed when the pit closures occurred. My family grew up with stories of my Dad and Granda down the pit, which I'm sure most did, that's our heritage and we should be proud of it.
The artwork can be seen at
The Mining Art Gallery, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland DL14 7LR