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Working with communities

Last summer, Historic England North East has hosted a volunteer student placement. Newcastle University student Sophie Hearn undertook a mapping and survey project of community and voluntary heritage groups within the North East and Tees Valley.

Sophie worked with our team for six weeks gathering information to establish current levels of interest and capacity within communities for undertaking conservation and historic environment projects. The information gathered has created an internal contact database which will enable us to better target the community guidance and support we currently offer.

If your community group has an interest in heritage and would like to receive news, updates and guidance from us, please sign up to receive our news bulletin.

County Durham school children uncover the history of Bishop Auckland

More than 100 County Durham schoolchildren have been using maps, census records and old photographs to uncover the history of their home town.

School children and their teachers pose for a photo on a street in Bishop Auckland
Pupils from schools in Bishop Auckland spent three months trawling the archives to learn what life was like in Bishop Auckland up to 100 years ago © Historic England

Pupils from Cockton Hill Junior School, Toft Hill Primary, Escomb Primary, St Anne’s Primary and St John’s RC School and Sixth Form Centre spent three months earlier this year trawling the archives to learn what life was like in Bishop Auckland up to 100 years ago.

Supported by Auckland Castle Trust and Historic England as part of the Heritage Schools scheme, each group focussed on separate areas of the town’s heritage, with the results shared in a special celebration at Bishop Auckland Town Hall.

The work on show during the event included a film by St John’s School and Sixth Form Centre, who worked with local filmmaker Keith Alexander and the Four Clocks Centre to produce a short video following in the footsteps of a young apprentice from the 19th century. This included interviewing relatives of the apprentice, who worked at local engineering firm Lingford and Gardiner’s in 1866.

Watch the film

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