Banner a tribute to 200 killed by mine tragedy

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artist Alison Walton-Robson has created a banner to commemorate those killed in the disaster that hit New Hartley’s Hester Pit 150 years ago.

More than 200 men and boys died after a beam split at the pit on January 16, 1862, and crashed down into the mine’s only shaft.

Alison, of Blyth, worked with various organisations in and around New Hartley to create the banner, now on permanent display at the village’s memorial hall.

She said: “It was a privilege to be chosen by the New Hartley Pit disaster memorial group to help remember this tragic event. Mining is a big part of my own heritage, and my dad was in the mine rescue service.

“I have created other banners but none with such pride.

“It was important that local people were involved in finding imagery for the banners, so I ran workshops making nine smaller hand painted silk banners which were also carried in the event on the actual anniversary.”

The banner project was funded by the National Union of Mineworkers and Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure.