Museum paying tribute to former miners

Maggie Neary and Jean Wilkinson, both regular visitors to Woodhorn Museum at Ashington.
Maggie Neary and Jean Wilkinson, both regular visitors to Woodhorn Museum at Ashington.

Ashington’s Woodhorn Museum is paying tribute to former miners.

The museum, at Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, has unveiled its new tally wall, made up of mementos of Northumbrians employed in the coal industry.

In return for a donation, a replica miner’s tally, an identity tag, will be inscribed with a name and brief message and hung on a wall in one of the museum’s main walkways.

Tally donation forms can be downloaded at www.
experiencewoodhorn.com or picked up at the museum.

“A miner’s tally is an important part of coal mining history,” said project worker Sam Hobrough.

“We think the tallies are a very poignant way for someone or some occasion to be remembered at the former colliery site.”

Regular museum visitors Maggie Neary and Jean Wilkinson were among the first people to secure tallies in memory of their late husbands, Harry and Dick respectively, both former miners.

Tallies will remain on display for at least 10 years.

Mr Neary spent more than 40 years working underground at Ashington Colliery, and Mr Wilkinson also spent more than four decades at Linton and Lynemouth’s pits.

Museum director Keith Merrin added: “Woodhorn is a registered charity, so donations really matter to us.

“Thanks to the support of Arts Council England in facilitating this initiative, all donations will go towards our work preserving this important historical site for visitors and telling the story of coal-mining in the North East for generations to come.”