Working alongside partners Beamish Museum, Gateshead Libraries and Winlaton History Society, Digital Voice for Communities supported people with learning disabilities and local volunteers to explore Winlaton’s ironworking heritage. They learnt about the process of iron’s extraction to production at Crowley’s ironworks, and paid particular attention to the way of life and operating conditions of the workers there.
Eleven people with learning disabilities took part in the project learning about Winlaton’s heritage and were supported by local volunteers who had been trained in research, digitisation and film-making skills. The group then interviewed over 30 local residents about their memories of Winlaton and used these stories alongside archive photos and footage to produce a film.
The premiere screening took place in September 2016 at Winlaton Centre giving the wider community an opportunity to see the films and also a photography exhibition based on the project work.
Julie Nicholson from Digital Voice said: ‘This project has been one of the most memorable I have worked on. It has involved so many people and the outcomes have been fantastic. The HLF grant has allowed us to bring groups together to celebrate their history and their films are really good.’
Watch a behind the scenes film of the project here.