Mining Institute


Thanks for the link Keith - great pictures and comments.

Jen (Librarian, Mining Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne)

NVCP and Newcastle’s Mining InstiTute

NVCP has recently worked closely with the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers in Newcastle upon Tyne. This began with the launch of NVCP’s book, ‘Still The Sea Rolls On’, on the Hartley Pit Calamity of 1862, published with the support of North Tyneside Council, which was held on Thursday 26th January 2012 and featured Keith Armstrong and other contributors reading poems and stories from the new book.

Thank you a millionfold for last night. What a lovely event, and the book is great.

Barry Stone

Thanks for organising last night. 


Elaine Cusack

Thanks for last night & also including my piece in the book, I feel very honoured.  

Rachel Cochrane

Thank you for a very enjoyable and moving launch last night. The setting was perfect, the lecture fascinating, and the readings and music rounded off the evening perfectly. I've been left with a burning desire to learn to play the Northumbrian pipes. That music was stunning, particularly the final piece the piper played.

Catherine Edmunds

I echo Cathy`s sentiments about the evening, which I throughly enjoyed & the venue certainly added to the gravitas of the event. Wow, what an interior & perhaps one of Newcastle`s hidden gems. I`ve now had a wee bit of time to look through the book & I have to congratulate you (& North Tyneside Council for the financial support) on a job exceedingly well done. I also congratulate my fellow contributors for their sensitive & thought-provoking work. Keep it up & in touch. 

Geoff Holland

 I echo what Geoff Holland has said - oh, what a night!  I think the other readers and musicians agree with me on a well-organised event and the venue was an apt and well-chosen place to perform - balcony readings from the gods of artistry...

Gordon Phillips

I must write to let you know how honoured I felt to be a part of last night's event at the Mining Institute.

The book is a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to all those men and boys who lost their lives in the New Hartley Pit Disaster, the evening was so moving - the poems and the music so touching.

Please do pass on my sincere thanks to everyone involved. A special thanks to the lovely people I met from the Mining Institute for their warm welcome and hospitality.

Finally, sincere thanks to you Keith for everything you do in support of poetry and community projects.

Catherine Graham

We had a lovely evening, the lecture was really interesting and gave a good insight of what happened at hartley, it left us feeling we wanted to know more. The music and poetry were excellent and the pipes well they were something else, especially the tune written for the anniversary of the Disaster.

Heather Wood

This was followed by JOSEPH SKIPSEY – A COMMEMORATION held on Saturday 17th March from 7-9pm in the Library to celebrate the 180th anniversary of the birth of the Tyneside Pitman Poet. The event included Keith Armstrong, Gary Miller (‘The Whisky Priests’), Skipsey’s great great grandson Chris Harrison with Skipsey songs, the Sawdust Jacks and pipe player Chris Ormston, with readings from Skipsey’s poetry and an account of his life. During the evening, the annual Northern Voices Joseph Skipsey Award was presented to Heather Wood of Easington who collected the Award on behalf of her late father Gordon MacPherson whose book of poems and stories NVCP published in 2011.

A few days later, on Monday 19th March, a guided tour of the Mining Institute, including a look at the Hartley archive, took place for members of the NVCP Hartley Study Group. The group then joined the Benwell/Scotswood Community Group in a Mining Institute initiative in New Hartley for lunch and a talk and readings from NVCP’s book in the New Hartley Memorial Hall.

On Wednesday 4th July, poetry recordings were conducted in the Institute’s Lecture Theatre with seven local poets reading their Hartley poems featured in NVCP’s book, along with the Skipsey poem read by Keith Armstrong. The poems were then featured on the website in September.

2013 began well with a COMMUNITY ARTS EVENT IN THE MINING INSTITUTE LIBRARY on Wednesday January 16th 2013 7.30pm this featured the presentation of the annual Northern Voices Community Projects Joseph Skipsey Awards and a commemoration of the Hartley Pit Disaster with poems and songs. The event also marked the 45th anniversary of the death of Newcastle writer Jack Common and the 110th of his birth. There were readings from the NVCP commemorative book on Hartley with songs by local folk groups 'Kiddar's Luck' and 'The Sawdust Jacks' and by Chris Harrison (great great grandson of Tyneside pitman poet Joseph Skipsey (1832-1903), who performed a settting of Skipsey's Hartley ballad), Gary Miller of 'The Whisky Priests' and a special guest appearance by Northumbrian Piper Chris Ormston with his Hartley Lament.

The NVCP touring exhibition on Hartley, produced with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and North Tyneside Council, was displayed in the Mining Institute from January 7th to February 1st.

NVCP donated a copy of its Hartley Resource Pack to the Mining Institute.