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Title Author Hits

1945

”Art, this thing that pives us so much pfeasure, is worthy of study and personally I consider it worthy of the study of my whole life.“
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1944

Installs the Wyndham Art Collection at the Spennymoor Settlement. The exhibition is organised by CEMA (Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, London). Rejected in a previous engagement because ‘he was a miner.’ Meets Sarah Bartley at the Clarence Ballroom, Spennymoor. Her father had been a miner and her grandfather was a founder member of Blackhall Colliery Band. He travels often to Trimdon where the ‘Rail Crossing and Signal Cabin’ were regular subjects for drawing.
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1942

Applies for a grant to study art under Robert Lyon at Armstrong College, Newcastle (Lyon taught the Ashington Group). Although the Miners' Welfare Committee is sympathetic, under the regulations governing educational grants, Cornish is not eligible.
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1940

His first oil painting, a portrait of his sister, Ella, is exhibited at the ‘Works of the Artists of the Northern Counties’ annual exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.
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1939

World War Two breaks out. Between mining and compulsory wartime fire- watching, he continues to draw and paint, moving towards the landscape genre. Paints people and the environment following Bill Farrell‘s advice to ’paint the things you know and see around you.’An application to the Slade School of Art in London is denied due to the national crisis.
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1937

Becomes a ‘putter’ at the Dean and Chapter Colliery.
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1935

Participates in the Sketching Club Annual Exhibition along with fellow miner Bob Heslop and painter and decorator Bert Dees. Mrs H.C. Baker-Baker of Elemore Hall, County Durham, offers Bill Farrell (the Warden) ten guineas to buy oil paints for the Sketching Club members.
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1934

Joins Spennymoor Settlement Sketching Club where he meets Sid Chaplin. Initially rejected because he is ‘too young.’
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1933

Leaves school on Christmas Eve. On Boxing Day, at the age of 14 he begins work as an underground datal lad at the Dean and Chapter Colliery, locally known as ‘The Butcher's Shop.’
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1931

The Times refers to Spennymoor as ‘a place without a future, despair, desperation and futility.’ William Farrell opens ‘The Settlement’ on behalf of The Pilgrim Trust to raise self-esteem, personal growth and activity through theatre, craft and the Arts.
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