Bishop Auckland Redevelopment

Bob McMannets РBishop Auckland Redevelopment.

I was born and raised in Ferryhill in the centre of the Durham coalfield and have always been fascinated by the colossal collieries of the day, spending much of my time drawing their majesty. 

I worked as a General Practitioner in Bishop Auckland for 40 years and became better acquainted with the art of miners through one of my patients, pitman artist Tom McGuinness. While writing Tom’s biography with co-author Gillian Wales we realised there were many more mining artists about whom little had been researched and nothing had been written. We tasked ourselves in writing our Arts Council award winning book Shafts of Light – Mining Art in the Great Northern Coalfield Featuring over 70 coalfield artists. We realised this was equivalent to writing a epitaph to the industry and it was important to collect and display that art, as a vital piece of our heritage was about to disappear. The resultant collection, amassed over 25 years – The Gemini Collection in the Mining Art Gallery – is the focus of today’s talk. Monthly Meeting