Hands on Middlesbrough & The Cannon Street Revisited Project
Hands on Middlesbrough is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2014, to protect, support and promote Middlesbrough’s heritage, green spaces and to advocate effective public consultation and a community led approach to town planning in Middlesbrough.
How people connect to where they live and connect to others, informs a sense of identity and belonging to a wider community. A sense of community is something that cannot easily be measured in monetary terms, however it does have a great value, regardless of land and property prices. This “value”of being part of a community is apparent in the written memories, photographs, Facebook posts and filmed interviews with ex-residents of the Cannon Street area.
Why Revisit Cannon Street?
Hands on Middlesbrough became aware of BBC footage held at the North East Film Archive. The film footage showed residents being interviewed during the demolition of Cannon Street in the 1970s. The film had not been digitised. We realised this was an important record of the town’s social history, which should be accessible to the public. The money to digitise the footage was raised through an appeal on Facebook. We held a public screening on 23rd July 2015 at Teesside University to show the digitised films, which attracted around 250 people.
After the success of the public screening we set up a Facebook page, which currently has almost 2,300 members.
Heritage Lottery Fund was obtained for 2017 to develop a digital archive of material, do drop in sessions around Middlesbrough to community groups, care homes and link with the College of Art and Design to film interviews with former residents of the Cannon Street area.