Pitmen’s paintings

Ian Bancroft, of Oxendale Road in Thornton, with his collection of original Pitman Painter works.
Ian Bancroft, of Oxendale Road in Thornton, with his collection of original Pitman Painter works.

THE true life story of the famous Pitman Painters enthralled theatre goers at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre last month.

And this tale of the Northumberland miners who took the art world by storm in the 1930s has always been of particular interest to Thornton man Ian Bancroft.

Ian, of Oxendale Road, Thornton, has a number of art works by the very same miners from Ashington after the pitmen, whom later faded back into obscurity, gave them to his dad.

He told the Weekly News: “When my father, George Bancroft, worked as a war officer near Ashington in 1943 he met the men themselves.

“He was stationed at the district claims office at Morpeth, assessing local damage caused by tank training, and he became very friendly with them and they ended up giving him a few of these pieces.

“Although they are only small I keep them safely in storage but it is good to know I can get to see them.”

One of the small paintings, in black and white, depicts a miner holding a pick axe, while another shows a rural scene.

He also has a humerous cartoon.