Sunday, April 20, 2008

Preston Hall

Preston Hall museum is in many ways the cultural centre of our ward, even though geographically it's right on the edge. A cold spring afternoon was an ideal time to pay a visit and look at what's changed since I was last there. The way that collections are displayed has changed a great deal over recent years and even months, though there's still a way to go. The latest exhibition being organised is about Stockton at work, with exhibits relating to shipbuilding, railways, leather, pottery, schools and more. There's much interesting information on the general background to the industries but I found myself wanting more about the individual artefacts - when was that photo taken? When was that poster printed? Just where was that found? and more! I know that the exhibition isn't finished and some of the questions might be answered later, so I'll be going back and meantime asking the staff about them.
One very interesting item to me, in the light of recent planning applications, was a picture of the Vinegar brewery and sauce factory which used to stand on the banks of the river at Eaglescliffe (on the right as one approached Yarm Bridge). In the background of the picture is a windmill - presumably the mill which used to be in the grounds of The Grange on Urlay Nook Road, soon to be demolished to make way for flats thanks to the Government's policy of allowing gardens to be dealt with as brownfield (previously developed) sites. Although I've been told many times that a mill existed there it had gone before I became aware of the building and this was the first time I'd seen a picture where it was just there, in the background as the normal thing - not in any way a tourist attraction or centre of attention.

No comments: