A Tribute to Miners and the Disaster at St. Hilda's Colliery 1839 - Art Exhibition by Tom Finch Watercolour Group at St Hilda’s Pit Head
The Tom Finch Watercolour Group was set up by the well-known local artist Tom Finch in the 1970s, making this one of the oldest community art groups in South Shields. The group is still flourishing and meets every week at St. Peter's Church Hall in Harton Village and although most of the members work in watercolours, they have taken up the challenge of producing work for this exhibition in media such as collage, pastels and acrylics.
The terrible explosion at St Hilda’s Colliery on 28th June 1839, killed 51 men and boys and was the mine’s darkest day. However, the report written after the accident helped to raise the issue of miners’ safety and improve conditions in Britain’s mines, saving many thousands of lives.
Taking the disaster at St Hilda’s Pit Head killed as a starting point, the group have worked with a professional artist, Peter Robinson and produced work to show not only the men but also the women and children who involved in the industry. The youngest miner killed in the St. Hilda's Colliery Disaster was only nine years old.
Members of the group have researched into the history of coal mining and the explosion and portrayed this in the art work, making references to safety by including works with the miner's helmet and lamps as well as the working and home conditions for the miners.
Open to the public:
Tuesday 11th June 12pm-2pm
Wednesday 12th June 11am-2pm
Thursday 13th June 10am-12pm