I is for Industry and there is so much of it in the area! I’m sure I won’t be able to do it justice in a few short paragraphs, so before I start please do get in touch if you have any stories or facts you’d like to share, drop me an email and we’ll try to include your stories, photos and memories.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has without a doubt been a challenging time for industries and businesses. Every day we’re reading, or seeing on the news, of major companies needing to shed thousands of jobs.
Sadly, here in the Brightwater area, we’re hearing that many of our local businesses are having to do the same. I know at the moment that a lot of local people have been made redundant or are at risk of being and our heart goes out to everyone affected, I’ve been through it in the past and it’s a scary experience for all involved. So here at Brightwater, we’d all like to wish good luck to everyone going through a tough time at the moment (sending you all a virtual hug).
Right then let’s get back to the past. One of our major industries is The Railway Sector, we’ve covered the Stockton and Darlington Railway in bits previously and I’m sure it will come in more detail under R or maybe S.
Other major industries in our patch include Mills, such as Pease’s Mill in Darlington, it was a woolen Mill that at its peak in the 1880s employed over a thousand people. The Mill was demolished in 1982, with the tower being taken down at the later date. Did you know the Original Mill clock made by Potts of Leeds (Potts’s founder was originally from Darlington) was moved to Penrith Town Hall?
Talking of Potts Clocks, have any of you ever had a close look at the clock tower in South Park? If you haven’t take a look next time you’re there.
Then as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs there were various watermills up and down the Skerne, some medieval in origin, some small, others large like Pease’s, some are still there in one form or another although you might have to look hard to spot them. We will be running some building investigating and research sessions as soon as we can with one of our archaeological partners The Archaeological Practice. Some of the buildings we’ll be investigating will be some of these former watermills. Please sign up to our mailing list if you would like to get involved.
Then there’s mining to the North of our area in the Trimdons and Fishburn and so much more in between. ‘I’ is also for innovation and ‘Ingenious Darlington’ has been a major site of innovative engineering over the centuries with its links to George and Robert Stephenson and the steam plough inventor, John Fowler, and the area still well known for bridge-building. We’ve already talked about the Aycliffe Angles under A and will look at more specific industries under different letters. The area’s Industry was fairly diverse, there was wool, coal, manufacture, mills, engineering, flax, munitions and many many more.
And I think that’s about it from me for, but please do send your suggestions through and if anyone would like to share a story in a guest blog about the area we’d love to hear from you.