The Workers Educational Association (WEA) have organised a Pop Up Reading Room & Exhibition which will take place from Monday 25 till Friday 29 June in Ashington.

The week long exhibition will take place at the Ashington Life Centre on Station Road (The Old Police Station – NE63 8RN) and will help the town celebrate this part of the ‘Great North’!

Reading Rooms were a fascinating aspect of social history and the event will provide information on why and how they developed, who used them and the many benefits they brought. The Exhibition will run every day during the week, at the Life Centre, from 10.00am till 4.00pm and will also include a 1920’s tea-room.

The week will culminate on the Friday (29 June) with a guided walk of the Ashington Colliery Heritage Trail led by local historian Mr Neil Taylor. The walk commences at 11.00am, from the Life Centre, and is entitled ‘When Coal Was King’. Mr Taylor was part of the group that recently developed the heritage trail on the site of the former colliery and has a wealth of knowledge relating to this area. At 2.00pm there will be a talk by Mr Nigel Todd on Chester Armstrong the renowned Ashington pitman and author.  During the day there will be live music, displays by local artists and sports societies.

The WEA have provided quality education opportunities since 1903 with the aim of creating a better world through education.  The Exhibition is part of the organisations Turbulent Times project focusing on the decade from 1918-1928, following the First World WarThe Armistice of 1918 left a world and society in flux and the WEA played a key role in shaping the educational and social policies that were viewed as central to post-war reconstruction.

For more information on the Exhibition and Event call Judith Murphy, at WEA, on tel: 0191 212 6100, email: or visit:

The Turbulent Times Project has been made possible due to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.