The Consett Iron Company 160th Anniversary - Community Heritage Project Launch

Consett Heritage Project / March 23rd, 2023

What a delight it was to see so many people from the Consett community at our recent get together on March 16th 2023 for the launch of our Consett Heritage project. This is just the start of our much anticipated Heritage project to celebrate the 160th Anniversary of the opening of the Consett Ironworks.

Our Ideas

Our idea is to produce a series of podcasts, where we interview a whole host of people about Consett’s past, present and the town’s hopes for the future. We want to collect, record and collate as many memories of the town as we can – bearing in mind that it is over 40 years since the steelworks closed. For us, the best way to preserve the past is to give people a mechanism to voice their memories and share their stories.

Our Launch

Our launch was a way to share our ideas with the community, and we were thrilled to have so many people take an interest in the project, and we are sure that word will spread. We heard of stories of collections of painting in lofts, and old photographs that could be used. Our hope is to have a whole series of new stories and an interest on sharing their ideas. We have plans to meet up and generate a strong force for good to celebrate the fabulous community spirit that we have our town. One resident got in touch and said I have been thinking back to being 4 years old and hearing the siren form the works that marked the end of a shift, and how relieved my mam always was that my dad had made through another day at the works.’ It is the human stories that we want to share!

Local History Groups

We feel it is important to work with our local history groups and they have also expressed an interest in sharing their findings and delivering some talks for us. We are in the process of putting a timetable together where we ensure as many people from the community as possible can get together, listen to the sortie and ask questions to the guest speakers who are keen to share their knowledge and expertise about the steelworks with a new audience.

Our Schools

A few years ago we delivered a Heritage project to commemorate the 40 years since the steelworks closed at Delves Lane primary School. The children were amazing and many of them had little or no knowledge of the Steelworks. After our session, they came back to school with photographs of their family, stories from their grandparents and a whole new perspective about the town where they live. We feel that all of the children in Consett should benefit from this, and this is why we are so excited about having a larger bid from the Heritage Lottery that enables us to extend this project across the town.

We Need Your Help

If you have a story to tell – get in touch! If you would like to know more about our local history, get in touch! The idea is that we involve as many people as possible in our project and over the two years of the project we will have some fabulous artwork, a whole collection of informative and engaging podcasts that will be stored on our fabulous website. Our big debate will be held at the newly refurbished Redhills – the heart of industry for Co Durham, and our exhibition will be at Beamish Museum, for a whole new audience to access and enjoy.

If you would like to be part of our project in any large or small part, get in touch, we want to involve as many people as possible.

Take a look at our film to get an idea of our previous work at Delves Lane Primary School.







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Building Self Belief | Delves Lane Primary Consett Steelworks

Building Self-Belief delivered a project to educate the young pupils of Delves Lane Primary school about the local history of Consett.Consett is renowned as a ex Steelworks town. The Steelworks dominated the Consett skyline for decades and the people of Consett lived under clouds of red dust.The programme allowed the pupils to become immersed in the town's history, via conducting their own primary and secondary research as well as interviewing workers who used to work at the plant. The project also coincided with National Clean Air day and the pupils wrote their own poems about the Steelworks and how much Consett has changed to a brighter and greener future since their closure.

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