British Steel – South Teesside 1974

Mark Lawton very kindly sent me a scan of a book that he’d recently found. It’s a lovely snapshot from 1974 of the South Teesside Works when it employed 16,000 people.

You can download the whole book using the link at the bottom of the page

The smell of t-shirts

I’m selling some lovely t-shirts. They were designed by Carl Mole and Oli Heffernan and feature the ‘Dorman Long Tower’ at South Bank, a landmark on the Teesside skyline. The tower was built during the 1950’s to store and supply coal to the South Bank coke ovens.

Designed by Carl Mole

Designed by Oli Heffernan

T-shirts available in 2 colours Grey/White

Sizes S, M, L & XL

Price £15 plus P&P

100% of profits will be donated to the Trussell Trust

email smellofblackpath@gmail.com stating design, colour & size

The Artists

Carl Mole Oli Heffernan

Black Path by Graham Vasey

Graham made the film during a recent walk that we took along the path. He filmed it using a 1930’s Ensign Auto Kinecam and expired Ilford FP4 Plus film which he processed himself.

The original soundtrack was created by Greg Marshall, the film was scanned by James Holcombe.

https://grahamvasey.wordpress.com/

https://vimeo.com/user10840987

23 – The Black Path

Read a history of The Black Path here https://teessidepsychogeography.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/the-black-path-8/

Cockfield Fell

Cockfield Map

Cockfield Fell is described as “one of the most important early industrial landscapes in Britain”. In addition to four Iron Age (or Romano-British) settlement enclosures, there is evidence within the landscape of early coal mines (the Bishop of Durham licensed mining here at least as early as 1303), medieval agricultural field patterns, centuries of quarrying activity, a railway line established in the 1830s and several earlier tramways All together, Cockfield Fell constitutes England’s largest Scheduled Ancient Monument, described as ‘an incomparable association of field monuments relating to the Iron settlement history and industrial evolution of a northern English County’. One reason for its preservation – unusual for a lowland fell – is that it was not subject to enclosure in the 18th or 19th centuries, perhaps due to its highly industrialised past. Source

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The fell is ablaze with fragrant golden whin

The Cleveland Dyke outcrops on the fell and was quarried for roadstone.

The remains of the Gaunless Viaduct

Gaunless ME gaghenles ‘useless’ (from ON gagnlauss). The name may refer to scarcity of fish or the like. English Place-Names. Eilert Ekwall. 1959 

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Coal was mined on the fell from the early medieval period until the late nineteenth century

Beehive coke ovens on the valley floor

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A beautiful Cob keeps me company

Map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Many thanks to Graham Vasey for showing me around this wonderful place

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 Black Path – The Album

black-path-poster

 

Linear Obsessional is proud to release this compilation of pieces that almost accidently refer to the demise of the once great steel making tradition on Teesside, in the North East of England.

“The Black Path” was an exhibition held at the House of Blah Blah in Middlesbrough in January 2016. This CD is a recording of sounds, music and poetry from that exhibition.

The download includes a 24 page PDF booklet of notes, photographs from the exhibition, and an essay by Alistair Nixon.

released October 21, 2016

The Black Path is an ancient route. It has been many things: the northern boundary of an Anglian Kingdom, a medieval sailor’s trod, and a convenient path to work for the steelworkers of Middlesbrough.
The Black Path Project commenced in early 2015 as collaboration between Chris Whitehead and Gavin Parry, they soon realised that a number of other artists in the area had also created work based around the path. They then set about contacting artists and asking them if they would be willing to join the project with a goal of producing an exhibition. Once assembled, they approached the House of Blah Blah, who were very enthusiastic about the project and agreed to work with the group.
The goal of the project was to present a contemporary response to the Black Path, at the time no one could have predicted what events unfold over the following months in terms of the collapse of the steel industry. This project now has an added poignancy; it has accidentally captured the end of an era.
The exhibition and show features, field recordings, paintings, photographs, sculptures and music, all created as a response to the Black Path. The exhibition commences with a performance by two groups of musicians, Ammonites and Warped Freqs. both of who have written music especially for this occasion.