Remembering Blyth's mining heritage with new sculpture

A new sculpture commemorating an important part of Blyth’s industrial heritage has been unveiled in the town.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 8:00 am
Coun Gordon Webb at The Last Shift.
Coun Gordon Webb at The Last Shift.

The sculpture, which has been designed and fabricated by Blyth Bespoke Fabrication, overlooks the site of the old Isabella Colliery and serves as a reminder of the town’s link with coal mining.

At its most productive in the 1930’s, the colliery employed almost 1,000 men and stayed in production until the 1960’s.

The sculpture entitled “The Last Shift” depicts men about to go into the pit and shows the winding gear wheel which would have been a recognisable feature in almost every North East town and village.

The idea for the sculpture came from Coun Gordon Webb, a former County Councillor and a Blyth Town Councillor, who used his final County Council Members' Local Improvement Scheme funding to pay for the design and build.

He said: “I think it’s very important that our industrial heritage is preserved for future generations.

"Our young people have no recollection of coal mines or the difficult lives the miners had.

"Local history is so interesting and after 31 years serving the Isabella community as their councillor, I will be dedicating more time to the subject.”

And Gordon has another sculpture to reveal in the next few months when the subject will be staithes and ships.

“It’s quite ironic that my last shift as a councillor has produced a sculpture called “The Last Shift” and I’m very proud of every miner who worked hard in all of Blyth’s pits,” he said.