Coming back home to honour miners

Diane Benn, and her mural
Diane Benn, and her mural
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A Sheffield artist has been commissioned to paint a large-scale mural as part of a local club’s refurbishment.

Diane Benn has now completed the mural, in the main function room of Swallownest Miners Welfare Club, which features the heads of three miners.

The mural, which makes use of the room’s three large round windows - using them to represent the lights on the helmets - was commissioned to commemorate the area’s mining heritage and the vital role that mining played in the lives of those living there. Diane was chosen as the artist to carry out the work by a board of Trustees, which runs the club as a recreational charity.

Diane, aged 52, was born and raised in Sheffield, and now lives and works in Edinburgh as a full-time artist.

She said: “Mining was a big part of my life growing up – I lived just up the road from Orgreave and as kids we used to play on the disused mine workings and slag heap nearby.

“My family still lives in Sheffield and when I was asked to consider a mural for the space I was flattered and honoured to potentially play a part in the areas mining story. I have loved every minute of painting this mural, it’s been great watching the miners faces emerge and getting the feedback from the bar staff who came in every day to watch it progress. The function room is not yet open to the public but feedback has been positive so far and I hope the community will enjoy it for years to come.

“It has been great coming ‘home’ to work on the mural and a real privilege to contribute in a small way to the memory of the generations of miners who have lived and worked in the area.”