The legacy of the town and the wider Tees area were the focus of the recent Victorian Cities Revisited: Heritage and History conference at Middlesbrough Town Hall.
The conference, a joint initiative between the HLF Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project and the University of Huddersfield, attracted world leading experts to Middlesbrough for a two-day event exploring towns and cities in the 19th Century and visiting heritage locations in the town.
Keynote sessions held in the Council Chamber in Middlesbrough Town Hall included Professor Barry Doyle’s paper on health in 19th Century Middlesbrough, Professor Bob Morris’ assessment of Place and Memory in the Industrial City and Sir Rick Trainor’s closing plenary on elites in the Victorian City.
Delegates also visited the landmark Transporter Bridge and the Middlehaven regeneration area, while the Council Executive Director of Economic Development and Communities Kevin Parkes provided a paper on the place of heritage and regeneration.
The two-day event was formally opened by Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon as he welcomed more than 50 delegates from as far afield as France and Taiwan.
Mr Mallon said: “Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage is more important than many people realise, and it’s more important than ever that we remember where we have come from.
“It’s the best thing about Middlesbrough and the whole Tees area, and if we lose sight of the contribution we have made, not just to this country but to the world, we will lose our way.
“Conferences like this are important because we have to analyse the past to understand the present, and if we understand the present we can look to the future with confidence.”
Tees Transporter Bridge Education, Learning and Events Officer and conference co-ordinator Tosh Warwick said: “Victorian Cities Revisited showcased the history and heritage of Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley to leading academics, heritage officials, interest groups and members of the public.
“By bringing together experts from across the world to Teesside and the landmark Tees Transporter Bridge, the Conference helped highlight the key role the area’s heritage plays in improvement and regeneration work.”