Chair of the History of Consett Steelworks Project
I am a real history fan and am passionate about recording and sharing peoples memories and stories. I along with some other contacts set up the Leadgate Community History Club and from this came the History of the Consett Steelworks project. My aim was to record the memories of those who made Consett steel and allow them to be enjoyed now but also by generations to come.
I am looking forward to working with the Project Team to engage with the local community to form a permanent record of the history of Consett steel and Consett people. I am responsible, along with Geoff Morgan, for the Facebook content of the project, so please do get in touch if you have anything you’d like to share – this project is for the community, and it would be great to hear from you!
Although I now live in Reading I was born in Shotley Bridge and lived in the north east until I was 18. Most of my family still live in the area, and I am a regular visitor.
I was 9 when the steelworks closed but its influence on my younger self formed a life-long love of industrial history, specifically iron and steel production, rope haulage and inclines and rail transport.
I now work as a conservator in the heritage sector, and am conscious of the positive impact that heritage can have on people of all ages. It has the power to connect and inspire, and I am looking forward to hearing the stories of the people whose innovation and determination made Consett and Consett steel great. I am particularly interested in hearing about the roles of women at the works, the part religion played in connecting communities and the transport infrastructure that supported steel production.
I also collate content for the website and the Twitter feed, so if you have a story to tell please get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!
Digital Mapping & I.T. Lead
I’m a native of Consett, and after a small hiatus jaunting off around the world working in the wonderful world of technology, I came back home and settled down in one of the new builds on what used to be part of the steel works berry edge site at the top of the canyon road.
I never actually got to work at the steelworks, I’m old enough to remember what it all looked like in the mid to late 1970’s but not old enough that it was still open and there to provide me with a job when I left school.
For me, my main memories of the steelworks and it’s surrounding railway infrastructure, where nothing more than a teenagers playground, and many hours where spent messing around in old signal boxes, crawling through cable tunnels and swinging from old crane chains bolted to girders before they where pulled down.
I do remember how staggeringly massive the place was, and as long as you dodged the security guards, you could start at black hill and make your way back to delves (My Home Turf) and it would take you a whole day easily.
My Parents moved to Darlington when I was about 7, but my gran stayed up here, and that made sure that every school holiday I was back up here messing about with the rest of my mates from delves, generally getting up to stupid things and causing some small amount of rukus somewhere.
I came back to Consett the first time in the early to mid 90’s and re-started my education (After leaving it behind in Darlington in the late 80’s) first, finishing my Btec in Computing at the old Consett College on Park Road, then moving through to Newcastle for a while, as I studied for a Bsc Masters in Computing for Industry.
I returned home permanently in 2007, and bought the house I now own, and a year later married my now wife Samantha, who hails from Shotley Bridge, I started my own local I.T. and software company which I still run to this day.
I’ve always had a fascination with industrial history however, I enjoy digging into and finding out about the industrial history of places, why that location was chosen, how the infrastructure was planned to support it, combining that with my love of cartography and digital mapping, and my numerous I.T. skills is the reason why I started several years ago now, drawing a digital map of Consett and it’s steel works.
This today is one of the primary reason’s I sit as a team member of the HCSW group, to lead the teams efforts in completing the map, and then using that map to accurately geo-locate the many photos we have as close as possible to the original place the photo was taken from.
Biographies of team members Rob Moran, Geoff Kerr-Morgan and Allen Reilly will be added in the coming weeks.