Consett & District Heritage Initiative *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 6 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).- note currently closed due to the Covid Pandemic

Link to Facebook group

the History of Steelworks Project are delighted to partner with and work with CDHI. Did you go and see their display at Tesco in Sept 2020 for example. We look forward to supporting and promoting each others activities as we go forward

Heritage Trail by Project Genesis

Have you walked all or part of the Heritage Trial?

What are you thoughts?

Please do share any pictures

More about the Trail and a map on the #vistitconsett website

Description from the Visit Consett Website

The Heritage Trail project was conceived to create and enhance a footpath to celebrate Consett’s heritage and industrial history. In linking our tourism and heritage assets across the town to the stunning countryside, the Trail encourages both visitors and residents alike to explore North West Durham. 

Taking in existing footpaths and following parts of the C2C cycle route, the Heritage Trail has magnificent views across areas of outstanding natural beauty and as Consett is close to world-renowned tourist attractions such as Beamish Museum and Durham City, it is the perfect place to visit. 

The Project Genesis trust is known locally for developing the community assets across the town, including the Consett Urban Park, Fawcett Part, improvements to the C2C route and the Grove Ponds site. 

As the Trail is a circular route, walkers can start at any point. Consett town centre is linked to the Derwent River Valley, via the Hownsgill Viaduct and up through the Grove Ponds. All the footpaths have been improved or created with ample signage for locals and tourists to find out more about our Industrial Heritage.

Improvements to the car parks and the addition of picnic tables at specific points on the Trail, mean walkers can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the stunning countryside and access sites such as the former steelworks pumphouse and the Hownsgill Funicular Railway which had been lost to public access and awareness for several decades. 

Walking the Heritage Trail

Length of route: 6km (without detours)

Time to walk: approximately 3 hours

Parking is available adjacent to the Trail at Lydgetts Junction and at Pemberton Road. It is a short walk to the Trail from Allensford car park. There are dedicated Heritage Trail way markers throughout the walk. Follow orange arrows for a clockwise route, and green arrows for anticlockwise.

The Trail is unsuitable for cycles, except where it coincides with the National Cycle Routes 7 and 14. 

The paths have mostly been surfaced; unsurfaced paths may become muddy and therefore suitable footwear should be worn. Any steep sections of the trail are marked as such, but they are not very long. Please take care on sections of the Trail where the path narrows or becomes steep. 

Bench and seat down by the Pump House
Heritage Trail Map

Steelworks Walk for all ages

Delighted to hear that Rob Moran “local historian” had a great session and walk with a class from a local school

He will be doing a post about it in due course

n the meantime well done Rob I know you put alot of work into making it happen and research which held you in good stead for the number of questions asked

Rob and Peter Jack Shaw will be hosting a Steelworks Walk as part of the Closure Weekend in Sept 2021 watch out for more details in due course

This is building on the work the Community Steelworks Mapping group are doing and the research Rob has been doing

Also do join and follow Rob and Alfred the Dog’s Landmark travels on the group link below

An example of the Steelworks Walk researched and hosted by Rob Moran – this at Blackhill and Consett Park

Bedroom view of the Works-by Leslie Lowes

This slag-tipping operation used to light up my bedroom ceiling at night in Blackhill.

A rosy glow started as a glimmer on the distemper that swelled and grew until the bedroom flushed into a fiery pink that transformed it into an exotic boudoir just for a moment.

Alas it soon disappeared and returned me to a bleak white reality. But just for a moment it was transformed and made me look at things creatively.

Bedtimes were certainly interesting in Blackhill then.

picture shared by Stephen Bridgewater
Shared by Rob Moran and Alfred the dog

Health & Safety Focus in June 2021

Our next “Focus” will be in June on Health and Safety so if you have any related content, stories or memories please get in touch

Be good to speak to Union Health and Safety reps for example, anyone who worked in the infirmary

In due course once archives are back accessible at Durham, Beamish and Teesside we will be looking for content their including any Accident books

The Focus will build us up to the anniversary of the 1950 Accident- we would also like to “speak” to families to get their input

Please email the HCSW team on

Methodist Tapestry-a Flagship Project

A fascianting talk and so good to learn the process of how a panel is designed and made

Thanks Dave from the Weardale Museum for the presentation and Liz for the co-ordination

Anyone who might have an interest in doing a panel or has an idea for a panel for the Methodist Project please email the project team

You do not need to be an expert embroider to take part and support can be given. Also volunteers welcome from around the world, of all ages and you do not have to be a Methodist or religious

Our first panel has now been handed over to our Technical Adviser, Tracy Franklin. Many thanks to Norma for her hard work in creating the Education panel for our Core Collection! I’m sure you’ll all agree Norma is an extremely talented stitcher 🙂

Not everyone who participates in this project has to be able to produce work of this quality, though – we’re interested to hear from anyone who has worked on anything from a cross stitch kit, a kneeler for a church or any other project.

Weardale Methodist Tapestry Project Talk Friday 30th April 7pm

Tonight a Talk by Dave from Weardale Museum regarding the Methodist Tapestry project is FB event link Talk is Free on Zoom 7pm start

Zoom link

More info on the project

HCSW Project you tube channel

We are using you tube mainly for the Mapping project at present but will be adding other content as we progress

please do subscribe to be kept up to date

Also we have the video link page with some great content to enjoy

internet media design over white background, vector illustration

Durham Record Office Talk Thursday 13 May,

County Durham residents looking to delve into the past can take part in a number of online sessions as part of Local History Month.

Durham County Council’s Durham County Record Office is running the events to raise awareness of local history and to promote the archive service and its varied collections.

As part of its Branching Out programme, the record office is hosting a Local History Month special for family historians with experience of searching the archives.

The session will show people how to locate and use local history sources, such as maps and trade directories, which are not often used for family history but can shed light on past generations and the world they inhabited.

The online event takes place on Thursday 13 May, with a choice of morning (10am to 11am) or evening (6pm to 7pm) sessions, with tickets costing £5.

Meanwhile, as part of the record office’s popular Third Thursday Talk series, there will also be a session on the value of diaries for local history.

Led by archivist Victoria Oxberry, ‘What can I tell you’ will look at the idea of diary-writing and why people do it. Participants will be able to look at examples from the record office’s collections and hear why it is important that they are collected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

The free online talk takes place on Thursday, 20 May, from 10.30am to 11.30am.

Online booking is essential for each of the events. To book a place, visit the record office online shop at

Source Durham Magzine

Request for Contact from families of the 1950 Accident

The HCSW project team would like to speak to as many families of those effected by the 1950 accident at the Consett Steelworks as part of the plans for events around the anniversary on 1st July

We would also like to explore doing video oral history recordings like the one with Ernie Jeffrey- see link

Please either comment on this blog post or send an email to

We look forward to hearing from you