Painter Bob Olley to switch on Christmas lights

Artist Bob Olley will switch on the lights on Friday.
Artist Bob Olley will switch on the lights on Friday.

South Tyneside’s most famous artist has been lined up to switch on the lights at a community hub.

Robert ‘Bob’ Olley, well-known for his iconic Westoe Netty masterpiece, will be guest of honour at Harton and Westoe Miner’s Welfare annual Christmas lights switch-on.

The event will take place on Friday at the venue in Low Lane, South Shields, at 6.30pm and everyone is welcome.

Music will be provided by Westoe Brass Band, who will play a range of festive carols for people to sing-a-long to.

The seasonal switch-on will be followed by an evening of karaoke within the bar.

Welfare Trustee member Ronnie Peterson, said: “We have held this event for a number of years now and last year was a big success.

“But we would love to see even more people come down and join in the festive celebrations.

“Events like this one were such a big hit during the days of the mining community, when families would come together and celebrate.

“There was a real community spirit back then and something we would love to see brought back to the area.”

South Shields-born Bob Olley is a former miner, who worked at Whitburn pit. He is best known for his mining subjects, humorous drawings and paintings of everyday life.

He has worked on large projects including the sculpture of South Shields World War One hero John Simpson Kirkpatrick, which stands in Ocean Road, and Stan Laurel, which is displayed in Dockwray Square, North Shields.