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The art of coal

Pitman’s drawings for cards and calendars go on display

PITMAN Jimmy Kays’ artwork has just gone on display offering a glimpse of the life and language of the East Durham coalfield in the early 20th century.

The evocative series of cartoons, greetings cards and pictures for calendars is on show at the Horden Heritage Centre in East Durham until July 31, t, until July 31 then moves to the nearby Centennial Centre.
Jimmy’s son Colin, pictured, who is now 76 and was just 12 when his father died, told the Hartlepool Mail: “My father was a wonderful man. I remember him drawing often. Sometimes he’d have me and my friends pose for him so he could get figures right for Christmas cards and things.
“He was an intelligent man, and like so many at that time, had limited education and left school at 13. That never seemed to hold him back, and I love the pitmatic language he used in his pictures.
“I’m very proud to see his art on display like this. It’s wonderful that he’s getting recognition for his talent after all this time.”
A book, The Lost World of Jimmy Kays: Miner Artist was produced for the East Durham Artists’ Network exhibition, held in Seaham earlier this year to mark the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike of 1984-85.

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