New art exhibition marks 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike

A new exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike has been launched in Bishop Auckland.

Documenting the region’s connections to mining life, The Last Cage Down at The Auckland Project’s Mining Art Gallery is set to showcase art through the miners’ eyes. The exhibition depicts the decline of the industry and its impact on communities and landscapes.

Laura Roberts from The Auckland Project said: “The mining industry is a significant part of the North East’s history which has impacted the majority of families across the area. It’s crucial to honour the community’s memories especially in its anniversary year.”

One of the pieces featured in the exhibition, ‘Orgreave after Guernica’, was created by Bob Olley.

This year marks 40 years since the Miners’ Strike which saw thousands of miners walk out in protest to plans to shut 20 coal pits, leading to the loss of 20,000 jobs.

The Last Cage Down at The Mining Art Gallery

“This artwork on show is vitally important in portraying the declining years of the coal mining industry. For some the strike is in living memory, but for younger generations the exhibition is a way of communicating what it was like for those whose lives were shaped by the mines,” Laura added.

The exhibition is open to the public until Sunday 6th October.

The Mining Art Gallery opened in Bishop Auckland in 2017 to celebrate the resilience and courage of those who lived and worked in the mines, highlighting the industry’s rich history in the county. Visitors to the museum can gain an insight into the live of coal miners, their communities and the culture that grew around the mines.

Entry to the exhibition is included with The Auckland Project’s ‘Unlimited Pass’. To book tickets, visit