Madeley Living History Project is delighted to announce a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £16,200 for a new community heritage project centred on the lives of the ‘Nine Men of Madeley’. The project will involve people from across the town and the Gorge area, and will bring to life a piece of hidden history.
The activity will take place in the town of Madeley, in the Ironbridge Gorge area of Shropshire. 2014 sees the 150th anniversary of a mining disaster at the Brick Kiln Leasowes pit in Madeley in which nine men and boys died. The youngest of these was only 12 years old. Local volunteers and heritage specialists will create a new heritage trail, based on the lives of the nine men, and a website which will provide more in depth information about the individuals and facts connected to the story. The project will also include the performance of a community play which will dramatise life and working conditions for people in Madeley at this time, performed by local adults, pupils from local schools, and local guide, brownie and scout groups. The project has been supported by Madeley Town Council and Ironbridge Gorge Parish Council and will provide a stimulating opportunity to learn about local history, and to build and share community pride.
Alison Vermee, Madeley resident and initiator of the project, said: “This generous grant from Heritage Lottery Fund will enable local people to find out more about life in Victorian Madeley. We want to recognise working class history and understand the human cost behind the generation of wealth during the Industrial Revolution. The trail, the website and the play will offer different ways for people to get involved in the story and to make connections between the lives of our Victorian ancestors and our own twenty first century experiences.”
The Community Play will take place on Saturday, 27th September at St. Michael’s Church, Madeley, 150 years to the day since the mining accident in 1864. At this time, the new Nine Men trail and the website will be launched. Local people interested in finding out more should contact the project, care of firstname.lastname@example.org.