September 2020

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Welcome to Land of Oak & Iron's Newsletter

This month we celebrate Heritage Open Days - the country's largest annual festival of history and culture.

September 2020 is also the 40th anniversary of the closure of Consett Steelworks  - 'Forged over 140 years' is an fascinating programme of on-line talks, films and presentations, read on to find out more.

There's also our next Meet the Maker events coming up soon too!

In this month's newsletter you can find out about:
Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with events, news and photographs taken by visitors and the team.
Heritage Open Days

This year's Heritage Open Days are a little scaled down as expected, however we're still taking part by organising some local guided walks and a spot of live music in the Courtyard at the Heritage Centre in Winlaton Mill between 11th - 20th September.

Places are limited on our walks so we can keep numbers low - booking is essential and you will need to be quick!  There are 3 different walks on offer which will help you to discover some of the fascinating history of the lower Derwent Valley - a vast industrial heritage mostly hidden by nature.

Our small music event on Saturday 19th September, outside the Heritage Centre, will have an afternoon of live performances with Bill Elliott, Kiddar's Luck and Ken Tonge, playing traditional folk tunes from the local area. (subject to weather and current guidelines).

No need to book, but we will be monitoring numbers so we can ensure people can maintain social distancing.

'Scoops n Smiles' will also be selling lots of lovely flavours of dairy ice-cream from their heritage ice-cream van too!  So lets hope the sun shines so we can eat ice-cream whilst enjoying an afternoon of local songs and tunes.

café shrub will be open as usual for take-our and table service (limited tables due to social distancing).


Please observe social distancing, wear a face covering when entering the building and follow current Covid-19 guidelines.

History of Consett Steelworks 

Forged over 140 years: 7 - 14 September 2020
A week of free online events to remember the place and the people who made Consett steel, organised by our friends at History of Consett Steelworks Group.

Each day between Monday 7th September and Monday 14th September, there will be something to enjoy, including:
  • Online talks about Victorian steel pioneer and CIC General Manager William Jenkins, Women at the Works and Stanhope & Tyne Railroad.
  • A daily Film Club matinee, bringing you some fabulous footage to illustrate the theme of each day.
  • A virtual historical tour of Consett and the Steelworks site with Facebook sensation 'Alfred's Guide'.
  • Two Q&A sessions on our proposed mapping project and also with our heritage partners on the future of heritage activities and facilities in Consett.

Thanks to History of Consett Steelworks for the images.
Mural painting by Neal Crossan.

Meet the Makers

Land of Oak & Iron has been working with local artists and makers in creating our new 'Meet the Maker' events at the Heritage Centre in Winlaton Mill.

So far we have hosted events with Unique Monique Creative - an illustrator and children's book author from Consett.  Last weekend was with Ruth Thompson and Liz Beech - two local willow artists and basket makers from Northumbria Basketry Group.

Each artist will have their work on display in the shop area of café shrub in the run up to their solo event under the gazebo near the Courtyard.  Drop by anytime during their event to 'Meet the Maker', chat about their work and maybe buy some original artworks or products.

Currently on display in the shop are some stunning pastel artworks by Shotley Bridge based artist Mags.

We now have artists booked right through until the new year - here are the next few Meet the Makers coming soon:
Pastels by Mags - Saturday 12th September, 10am - 4pm
Northern Sky Design, Glass Artist - Saturday 27th September, 10am - 4pm

Katherine Rodgers, Bird Artist - Saturday 10th October, 10am - 4pm
Susan Poppy Ceramics - Saturday 24th October, 10am - 4pm

Come along to Meet the Makers soon to show your support for local artists and crafts people!


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