Blackhill park Bowls Club 100 years old in 2023. Request for information and pictures

The History of Consett Steelworks project team have been approached by a member of the committee of the Blackhill park Bowls Club as follows

I am on the committee of the BLACKHILL bowling club was just wondering if you have any information of the club as we approach our 100th year in 2023.

I have been sending articles to the Bowles International magazine who are very interested


John Haney

Of course the park is on land donated by the Consett Iron Company

If you have any documents, memories or pictures please do get in touch by commenting or email on

The Club is also always keen to see new members with Carpet Bowls available during the Winter months see their Facebook group

Sarah Morgan – What was the Role of a Coke Filler? and more…..

Images supplied by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan a social historian and author has made contact with the History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project team

Hi, I’ve been researching my great grandfather, Ben Bennison for my next novel. Ben was a coke filler in the Consett Iron Company in 1911 until he went off to fight in WWI. 

 I don’t suppose you know exactly how and what a coke filler did? Did he push wheelbarrows of coke up to the Bessemer converter, on a gangway?? 

I have a nice letter from the  works manager saying had he not left for the war, he’d have been made a foreman soon. ( He left to manage a coke works in Tondu.) I could send a copy for the archive if it is of interest. 

You may have already covered this explosion in Jan 1915 in the blog, if not it may be of interest.


Sarah has agreed for us to do this Blog to share her request and open discussion on the couple of issues she has raised

I’d be pleased  for a blog post asking what a cokeman filler did in 1911. I’ll find the letter and send on in the next couple of days.  I have a few photos of Ben, mostly from the DLI archive in Durham records office, evocative as in the trenches and marching through Newcastle and off to war.

 In 1901 he was already in  the steel works, aged 18. Can’t quite see what he’s employed doing  in 1901,  maybe as a millers man.?? Maybe in the rolling mill? Did they have a rolling mill back then?

Link to Sarah’s blog

So can you help by describing what a Coke Filler’s role was?

Did any of your family work at the Steelworks and then go off to World War 1?

Also any information on the explosion of 1915 would also be welcome

Thanks to Sarah for getting in touch

Faces of the Works Project

The History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project team are delighted we have been approached by Richard Eyers regarding a project he is starting as part of his part time MA university studies

He writes

The idea of the Faces of the Works project comes from a part time documentary photography MA course that I’m doing, and seeing the traces of the Steelworks around Consett, and always hearing about it, but knowing little, having only moved into the area twenty years ago.

I want to try and capture memories and faces, and also to picture the new generations in the same families, whilst recording some of your stories.

I should stress that I’m not a professional and this isn’t a commercial project, but I will want to share the project with the community. You can see some of my photography on Instagram ( and on

It would be great to talk to you and to find a place where you would be comfortable being photographed. If you’re open to the idea, by email ( or by phone 07736 674360.

Happy to meet somewhere in Consett, like Morrisons, Wetherspoons, or wherever you would prefer.


There will be regular updates on the HCSW website and Facebook group and in due course we will work with Richard to arrange a “travelling exhibition” and other ways of sharing the results of the project

Another good example of HCSW project team supporting others as part of “recording” the rich history and memories of the Steelworks

please comment or send an email to if you would like to chat to Richard about being part of his project

Hownsgill Bridge captured by Richard Eyers
Alan Swinburne ex employee of the Consett Steelworks- picture by Richard Eyers

The Last Train-latest Blog from southpelawjunction website

The History of Consett Steelworks Group are delighted to share the latest blog post from the wonderful website

Please if sharing credit the website and also the photographer/s

The last train…

Posted on by John Donnelly
Courtesy of Keith Turner, three new photos of the last train at South Pelaw, Leadgate and Consett. Added to the Last Passenger Train page.

If you have any railway related images that you would consider sharing please do comment or email us and we can arrange support to scan if needed and for the scanned images to shared both to HCSW and also to southpelawjunction websites

The last train rounds Brooms Curve just outside Leadgate on 17 March 1984. Photo copyright Keith Turner

Working with Billy Ellwood

The History of Consett Steelworks (HCSW) project are delighted to announce we will be working Billy Ellwood who has some wonderful negatives from the late Tommy Moore to arrange to support scanning and sharing the images

Biily is also “film maker” and made this video “Out of the Wreckage” which recently some “stills” have been shared on the Facebook group recently

The HCSW project team are delighted that Billy has approached us and shares our wish to share these memories not only for us to enjoy now but also for the future generations to come

The project team would also like to ask that when sharing images that you try and credit the original photographer where possible. We also may ask you to add credit once confirmed

If you have any pictures or documents you would be happy to share or need help to scan to share please either comment or email historyofconsettsteelworks@victoriastevensconservation

Link for the HCSW Facebook group

Coffee Morning Thank You

A joy to have a first in person meet up at the Coffee morning event at Consett Methodidst Church

Thanks to Peter Jack Shaw for his slideshow and 3D virtual demonstration

Good to see and meet

Dave Weston

Bill Turnbal

Robert Gowland

Colin Davidson and daughter

Also to meet and chat to Martin Herron who is an associate of Julian Germain

Thank you for coming

Venture Bus Meet Up 2021 next month Sat 9th Oct 10am same place and a talk by Harry Bunney

We are exploring have a coffee morning every other month from Jan 2022 on a Saturday morning 10am-12am at Consett Methodist Church but would need to ask for donation of £2 as we do have pay for the hire of the venue for the 2 hours at a cost £30.

If anyone would like to do a 1 hour max talk/presentation at one of the coffee mornings please do get in touch

We are also beginning to look at funding applications for various projects next year.

We need to grow the number of subscribers to our website blog as this is something we can add to applications to indicate local interest

If you are happy to be added to receive the blog posts by email please do get in touch or comment and we will get back to you

Richard on behalf of the HCSW project team

CDHI Display at Lodge, Blackhill Park Sept 2021

The History of Consett Steelworks project team are delighted to share and encourage all to visit this display by our heritage partners CDHI

Brian Harrison from CDHI writes

The CDHI have put up a display commemorating the closure of Consett Steel, 41 years this month.

The display can be seen at the front of the Lodge in Blackhill & Consett Park, when the building is open, for the next few weeks.

We plan on doing rolling displays at least once a month from now. If you get a chance to have a pop in we hope you enjoy

More about CDHI

Consett & District Heritage Initiative are a voluntary organisation.

The group was founded in May 2010 with the goal to make the history of our area accessible to all.

We believe in education and have already given numerous school display’s and talks.

In the past 10 years we have also had numerous open days and seen 1000’s people through our doors.

Our Archives are growing at a steady rate with donation’s of photo’s, postcards, books and artefacts and we hope this continues.

Through archiving and sharing of information we hope to save our history for the future generations.

We are based in The Lodge, Blackhill & Consett Park where we have our office on the second floor.

The Lodge is located just up from the bottom gates on the left. Our office is open every Wednesday from 10am -4pm for anyone interested in finding out more about our local history or to give help with your family history (Tuesday 10-12.30).

Link to CDHI Facebook group