CHILDREN who took part in a community arts project saw their work unveiled during a special event.

Pupils from schools across Weardale created handmade glass panels to feature in a replica lead mining tub, which has gone on display at Killhope Lead Mining Museum.

The Weardale Tub project aimed to engage people of all ages in commemorating the area’s rich history and highlighting how industry has shaped the landscape and communities in which they live today. It included a series of workshops, held in schools and community venues up and down the dale.

Experienced glass tutors helped participants produce tiles using materials that reflect industrial activity of the past. These were formed into 20 panels, fired and then fitted into the tub’s frame.

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Durham County Council’s community arts team worked alongside MBC Arts Wellbeing CIC, Weardale Area Action Partnership and Northern Heartlands on the project, which was partly funded by Arts Council England.

More than 220 children attended the unveiling alongside dozens of members of the community who contributed to the glass tile-making.

Councillor Ossie Johnson, vice chair of Durham County Council, who has been involved throughout the project and attended the unveiling, said: “The Weardale Tub project offered children the chance to engage with their past in a really hands on, exciting way.

“Taking the project out to schools was a great way to bring people and the past together and, having witnessed some of the workshops, the kids were extremely enthusiastic about building on their local history.”

During the workshops, residents shared stories and were shown photographs and films of people who have lived and worked in Weardale over the centuries.

Footage of 88-year-old Mary Bell talking about washday 80 years ago fascinated youngsters at all of the schools. Mary also took part in a workshop at Cowshill Village Hall, where she delighted everyone with her stories of butter-making and songs performed in traditional Weardale dialect.

Cllr Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “The tub is incredibly striking, and is special in that it holds pieces created by the community.

“It will continue to be displayed at Killhope, standing as a shining light on our industrial past and a testament to the creativity and beauty we build upon today.”

Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships said: “This project is an outstanding example of an intergenerational creative project which brought together the community to share stories, experiences and memories of how life has changed in the rural area, and what Weardale means to them.”