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Condolence

Sad news. My thoughts are with the family. Words will never be enough, I am so sorry. The legacy of a great son of Spennymoor will forever be in his work. The picture of my uncle Tucker along with images of the town will always bring fond memories of the place I still call home. Thank you for that.

- Stephen Jones
So sad to hear about Norman.
My thought's are with Sarah, Ann, John, Mike, Dorothy and all of the family. I am honoured to have known such an intelligent man. I loved hearing most of his stories and admiring his paintings it truly is a privilege to have known Norman and most of his family. Sorry for your loss.

- Katie
Rest in Peace Norman.You brought us an honest interpretation of the hardships of life through your wonderful art work and we will always be grateful. You will always remain a great artist.

- Philip and Robin Elgar
 
I have known of normans work since my daughter start studying for her a levels at st Anthony's school in Sunderland in about 2000 and was most impressed with his works my daughter Rebecca got in touch with norman and he invited us to his home one sunday morning to see his work and studio of which we thought was very kind and the welcome we got from both norman and his wife sarah was very kind it was with great sadness that we heard noman had passed away on Saturday evening and im sure he will sadly missed by all his family and friends he was one of the greats and his works were second to none.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family god bless rest in peace norman.

- David, Gillian and Rebecca Ford
My mother, Grace, grew up in Spennymoor, and introduced me to Norman's work. My grandfather was a miner. Although I live in East London, I have visited exhibitions of Norman's work at Northumbria University, Newcastle and Kings Place, London. I feel very privileged to have seen Normans wonderful artwork first hand, and will always be grateful to him for capturing the mining community through his paintings and drawings. It is an incredible legacy to leave. Thank you Norman. We will always remember you and treasure the work you have left behind for future generations to enjoy. May you Rest In Peace.

- Daughter of Grace (formerly Scurr)
So sad to hear of the passing of Mr Cornish. I have always admired his artworks since they depict subjects to which I can relate. He had a particular liking for Edward Street in Spennymoor due to St Pauls Church being framed by the houses at the top of the street. I spent my entire childhood in Edward Street and my parents still recall seeing Mr Cornish sitting in the street on various occasions. My dad still lives in the same house – on most of the pictures there is a lamppost halfway up the street on the right, his house is next to that.

He was the last of Spennymoor’s Pitman Painters and his death marks the end of what I think was a remarkable episode in the history of art. My condolences to his family and friends.
Rest in Peace Mr Cornish

- Ian Brownson
 
To be honest, I didn’t really know about Norman Cornish until I took up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University in September 2001. Knowing of my connections with the coal mining industry (my Father and Grandfather had worked down the Pit at Bentley in South Yorkshire), the University had arranged for one of Norman’s paintings to adorn my office. It was the first thing that struck me as I walked in to the office on that day, and every day until my retirement. I fell in love with Norman’s work, and with the man himself - it was a great honour to meet him and spend time with him on a number of occasions when he visited the University. His immense talent was matched only by his modesty and his common touch - we got on like a house on fire.

It was with great sadness that I heard of his passing. The world has lost not just a great artist in the technical sense, but also a man able to interpret in such a masterful way the social aspects of an industry that has been of such importance to our country, and the splendid people involved. My wife Nadine joins me in sending our condolences to Norman’s wife Sarah and their family.

- Prof Kel Fidler CEng HonFIET FREng
I was very sorry to hear of the death of Norman Cornish on Friday. The last time I was in England I went to see his exhibition at Northumbria University and I found it very moving.

My most vivid memory of Mr Cornish however, is not of his paintings but of sitting listening to him play the banjo – it must have been around 1962/3. I remember him more as Ann’s dad than as a pitman painter, though even at that age I was aware of something special.

I also have a reproduction in my living room of one of the Bishop’s Close paintings, where you can see the railway lines at the bottom of the street. I still have the scar on my forehead from when I fell on those lines and Mrs Cornish took me to the doctors to have my head stitched.

