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North East’s mining history to be commemorated throughout 2024 to mark 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike

The North East’s mining history is to be commemorated with a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.

From April 18, The Auckland Project’s Mining Art Gallery in Bishop Auckland is digging deep into the history of County Durham’s mining heritage during its first event, Songs from the Coalface. Audiences will be taken on a journey of community and culture of mining life with songs that pay homage to the coalface and honour the memories from generations gone by.

The Mining Art Gallery will also open a new exhibition, The Last Cage Down, from Friday, May 3, until Sunday, October 6. It will showcase art through the miners’ eyes, depicting the decline of the industry and its impact of the communities and landscapes, whilst marking the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike in 1984-1985.

The Auckland Project’s public programming manager, Laura Roberts, said: “The mining industry is a significant part of the North East’s history which has impacted the majority of families across the area. It’s crucial to honour the community’s memories, especially in its anniversary year.”

Coal mining in County Durham was an integral part of the Industrial Revolution and the county became one of England’s major fuel sources, with the local mining industry lasting until the end of the 20th century. And 2024 marks 40 years since the Miners’ Strike, which saw thousands of miners walk out in protest to plans to shut 20 coal pits, leading to the loss of 20,000 jobs.

Laura added: “This artwork on show is vitally important in portraying the declining years of the coal mining industry. For some the strike is in living memory, but for younger generations the exhibitions and songs are a way of communicating what it was like for those whose lives were shaped by the mines.”

The Mining Art Gallery in Bishop Auckland opened in 2017 to celebrate the resilience and courage of those who lived and worked in the mines, and it highlights the industry’s rich history in the county. It gives all generations, both local and tourists to the area, insights into the lives of coal miners, their communities and the culture that grew around the mines.

Auckland Castle, the Spanish Gallery, the Faith Museum, and the Mining Art Gallery are part of The Auckland Project, a regeneration charity transforming Bishop Auckland into a premier visitor destination through a unique collection of heritage attractions, galleries and gardens.

Songs from the Coalface takes place on Thursday, April 18, at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. The event is free with an admissions ticket or The Auckland Project’s ‘Unlimited Pass’.

The Last Cage Down opens to the public on Friday, May 3. The exhibition is included with entry or The Auckland Project’s ‘Unlimited Pass’.

To book tickets for Songs from the Coalface, please visit this link or for The Last Cage Down exhibition, please visit this link. The ‘Unlimited Pass’ gives full access to The Auckland Project’s attractions for 12 months and its £30 for adults, £15 for a child, with family options also available.

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View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/north-easts-mining-history-commemorated-29011842

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