AN interactive trail sent people around former mining communities in search of artwork by the late pitman painter Norman Cornish.

Northern Heartlands, the Durham Great Place Scheme, held its #CaptureCornish Trail in January and February to coincide with the Norman Cornish centenary and popular exhibition at The Bowes Museum.

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Participants followed clues to discover replicas of eight Norman Cornish paintings hidden in secret locations in Evenwood, Cockfield, Butterknowle and Woodland and took a photograph of themselves at each location along with a final selfie at the Barnard Castle museum, in front of a large-scale vinyl Norman Cornish image located in the reception area.

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The competition was supported by The Bowes Museum and the winner – Dorothy Stainthorpe – received prizes including a Norman Cornish book, a framed Cornish print and a family museum pass.

Jill Cole, director of Northern Heartlands, said: “One of the conditions of our funding from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund was to work with The Bowes Museum, and link with one of their exhibitions.

"The Norman Cornish exhibition proved to be just right for us, as we’ve been working closely with a lot of places in other parts of the coalfield area of south Durham and it was great to be able to connect with communities in the former pit villages in Teesdale.”

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Northern Heartlands received more than 20 completed entries, many from families, and lots of positive feedback and local businesses including Café Cheesedale in Butterknowle and Babalicious sweet shop in Evenwood benefitted from the extra visitors.

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A particular favourite location was the Sensory Garden in Evenwood, hidden behind Cornerstone Church.

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One entrant, Ron Paterson, followed the clues on his original 1950s Cyclemaster, completing his collection of selfies with a picture of the vintage machine parked outside The Bowes Museum.

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