Reunion for Woodhorn workers

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An Ashington museum is looking for anyone who used to work at Woodhorn Colliery to attend a special reunion this month.

Arrangements are currently underway to hold a reunion at the end of September at Woodhorn Museum and Archives, for former miners and surface workers at the pit, and organisers would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in taking part.

For more than 80 years Woodhorn was an operational coal mine.

Work to sink the shafts began in 1894 and the first coal was brought to the surface four years later in 1898.

At its peak almost 2,000 men worked at the pit producing 600,000 tons of coal each year.

Although production stopped in 1981, the tunnels and shafts continued to be used for the neighbouring Ashington Colliery until 1986 with a small team of men remaining on site to maintain access.

Woodhorn Museum director Keith Merrin said: “Woodhorn has undergone many changes since those industrious days.

“Looking around the historic site now as it buzzes with happy holiday families enjoying the exhibitions and exploring the buildings, it’s hard for non-miners to imagine what it must have been like.

“So much has changed in those intervening years, but the stories and memories will remain with the men who worked underground, and the men and women who worked ‘on bank’.

“This reunion is a wonderful opportunity to bring together old friends and rekindle, even just for one evening, the comradeship and community bond.

“We are delighted that this event is to take place at the museum, and hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to come together, meet old friends and ‘have a bit craic’.”

Anyone interested in attending the reunion, which takes place on Friday, September 27, at Woodhorn Museum should call 07984 295361 for more information and to reserve a place.