The project will focus on four key case study sites, selected to provide a cross-section of the range of responses to the impact of economic stagnation and high unemployment in the region. These will be the subject of detailed archival investigation and field survey by the project team.
This is the site of an allotment scheme established for unemployed ironstone miners at Boosbeck, Cleveland, where unemployment reached a rate of c.90% at its height. It was established with the collaboration of an idiosyncratic alliance of the local Conservative MP, his radical wife, local landowners and the mining unions, and involved the creation of a series of allotments and smallholdings on poor quality land in and around the village. Heartbreak Hill has been the location of a small-scale pilot study which identified the probable remains of a series of sheds and other allotment structures.
The Team Valley Industrial Estate
Built in the 1930s by the North Eastern Trading Estates, Limited. As well providing commercial space for factories and light industry it also included many other facilities such as football pitches, horticultural nursery and its own rail link. Flood lighting was even carefully placed to attract the attention of passengers on the main line trains to and from London and Edinburgh.
Swarland Built on the grounds of Swarland Hall, and supported by private subscriptions, the Fountains Abbey Settler's Trust built a new village of over 50 small holdings each with 1.5 acres of ground. Community buildings, leisure facilities and shops were also provided. These were laid out on a grid road system and designed by a local Alnwick-based architect Molly Reavell in a modernist style. Craftsmen from Tyneside were settled here, and provided with work on concerns run by the Swarland estate. A number of both the houses and the associated public buildings still survive and are protected by listing.
Hamsterley Forest work camp
This was established in 1934 by the Ministry of Labour as a forestry training camp, and was subsequently used as a prisoner of war camp during World War II. A former trainee wrote "The Camp was typical army style, all the huts were new and shining corrugated iron cladding and the Union Jack in the centre of the lawn." By 1936 it was so successful that it was expanded by a further 50%.