Residents across South Tyneside are being encouraged to share their photographs and stories about the Borough’s mining industry as part of an exhibition celebrating its history.
Talented local artist, Aidan Doyle, has created an exhibition ‘It Seems Like Another World’ featuring his rare underground photographs of Westoe Colliery, which closed in 1994.
On Thursday 14 April the exhibition will move from Haven Point the Central Library in South Shields and residents and visitors to the Borough are invited to attend a special event from 2pm until 5pm at the library to mark the 22nd Anniversary of the demolition of the Crown Shaft Tower at Westoe Colliery.
During the event Aidan will share his memories of the colliery and encourage others to come forward with their own anecdotes about the people who worked at the pits and the mining community.
Around three thousand people watched the demolition of the Crown Tower and Aidan is also inviting people to bring along their own photographs of the historic event for scanning and adding to the libraries records for future generations to access.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to South Shields Central Library to get involved in this visual celebration of the Borough’s rich mining history and to find out more about Westoe Colliery, its past and its huge importance to South Tyneside.
“I would encourage people to attend the Westoe Colliery Anniversary event to share their memories and to discuss the mining community and the dialect used so their stories and knowledge of the once booming industry in the Borough can be recorded for the benefit of future generations.”
Residents’ photographs, stories and memories together with the words and dialect traditionally used by miners will be recorded during the event as part of the exhibition, as a lasting record of the Borough’s mining industry.
Aidan said: “I hope that residents and visitors to South Tyneside will get involved with the exhibition by coming along to the event to commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the demolition of the Crown Shaft Tower at Westoe Colliery.
“The aim of the event is to provoke memories and stories about the people who worked at the pits and their families and to record the coal pit language – as well as encourage people to find out more about the Borough’s mining history.”