Tyne & Wear

Pitman painting raises cash for Sir Bobby charity

Darkness into Light by Tomb Lamb
Image caption Tom Lamb created painted Darkness into Light especially for the auction

A work by so-called pitman painter Tom Lamb has raised £2,000 at an auction in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The event was held following a celebrity golf day near Darlington attended by football legends including former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer.

The painting - Darkness into Light - was created by the 82-year-old Durham artist especially for the foundation, which funds cancer research.

Pitman painters were North East miners who took up art in the 1930s.

Mr Lamb started work in the mines at the age of 14 and began to document his fellow miners and working environment through art.

Sir Bobby's widow, Lady Elsie Robson, said: "I'm very grateful to everyone who has helped us by contributing auction prizes.

Art appreciation

"The money raised will help fund the search for more effective treatments for cancer and will help those people who are currently fighting this terrible disease."

Pitman painters were founded in Northumberland in the early 1930s as a Workers' Educational Association class.

The miners studied topics such as evolution and fell into painting after inviting a local lecturer to take an art appreciation class.

Their paintings were inspired by their own lives and included images of the pits and their surroundings.

The group held its first exhibition in 1936 at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle and many of the paintings are now on permanent display at Woodhorn Museum in Ashington.

A play about the pitman painters by Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall, was performed on Broadway last year.

County Durham-born Sir Bobby died in July 2009 aged 76 after a long battle with the cancer

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