Dr Tosh Warwick always knows he is home when he sees the Doman Long Tower in South Bank. Others may well feel the same way about the other massive engineering structures dominating the Teesside skyline such as Hartlepool Power Station, Portrack ICI tower or the Transporter Bridge. Tosh knows that almost every Teesside family has a link to industry with many, like his own, the links are defined by the iron and steel industry.
Since Tosh was an 11 year old boy he was fascinated about history. He is keen to ensure our rich Teesside engineering history is captured. He wants the 11 year olds of today to have an opportunity to learn about how the area was formed and what shaped it for many years to come.
Tosh is passionate about the things we have to be proud of in the Tees Valley including Cleveland Bridge who continue to build world famous bridges and The Port of Middlesbrough (formerly AV Dawson) who are seeing ships being built in their quayside fabrication halls.
The William Lane Foundry (www.williamlanefoundry.uk) is not only the oldest foundry in Middlesbrough but still makes items such as parts for Beamish, blue plaques, replacement bits for railways and war memorials. This really is an example of how heritage can and does play a role in the present and by featuring on national TV shows off the capabilities of the Tees Valley.
The Teesworks site is being redeveloped and is attracting investment and jobs to our area. Tosh has recently been appointed as a member of Teesworks Steel Heritage Task Force which he considers this to be a massive honour. The Task Force was set up to capture and celebrate the history of the former steel works. As well as reviewing suggestions from people the task force shall be looking at lessons from the UK and abroad. Tosh is over the moon to be recognised as someone who can do something positive help shape the past on Teesside.
The Task Force wants your help to capture and celebrate the history, memories and stories of steel in a way that truly reflects its impact. They would love to hear from all those who remember it best or have any ideas of how best to make our history accessible for future generations. For more details, and to make suggestions, see www.teesworks.co.uk/heritage.
Tosh along with others on the Task Force shall be aiming high. This independent group shall weigh up the pros and cons to get the correct balance in order to leave the best legacy possible for the Tees Valley. If restrictions allow there shall be some face to face community liaison; keep an eye out on the www.teesworks.co.uk website, press and social media for updates.
Also, of interest is his new book Bridging The World which he also wants the public to contribute to. This Engineering Together approach will help gather previously unheard of personal stories. For more details see www.thetees.online/bridging-the-world/.
Tosh is hoping his work document our rich history will lead onto a wider ‘Steel River’ heritage project. This next stage of our area’s story will help define how the River Tees has connected us all for hundreds of years through our engineering and iron and steelworks industry.
Tosh truly believes that linking our past and the present gives people a sense of place and creates pride. But maybe more importantly it showcases Teesside’s unique engineering skills, strength and resilience. This can work as a mechanism to inspire passion what we can do in the future.
So please consider what you can do to help Tosh by contributing ideas and stories. Let’s protect Teesside’s rich history by Engineering Together.