Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Two letters in the Evening Gazette

I have used these pages several times to attack some of our councillors for their lack of understanding about our industrial past, so I was pleased to read the Gazette article Hard act to follow (07-10-10) about iron men sculptures. Several times during the last few years the ironstone mining communities of Lingdale and Boosbeck have erected images that tell visitors about their ironstone mining past, at Boosbeck in July this year an Iron Man statue was unveiled and we were told that it was inspired by a young lad from the village, so I hope that young people like eight-year-old James Summers will be involved with the Iron Men, Woman and Children project, and the money isn’t given to artists from outside this region who have little understanding of our heritage. 12.10.2010

In 2004 I was a member of a group of volunteers called Iron Awe, together with film makers from Teesside University and 300 local children, we made a film about the Cleveland ironstone miners first Demonstration Day (gala) in 1872. This year we planned to make a similar film about the 1930s depression and its affect on the local mining communities. Our film will include Sir Michael Tippett’s first opera Robin Hood, which on the instructions of its composer, has never been performed for seventy five years.  Sir Michael Tippett died in 1998, but that didn’t stop the Iron Awe team from changing his wishes, assembling a choir, singing some of his music in a Boosbeck pub, and getting BBC Radio 3 to record the event. Unfortunately local funders didn’t think our project was worthwhile, so Iron Awe will try again next year. BBC Radio 3 is repeating Reviving Robin on Saturday 30th October at 12.15pm. 26.10.2010

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