The Made of Steel Audio Tapes: Session Five

Here are more wonderful conversations from Session Five, recorded on Monday February 11th.
It’s really good to see so many people listening to the stories.

And if you wonder why I sometimes ask questions twice it is because someone has just come into the room and I want them to be part of the discussion.

No.1. Session 5 – ‘Getting national help in the fight, Isolation and Fighting a losing Battle’

No.2. Session 5 ‘Steel demand, Consett March and was enough done?’

No.4. Session 5 ‘Struggling Redcar, Whats the future for Teeside and What is left in the region?’

No.5. Session 5 ‘Advanced technology and Newspaper manipulation’

No.6. Session 5 ‘Creating your own luck, Loss of community and Enhancment of the area’

No.7. Session 5 ‘First pay slip, Still no work for the locals and Survival’

No.8. Session 5 ‘Ancillary businesses, Paper rounds and Bank robbers’

No.9. Session 5 ‘Stealing brass, Some of the Characters and Stopy-backs’

No.10. Session 5 ‘Clocking off early, Shifts and Fulfilling contracts’

No.11. Session 5 ‘Wooly’s, The orange glow and Falling into machinary’

No.12. Session 5 ‘ The red city,The environment and Public Houses’

No.13. Session 5 ‘Blackhill shows, singing, beer and boxing competitions’

January 28th: The Third Session of Audio Links

Here are the links to the new audio for session 3.
Held on Monday January 28th 2013
These recordings are a powerful testament of life at and in Consett.

No.1. Session 3 – “Importance of Heritage: a New Consett and Austerity”

No.2. Session 3 – “Life as an apprentice, schools preparation for ‘The Works’ and moving on”

No.3. Session 3 – “Post Works culture and Council help”

No.4. Session 3 – “Drawing in new industry and contamination”

No.5. Session 3 – “Problems the Council faced, inexperience and the impossible task”

No.6. Session 3 – “Contamination and Transport routes”

No.7. Session 3 – “New Estates, problem solving Commuters, new faces and new technologies”

No.8. Session 3 – “New industrial plants, chemicals and long-term health”

No.9. Session 3 – “Relocation and some of the ‘characters’”

Consett: meaning of name


I was talking to someone the other day at the Lodge in the Blackhill and Consett Park about the origin of Consett’s name and here is some information.

I much prefer the legend and the idea that there was a great giant who used to throw boulders.

In 1297 Consett was called Conksheued changing to Couckeheved in 1312 and Conekesheued in 1443. All these names were very probably misspellings of one name. It is thought to mean Cunec’s headland or head, the head or hill belonging to someone called Cunec.

The second part of the name does seem to derive from the Anglo-Saxon heafod meaning head but the first part of the name is disputed. One theory is that Cunuc the original first part of the name is the ancient British or Welsh word Cunuc, a name of a hill which also forms the place names Cannock and Conock.

Another theory is that the Con in Consett was a tribal leader who may also have given his name to the Cong Burn at Chester-le-Street, a place known to the Romans as Concangium and to the Saxons as Concaster.

In legend Consett was the domain of a great giant who amused himself by throwing enormous bolders to his friends Ben and Mug, who were giants that lived at neighbouring Benfieldside and Muggleswick. Each time the bolder was dropped it caused the familiar dents between the hills of the area.

Taken from the Place Names site.

Open Day: Monday 18th February


At the Lodge at Blackhill & Consett Park

An additional session as the discussions are proving so good:
informative and fun, a lethally good combination.

Last week, for the first time, we had Frank who has worked throughout the world since the Works closed and Paddy and John who….well get yourself along.

A warm welcome guaranteed!

Phil Bartle: Consett Artist

Look at this lovely film that Andrew Hagan has just produced on Phil Bartle.

The paintings are a vibrant look at Phil Bartle’s Consett and are in the same vein as Charlie Rogers’ paintings of Gateshead; Alf O’Brien and Bob Olley in South Shields; Ken Watts’ miniaturist observations on Jarrow and the rightly eulogised Norman Cornish in Spennymoor.

Not only are they only important social documents but his work has the power to capture a missing world and transport the viewer to a past they knew or wished they had.

In Phil Bartle Consett now has an artist that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the illustrious names of Tyneside

Open Day: Monday 11th February

At the Lodge at Blackhill & Consett Park

Today was another great day. I know I keep saying ‘I love’ it but I do.

Today’s topics were: Saving the Works, pubs, clubs and
‘characters’ and the changing face of the town.

Andrew will add the audio tapes ASAP.

Open Day audios: the fourth session.

And don’t forget we are at the Lodge next week (Feb 11th) from 1.00 until 3.00. Everyone is welcome!!

No.1. Session 4 -‘The March and Wasting Millions of Pounds’

No.2. Session 4 -‘Lack of Demand, Thatcherism and European directives’

No.3. Session 4 -‘ A pointless strike, Protests and The future’

No.4. Session 4 -‘Scars from the closure, Diluties and Learning skills’

No.5. Session 4 -‘Better back in the day, Strangers and Public Houses’

No.6. Session 4 – ‘Religeous issues and Youth Clubs’

No.7. Session 4 – ‘Hospitals, Transport and Perspectives’

No.8. Session 4 – ‘Stories of old’

Open Day 4th February

Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power” over four hundred years ago.

Sitting at the Lodge today I was struck by how apt that quote is. I sat and listened to the discussion on the why’s and wherefores’ of the closure of ‘The Works’ and the impact then and now on Consett.

Andrew will be adding today’s audio tapes soon. Listen to them. If you would like be part of the debate come along next week.

I am really enjoying it.