Hearts and mines
One of the real highlights of the exhibition are 20 paintings by renowned north-east artist Bob Olley (Drilling at the Coalface – pictured), who worked for 11 years at Whitburn Colliery, depicting men at work in various tableaux examining different aspects of the coal miner’s life. You will also be able to see historically significant watercolours by Victorian artist Thomas Harrison Hair as well as wealth of personal effects and memorabilia from different periods in the region’s mining history. Heart wrenching details of fatal tragedies over the years and the development of the South Shields Committee to tackle safety are also explored, as well as the rich language, humour and communities that evolved around the industry.
King Coal: the life and legacy of South Tyneside’s coal mining communities, until 29 September, South Shields Museum & Art Gallery. southshieldsmuseum.org.uk