Fantastic, emotional and beautiful: What you said about new Ray Lonsdale artwork as mining statue unveiled

Families from across the region have praised a new piece of art paying tribute to Hetton's mining heritage.

By Debra Fox
Monday, 29 April, 2019, 12:38
Former Eppleton Colliery under manager Harold Watson at the unveiling of Ray Lonsdale's newly created sculpture in Hetton.

The sculpture, called Da Said "Men Don't Cry" , was unveiled on Saturday in the town in honour of those who worked at collieries across the area.

Dozens of you shared support for the sculpture on our social media pages, hailing the event as an "emotional" day - and one to remember for the town and its residents.

Here are some of your messages from the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:

Izabella Pal: "Absolutely well done Ray , you are an absolute superstar for bringing back some amazing memories to this little town.

"One from few others, what a talent to have! All credit goes to you and your amazing creativity."

The artwork has been named Da said "Men Don't Cry".

Paula Melton Cresswell: "Treasured memories were made today. It was fantastic to see all the communities come together."

Illian Macdade: "Beautiful statue reminds you for the very young boys going to work for the first [time]. It much have been terrifying for them.

"Dad's reassuring hand on shoulder saying 'it will be alright son let's go'."

Paula Brennan: "Fantastic emotional day!"

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It depicts a miner and his son.

John McCall: "I don't understand anyone either from Hetton or not being negative about this beautiful piece of art commemorating the mining industry in our town."

Andy Robo: "For someone whose father was a miner all his life I think this is absolute class."

Tony Hines: "I think it's beautiful, a great monument and a look back with respect at harder times."

Isabella Surtees: "Beautiful sculpture, very fitting tribute to the miners."

Stephen Guy: "The Miners united will never be defeated!"

Andrew Bell: "A fitting tribute to all the miners who grafted like no other in dangerous conditions, huge respect."

Sandra Parkin: "Beautiful statue, what a wonderful tribute to the men and boys of our mines.. How lucky we all are now. We have so much yet appreciate so little."

Jennie Olivia: "My grandad would have loved this and unveiled on his birthday, he worked down the pit as a young lad (Albert Tait)."

Maureen Watson: "Worth waiting for looks great."