The UK has a long and fascinating history surrounding industrial, maritime and transport. From canals to railways, steel to textiles our industrial heritage has shaped our landscape, economy and identity and HLF can help to protect this important part of our heritage for future generations.
2015 is the European Year of Industrial and Technical Heritage , though not widely known about this presents a great opportunity to celebrate the wealth of the UK’s Industrial, Maritime and Transport heritage. In Yorkshire we have funded a huge number of projects that open up industrial heritage to more people. Not only have we funded large scale restorations of Abbeydale Hamlet and the Newcomen Beam Engine at Elsecar Heritage Centre but these projects have nurtured and shared important heritage skills needed to maintain these sites. By encouraging the local community to get involved in understanding the site through new exhibitions and activities these projects are helping to engage new groups with their local industrial heritage.
However, industrial heritage is about more than machines and sites. There are many ways to explore this colourful heritage and delve into the fascinating stories linked to the people behind the industries. The Parish of Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society started from the archive of the British Oil and Cake Mills (BOCM) to investigate the company’s impact on the local area. By talking to the factory workers, bargemen and other employees a charming insight into the inner workings of the company and its family feel in the Animal feed to gun oil project.
These stories are a great starting point for projects and a way to enthuse and inspire others who may not have initially been interested in industrial heritage. There are lots of ways to start thinking about industrial heritage from the sites themselves, to the archives, objects, maps and people. These ideas might develop into projects so what industrial heritage is on your doorstep? How will you be inspired by industrial heritage during this European Year and beyond?