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The paintings created by The Ashington Group are a unique and precious record of days gone by. More than just a photographic record these works help provide a glimpse into the everyday life of pitmen in the Northumberland town of Ashington.

This amateur art group was founded in 1934 by local miners. With great enthusiasm and no little talent, they were able to illustrate their thoughts and feelings far more effectively through art than they could ever put into words. From its early days, as an art appreciation class, the Ashington Group created an important historical record. Visit Woodhorn Museum, browse the gallery so that you too may appreciate their art and their lives.

‘The first night I ever came’, Fred Laidler remembered,
‘I brought a little sketch of a castle, and an old man - George Brown it would have been - who saw it, criticised it most severely and when I went away they thought I wouldn’t come back. But I did, and I’m pleased I did. I learned to take criticism’.
Besides that he, and the rest of the Group, learned that art can make sense of life.