I went to Spennymoor last year when I was back in England and I looked for Bishop’s Close but of course it was no longer there; it only remains in Mr Cornish’s paintings. My thoughts are with you all at this time.

- Alison Veitch
Norman Cornish opened my eyes to artists like him, who recorded what life was like in a mining community, now long gone. My family is from Esh Winning and although my father moved to Teesside after the war to find work at ICI, I remember going to visit family when the pits were still working. Norman was a great artist who worked in various mediums. Not just oils but pastels. His legacy is immense. As an amateur artist I was inspired to try to copy some of his techniques, not very well, but I tried. He stayed true to his values throughout his career as an artist. I think he is the last of a generation who lived and worked in the most dangerous of jobs, yet still found time to do the thing he loved, his art.

Thank you , Norman.

- Chris Bulmer
 
Following my first visit to one of your exhibitions at Woodhorn Church I’ve been in thrall of your paintings, nobody depicts the coalfield better than you did, the landscape of our fathers, the character of the people and the essence of a time when coal was king. Most people in the North East have a mining connection, be it family or work, maybe now a past way of life, but a way uniquely represented and preserved for all of us by a great northerner, Norman Cornish.

- Peter Millar
Thank you Norman Cornish
You are a great artist
You were there and passed
The test you lived life to
The full and inspired many artists

Like you I like painting and
Drawing it makes my day

Seem bright and important
I've got to communicate
And show my skills to the world
The flag is unfurled and
May you still paint and draw
In Heaven
God loves you forever
And your Art will live forever.

- Kenneth Mood
Whilst at a wedding at Jesmond dene, our son saw some of normans work that was on display.I have been a admirer of his work for many years now.

- Maurice Morton
 
I was sad to learn of the death norman Cornish. ihave visited many of his exhibitions .on a recent visit to see his work in newton aycliffe I saw a picture 'boys on a bogey'.

- Liz Jamieson
My sincerest sympathy to all who Norman Cornish touched in life upon hearing of his passing. He was a true artist of the working class.

- Claudia Stone
Please accept my condolences for the loss of your friend Mr Cornish.

- Ruth Carr
 
I did not know of your existence until recently. I visited the UK in 2006 but never came across any of your paintings. You are a true artist. I am sorry you have passed. Your paintings won't, and I'll hope to learn from them.

Thank you for all your work.

- Mauricio Palma
I was very sorry to hear of Norman's death. Please accept my deepest sympathies on your loss. I am proud to be the owner of one of his paintings, and to have met him, and to have known you both. Nothing can take away the pain, but nor can anything take away your pride in your most remarkable father. With my very best wishes.

- Barbara Warburton (nee Raine)
It is with great sadness that I have learnt that Norman passed away on Friday. He was not only a superb artist but he was an absolutely charming, generous and entertaining friend. He was very important to Bill and me and we were very proud to own his paintings and drawings, to publish his first autobiography 'A Slice of Life', and to spend many happy hours in Spennymoor enjoying Norman and Sarah's hospitality. I send my heartfelt condolences to you and your children and grandchildren and I feel that the North East has lost a very special person.

- Melanie (Mallabar)
 
Norman, you will be sadly missed. It was always lovely to talk to you, and your paintings have given us such pleasure.

- John & Joy Hall
To all his family, so sorry to hear of the passing of Norman, him and I share the same Great Grandmother. Met when I was a little girl and again in 2002 at his home in Spennymoor. I enjoyed so much visiting him that Saturday afternoon and seeing his art room. So sorry for his passing, my prayers will be with you all.

- Vicki Nash-Sutherland
My wife and I visited Bowes Museum for the first time in June. The whole thing is impressive, but Shafts of Light blew us away. We’d never even heard of Norman Cornish, or any of the others. We won’t forget them now. I just wanted to say thank you – to someone, no-one, a book of condolence - for Norman’s life. Those close to him will surely miss him greatly; the rest of us will continue to be moved, astonished and delighted by his pictures and the life that inspired them.

- David Owen