The Black Path

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The (Middlesbrough) Corporationreceived the Royal Assent on the 7th July 1856 to an Improvement Act which gave power to divide the town into wards, to light the district, enlarge the market and to let off the market tolls, to appoint an Inspector of Weights and Measures, to establish a public wharf and ferry, to adopt bye-laws for the layout of streets, and to divert a sailors’ trod between Middlesbrough and Cargo Fleet, and gave power to purchase the gas works.
It was in 1855 that the Middlesbrough Owners tried to stop the path to Cargo Fleet, and on 10th April 1855 the Corporation demanded the removal of the obstructions. In February 1856 the Owners agreed to pay all costs for its diversion. It was not until 9th April 1861 that the riverside sailors’ trod, which ran through a brickyard on the Pennyman Marshes, was diverted along a route parallel with the railway. This path became known as the Black Path.

The History Of Middlesbrough.
William Lillie.
1968

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2 thoughts on “The Black Path

  1. Hi.. I fulfilled a long standing ambition & walked the famous Black Path last time I visited home (I live in Brighton now)

    I set off from The Riverside Stadium & managed to get all the way to Coatham beach.

    I must say, it is a pretty ‘hairy’ experience as a lot of the path is either overgrown with thorn bushes or strewn with industrial & domestic tipping.
    It was also one of the most dangerous places I felt I’d been in in a long time – someone did make the comment ‘bandit country’ which did feel an apt description.
    I also had to dis-obey some no-entry signs & carry on for the final leg of the journey through British Steel private roads..but by then I was covered in a lot of ‘industry muck’ & blended in with the workers who passed me in their vans & trucks (I even got offered two lifts into the plants ( I said I needed a bit of exercise)

    It is an amazing experience I was so glad I did as the path gives you a real feel of the life of all those blokes who worked on the Tees banks over many years & you get really close to the big ovens & rolling mills. I was even lucky enough to find a PEASE brick, which I carried with me all the way from South Bank, & now sits all cleaned up pride of place on my work desk.

    It would be great to see the Black Patch made more accessible, as for now it is a pretty difficult journey for most, unless you are prepared for getting utterly filthy & daring to do a spot of trespassing… but as for me, I am proud to say that I’ve treked ‘The Black Path of Boro’ – 🙂

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