North East Connected

Blog post explores Steel River’s history and heritage

TEESSIDE’S iron and steel heritage has been brought to a worldwide audience in a new Social History Blog post published this week.

‘From an ‘Infant Hercules’ to the death of Teesside Steelmaking: History and heritage along the ‘Steel River’’ by Dr Tosh Warwick explores the wider cultural, heritage and social implications of the closure of the Redcar steelworks in 2015.

The blog has already been retweeted, shared and read by hundreds across the globe with readers as far afield as Australia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and USA.

As well as looking back to the Victorian ‘Ironopolis’ of Middlesbrough’s heyday, the blog also highlights the strong connections between Teesside’s ironmasters, steel manufacturing and today’s leading leisure and tourism sites such as Albert Park, Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough Town Hall and Tees Transporter Bridge.

Press coverage of the closure, the ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign and initiatives celebrating Teesside’s contribution to bridging the world are all discussed.

Wider attitudes to manufacturing heritage, including recent recommendations made by Lord Michael Heseltine in his Tees Valley: Opportunity Unlimited report published last year are also analysed.  Historical documents and photographs from the collections of Middlesbrough Libraries and Teesside Archives also feature in the blog.

Dr Tosh Warwick, Lecturer in History at Leeds Beckett University and author of a number of articles and books on Teesside’s past, said: “The closure at Redcar was a key historical event which brought an end to major iron and steel manufacturing on Teesside dating back to Middlesbrough’s Victorian boom.

“The Social History Blog highlights the continued importance of iron and steel to the area’s identity.

“As a proud Teessider born in Middlesbrough and brought up in South Bank, I hope the blog helps raise wider awareness of the area’s proud manufacturing history and highlights the continued importance of celebrating and remembering this vital part of our heritage.”

The Social History Blog can be viewed online at

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