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All songs words & music © Ed Pickford PRS/MCPS

Painters make paintings because they’ve no choice

Some painters give where they live its own voice

There is a painter for whom we rejoice

Last of the pitman painters

Cornish by name he was Durham by birth

33 years digging coal the earth

He knew the price he paid - we know his worth

Last of the pitman painters


He painted scenes from a town he did know

Head-scarves and flat caps with whippets in tow

Men in a pub in a soft amber glow

Last of the pitman painters

Those were the days when King Coal wore a crown

No motor cars in his Spennymoor Town

Born in a coalfield in 1919

Answered his calling while crLast of the Pitman Painters

awling a seam

Down in a man’s world at only 14

Last of the pitman painters

Trapped in a cage every linnet will sing

Easing its rage with a song on the wing

He painted winters with warmth of a spring

Last of the pitman painters


Down in a cage every day he would drop

Earning his wage in the cruel butcher’s shop

Ferryhill pit where the coal was the crop

Last of the pitman painters

Deep in a forest of pit props & beams

Destiny’s hand fanned his smouldering dreams

He found the tinder for artistic themes

Last of the pitman painters


Spennymoor Town at its work and its play

That’s what he painted and sought to portray

Slices of life building bridges each day

Last of the pitman painters

Where is the coal now and where is the pit?

Where are his people of warmth and of wit?

Gone but now timeless on canvas they sit

Left by a pitman painter

Ending {freely}:

His paintings were poems to the people he knew

Shadows of times that have now passed from view

He was first among many and last of the few

He was the last of the pitman painters

Last of the Pitman Painters Singer: Johnny Handle