Research

Heritage partnership to document Tees Valley’s industrial history

18 November 2016 @TeesUniNews

 

The changing nature of the Tees Valley’s industrial heritage is to be documented and promoted thanks to a new partnership between Teesside University and a local museum.

Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Leisure; Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council; Dr Joan Heggie, Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law; Professor Natasha Vall, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation), School of Design Culture & the Arts; and Malcolm Armstrong, Cultural Services Manager at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Leisure; Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council; Dr Joan Heggie, Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law; Professor Natasha Vall, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation), School of Design Culture & the Arts; and Malcolm Armstrong, Cultural Services Manager at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

The University is working with Kirkleatham Museum on the partnership entitled ‘Landscape of Rapid Change’ which has been developed in response to the closure of the SSI (UK) steelworks at Redcar.

The project will begin with an oral history project, called ‘Steel Stories’, which will safeguard the oral memories of the steel industry and capture the reaction to the closure of the Redcar plant and the subsequent contraction of the sector.

These memories will help inform a year-long exhibition, developed by the partnership and hosted at Kirkleatham Museum, from the summer of 2017 to represent the global and local significance of the iron and steel industry.

The project is being led on behalf of the University by Professor Natasha Vall, Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, in the School of Design, Culture & the Arts, and Dr Joan Heggie, Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law and formerly the project manager of the British Steel Archive Project.

The academics will work with students, museum staff and members of the public to draft the framework for the oral history project and begin interviewing people from across the community.

Professor Vall said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity for collaboration. The University will be able to offer strong support to the museum while, at the same time, enhancing our own student learning experience with the opportunity to work on a live project.

'As a member of the Heritage Consortium we have doctoral students who are doing PhDs in industrial heritage and are trained in the exact area that Kirkleatham Museum is looking for support.

Steelmaking is part of our heritage and I am pleased to be working with the University to capture people’s memories so that we have a lasting record.

Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

'Eventually, we want to be able to create a public history resource that will be available for future researchers and accessible by the public.'

Dr Heggie added: 'We want to hear from right across the community and try to remove the tendency to focus purely on the workers at the plant.

'While it is obviously rooted in the story of the workers, there are many people who were affected by the closure who didn’t necessarily work there and we want to speak to those people as well.

'It’s important that we do this now, while memories are still fresh.'

Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: 'Steelmaking is part of our heritage and I am pleased to be working with the University to capture people’s memories so that we have a lasting record. I hope that people will get involved with this exciting project so that we can show a complete picture of our history.'

Councillor Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Leisure, said: 'Kirkleatham Museum is the perfect venue for the exhibition and it is great to be part of such an important project. It is very important that we forever celebrate our steel heritage here in Redcar and Cleveland and keep that proud history alive through our stories and imagery. I am pleased that people affected by the closure directly, and the wider community will have the chance to get involved in bringing our history to life.'

For more information on Steel Stories contact steelstories@tees.ac.uk.


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Heritage partnership to document Tees Valley's industrial history
North East Connected, 25/11/2016
The changing nature of the Tees Valley's industrial heritage is to be documented and promoted thanks to a new partnership between Teesside University and local museum.


Heritage partnership to document Tees Valley's industrial history
Love Middlesbrough, 18/11/2016
Teesside University is working with Kirkleatham Museum on the partnership entitled 'Landscape of Rapid Change'.