Youngsters from Consett took a trip back in time when they were invited to investigate the town’s industrial heritage.
Excavation work on land formerly occupied by the town’s steelworks has unearthed artefacts and equipment that have lain hidden since the complex closed 31 years ago.
The site at Berry Edge, part of a massive on-going regeneration project, is currently the subject of earth and remedial work being carried out by Absolute Civil Engineering (ACE) to make way for a private housing development.
As part of the old steelworks’ billet mill was uncovered along with industrial equipment it attracted the interest of local historians.
The company then decided to invite pupils from local primary schools to join the ACE ‘time team.’ They will now be developing project work in class relating to the steelworks and the regeneration work being carried out as part of the Genesis Project for Consett.
ACE Estimating Manager, Richard Coulter, said: “The steelworks was once at the heart of everything in this area and when we started exposing part of the production buildings it presented an opportunity to share the experience with the community.
“The schools have been very enthusiastic and they have all enjoyed their visit to the site. Many will have family members who remember the steelworks and how important it was to local life,” he said.
Once the site is ready house builders Barratt Developments will be constructing 319 two, three and five bedroom homes that will go on sale in the summer. It is the companies fourth big housing development in Consett.
ACE, a local company providing civil and environmental engineering services, is based in Consett and employs 20 people.