Thu, 19 March, 2020
A plaque, created in remembrance of 76 men who worked at the former Newport Ironworks and died during the 1914-1918 war, has been restored to its former glory and unveiled in the lobby of TWI’s Middlesbrough centre on the Riverside Park Industrial Estate at Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park.
The plaque had fallen into disrepair following the closure of Samuelson’s Social Club, where it had been kept in storage, several years ago. However, the plaque was subsequently uncovered and restored to its former glory by TWI coatings experts, Craig Jones and Chris Graham with additional guidance from historical consultants, Heritage Unlocked.
An unveiling ceremony for the plaque was held on 9 March, 2020, and attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion, the Yorkshire Regiment and families of the fallen soldiers named on the plaque. The families also brought along historical artefacts, including an official telegram permitting a worker to leave his job in order to join the war effort. Four-year-old Leo Jennings, the great, great, great grandson of one of the men commemorated on the plaque, was given the honour of unveiling it.
TWI representatives Keith Malone, TWI North Facility Manager, Abbas Mohimi, Business Development Manager for Innovation and Skills, and Tat-Hean Gan, Director of Innovation and Skills joined Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston, Middlesbrough Council Armed Forces Champion Councillor, Ron Arundale and Dr Tosh Warwick of Heritage Unlocked for the ceremony.
"I think it's wonderful that they have been able to have their plaque restored. Better than that is that they were able to contact the relatives."
Dr Warwick continued, “The TeesAMP development has provided a fantastic opportunity to further explore Middlesbrough’s industrial heritage. The plaque is a tangible link to the workers and the site’s historic contribution to the war effort. The area’s iron and steel industries helped to shape the world, and this restoration commemorates an important and poignant chapter in that rich history.”
TWI is proud to have helped restore this important piece of local history and honoured to be able to display the plaque and remember those who gave their lives during the First World War.