I received the following photograph on an e-mail from Paul Dunn.I have included Paul's e-mail for the explanation about the source of the photograph and also a follow up e-mail from Billy Burrel for his help in trying to identify the artist.


May I ask if it's possible to help me with enquiries regarding my family and someone local to Wheatley Hill/Thornley?

Hopefully someone will be able to help via your web site.

Many years ago I was visiting relatives in Wheatley Hill and Thornley and came upon an artist called Tommy Heron(?) in a pub/club...not sure which.

I bought 3 pictures from him...2 of a miner and 1 of Durham Cathedral. He painted on black card using a matchstick and white paint.

The pictures recently resurfaced at home and I shared them on my local Colliery memory site. They caused a lot of interest.

I'd love it if someone could enlighten me a bit more about Mr Heron.

 I myself was born in Wheatley Hill in Dalton Terrace in 1953....2 months I believe before mam and dad got a council house in Peterlee.

My mother is Marjorie Dunn 86 (formerly Taylorson)...married to William Crook Dunn 87 from Wingate. We were visiting my uncle Tommy Taylorson and his wife Gwen at Thornley and uncle Les Taylorson and his wife Mary who lived in Wheatley Hill.

Their father was Tommy Taylorson who worked at the Colliery and used to be a councillor. I imagine he was born around 1898 and that he was in the navy during WWI. He was a survivor of the explosion on HMS Natal in the Cromarty Firth killing 400+ crew.

My parents moved to South Derbyshire in 1963 when the pit closed at Wingate.

Dad got himself elected to the local council in 1969 and was re-elected every 4 years until he retired in 2011 being awarded the Freedom of South Derbyshire (only individual ever to do so)

If there's anyone with memories of the Taylorson family I'd love to hear from them.

 Sorry to ramble on but hope you can help with info about the artist.

 I've added a snap of one of the pictures I bought.

Hi Dave, I've asked Billy Middleton about the artist & he says he thinks he's an ex miner from up Tanfield way. he's seen some of his work.  Tommy is not our Tommy Heron who had the shop next to the store.  Also I've been in touch with a close friend Ann Taylorson  {married to Don Poole} who is Pauls cousin  & has been in touch with him fairly recently so she is probably the only person left who can give him any info on his family, he has her contact address.  Bill 


If anyone has further information on these pictures please contact me at