To promote local ownership of the new rail line and re-uniting people with the history of the line, Morgan Sindall have supported local people to form a heritage group of history enthusiasts starting in Bedlington.
The group is working on a vision to identify and celebrate the contribution that the Bedlington iron works, former wagon way and railway made to industry in the UK and across the world and the prominent people connected to these developments.
Above – the group (including Ironworks expert historian David Cowans) designing their vision for sharing the heritage of the area
Above – retired Archaeologist Barry Mead, East Bedlington Parish Councillor John Batey and local rail history expert John Riley
Above – ancient map showing former wagon way location and connecting routes
Investigations and scrutiny of maps and other archived materials suggests that a tunnel on the River Blyth in Bedlington played a key role in enabling the transportation of coal via a pre-industrial wagon way.
In order to find out more, Morgan Sindall sub-contractors Ground Control and Greenworx removed the overgrown vegetation in the vicinity of the entrance to the tunnel thought to date from the early 1800’s.
Wessex Archaeology, a subcontractor to Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, will be supporting further explorations into the fascinating past by taking tunnel scrapings and providing dendrochronological information connected to the nearby wooden staithes.
Above - before and after vegetation clearance and an interpretation board introducing people to the proud past of Bedlington.