There’s a great exhibition of paintings on display at the Palace of Westminster this week. Entitled “Mining Communities and their Artists”, each one was painted by a miner and the exhibition includes a range of pictures, each depicting evocative scenes from mines and coalfield communities.

The exhibition was organised by a group of Labour MPs, including David Anderson MP and Ian Lavery MP who are former miners, together with the Durham Miners’ Association. Artists being exhibited include Norman Cornish, Tom McGuinness and Ted Holloway.

After the opening of the exhibition, I got the chance to talk to Dennis Skinner MP, who had made a fantastic speech about the “agony and ecstasy” of being a miner and how seeing the paintings brought those emotions to the surface again.

We talked about memories of the miners’ strike and he recalled how he had been due to get a lift to Ogmore after a food collection for miners and their families, but so much food had been donated, there wasn’t enough room in the van for all the food and him too!!

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