Pupils’ songs remember mine disaster victims

A CD of songs recorded by pupils from a Gateshead school to commemorate 200 years since the Felling pit disaster went on sale on today (Friday 25 May).

Youngsters from Lingey House Primary School have recorded a CD of old pit songs and some favourites with the help of 24 year-old Philip Brown and Liam Hackett, 22, who are both creative technology students at Gateshead College.

The group of 22 pupils aged between seven and 11 have been learning about the borough's mining background and they have recorded the songs, which include 'Wor Geordie's lost 'is penka' to remember the Felling Pit Disaster of 1812 which claimed the lives of 92 miners.

A CD recording of the songs will go on sale at Beamish on Friday (May 25) exactly 200 years to the day since the disaster, which occurred when methane ignited and caused a coal dust explosion.

Philip Brown, from Sunderland, was keen to get involved in the project when he heard about what the pupils were doing.  

He said: "I think the recording is a fantastic way to mark the anniversary of something which affected the lives of many families.

"The Lingey House pupils were fantastic to work with. I really enjoyed helping them to make the CD sound professional, it was different to any other music I've produced so it provided me with a new challenge." 

The primary school already has links with the college and Philip, from Hebburn and Liam, from Sunderland, volunteered to help the pupils, who make up the school choir, with their recording.

The pupils sang the songs in the recording studio at Gateshead College's Baltic Campus and Philip and Liam, who are in the second year of a Foundation Degree in Creative Technologies for Music and Performance then produced the professional recording.

Mrs Jones, head teacher at Lingey House Primary School, said:"This is has been an extremely worthwhile project for the pupils. It's combined history and culture with music and they've also learned more about how music is produced.

"We're really glad that Liam and Philip were able to work with us, they have been great with the pupils and have done a fantastic job with the final production of the song."

Any money made from the CD, which is £3, is going into a 'banner fund'. The pupils are in the process of creating a miners' banner which they will take to the Durham Miners' Gala on July 14.