Teesside Steel – The Final Years

Teesside Steel

Teesside’s steel industry was born in the 1850’s and died in October 2015. Steelworker Mike Guess took it upon himself to record the final few years of iron and steel making on Teesside.  ..the mothball, restart and eventual closing of iron and steelmaking on Teesside was something that I was not going to fail to record. It was almost an obligation to future generations..

As well as Mike’s beautiful book there is currently a new exhibition, Steel Stories at the Kirkleatham Museum.

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell

A Story of adventure, discovery and political intrigue

Kirkleatham Museum, Redcar

28th May – January 2017


Meet Gertrude Bell – a North East born archaeologist, diplomat, linguist, writer & mountaineer who in 1921 advised Winston Churchill on the country that became Iraq, and helped shape the Middle East after World War 1. Gertrude Bell spent a large part of her childhood in Redcar residing at the family home – Red Barns in Kirkleatham Street, Redcar.


The exhibition features loans from the British Museum, Imperial War Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Geographical Society.



Thomas Brown, the hero of the Battle of Dettingen , which was fought in Bavaria during the Wars of Austrian Succession, was born at Kirkleatham. In June 1743, the King’s Own Dragoons, in which Brown was a trumpeter, formed part of the force led by King George II, the last English monarch to be actively involved in a battle. The French had captured the regimental standard and Brown retrieved it unaided, sustaining serious injuries in the process. He was rewarded with an annual pension and subsequently retired to Yarm, where he died in 1746.

Manor Farm

Manor farm, Kirkleatham was one of the locations used in Alan Bleasdale’s BBC Play for Today, The Blackstuff. The play was filmed in 1978 but not aired until 1980 and led to the commissioning of the much acclaimed 1982 BBC series The Boys from the Blackstuff.

Kirkleatham Gas Well


The Kirkleatham gas field, near Redcar, is a stratigraphically trapped gas accumulation in a Permian age limestone reservoir, discovered in 2006 by the Kirkleatham-4 exploration well. Gas was discovered at a depth of around 800 metres and tested at rates of up to 5 million cubic feet per day. All commercial agreements with the gas user Sembcorp Utilities and planning consent are in place to produce and sell the gas to the nearby Wilton works for use in power generation.