PAST EXHIBITIONS: The Bevin Boys Exhibition
PAST EXHIBITIONS: The Bevin Boys – War’s Forgotten Workforce
Saturday 1 December 2018 - Thursday 3 January 2019
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mining Art Gallery
In 1943, Britain was at war. Coal supplies were dwindling and men were desperately needed to work in the mines. Given the choice between becoming miners or soldiers though, most chose to fight. To prevent a national crisis, the Minister for Labour, Ernest Bevin, needed to act fast and created a ballot scheme where men of conscription age were randomly selected to work in the mines instead of joining the army, navy or air force.
The Bevin Boys went unrecognised until 2007 when a national campaign saw them finally acknowledged for the vital role they played in the war effort. Some of these men responded by creating art – drawing and painting their experiences of an underground world unlike anything they had known before.
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Bevin Boys scheme, this exhibition celebrates the artworks created by Bevin Boys, including Tom McGuinness, Ted Holloway, David McClure and John Tipton.