Display marks disaster

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AN EXHIBITION marking the 150th anniversary of the worst mining disaster in UK history is set to take place next month.

Northern Voices Community Projects has produced a display on the 1862 New Hartley Pit disaster.

A total of 204 men and boys lost their lives when a beam broke and blocked the only entrance into the mine shaft.

The story gripped the nation at the time, as people read how the rescue efforts went on, with Queen Victoria making a donation to the village after the accident.

The new display has been compiled by Dr Keith Armstrong and Peter Dixon, of Northern Voices, and members of the Hartley 1862 Research Group, and commissioned by North Tyneside Council with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

With historical documents and images, alongside the background history and poems and photographs by local people, it forms part of a series of events and activities intended to ensure the story of Hartley is not forgotten.

The display begins its tour at the beginning of September as part of the Heritage Open Days programme in St Alban’s Church, Earsdon, and at New Hartley Memorial Hall where it runs alongside the newly commissioned pathway in the memorial garden.

Further venues follow from October until December when it appears at Blyth Library, Wallsend Memorial Hall, Segedunum Museum in Wallsend, the Linskill Centre in North Shields, Newcastle Library, Seaton Sluice Community Centre, the John Willie Sams Centre in Dudley and Wellfield Middle School in Whitley Bay.