August 11, 2008

What’s Going on Here Then?


THEY give a fascinating insight into the lives and times of Teesside's steel families.

But there's a problem - experts don't have the foggiest what these photos are about. So they're asking Teessiders: "Give us a clue!"

The perplexing pictures are part of the newly-launched British Steel Collection, which has gradually been brought to life through the pounds 1.6m British Steel Archive Project.

Project manager Dr Joan Heggie, from the University of Teesside, hopes people can reveal the "whos, wheres and whats" in the mystery pictures before memories are lost forever.

"So many of these things are time-limited," she said. "If you don't grasp the nettle, you lose this information not just there and then but for the next generation.

"There are going to be things that people know lots about. They might have worked in places like this, or their dad or grandad did, or maybe they lived nearby.

"We really want to dip into that local knowledge. We want people to tell us their memories."

As the project gains momentum, researchers will also interview former steel workers and their families to preserve first-hand stories.

A "virtual museum" will be set up where people can view exhibits and swap messages with organisers and other visitors.

Launched at Corus HQ in Redcar in late June, the British Steel Collection contains more than 25,000 locally-taken photos, more than 70 cinefilms, British Steel wage-books and employment records.

(c) 2008 Evening Gazette - Middlesbrough. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.