Award for project sharing steelworkers stories

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    An exhibition sharing steel workers’ real-life stories through a project involving Teesside University researchers has won a prestigious national award.


    The Steel Stories exhibition, which can be seen at Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar until April 2020, won the Best Small Museum award in the Museums Change Lives Awards, organised by the Museums Association.

    Steel Stories, which aims to play a vital role in helping to preserve and promote the region’s industrial heritage, was named winner at the Museum Association Conference in Brighton.

    The interactive Steel Stories exhibition showcases real-life stories from steel workers and features artefacts and photos putting visitors in the shoes of the workers whose toil shaped our industrial history. Highlights include a recreation of a locker room, interviews with former steelworkers, an historic timeline and archive show reels of films from years gone by.

    A Teesside University research team (Dr Joan Heggie & Prof Natasha Vall) collaborated on the exhibition project, both through research expertise and student support.

    Steel Stories is part funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund and Tees Valley Combined Authority and supported by Teesside University.

    Dr Joan Heggie recently spoke about her experiences of working on the exhibition and gathering the oral histories at a special Steel Stories event held at Kirkleatham Museum.

    She said: 'I've been researching the global impact of the region’s iron and steel history for a number of years and more recently gathering so many inspirational and remarkable stories from former steel workers.

    'It is important that the stories of Teesside’s men and women of iron and steel are preserved and celebrated for many years to come.'

    Councillor Karen King, Deputy Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: 'This is wonderful news and a real testament to all the hard work our team at Kirkleatham Museum and partners have put into the exhibition, as well as those local former steel workers who told us their stories.'

    Period6 Oct 2019

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