Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memories to Live on Forever; Global Recognition of Our Heritage

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Memories to Live on Forever; Global Recognition of Our Heritage

Article excerpt

OUR shipbuilding heritage has won international recognition. The North East was the birthplace of some of the world's greatest vessels.

And that heritage and its impact globally is today officially ranked alongside the Domesday Book in terms of historical importance by its inclusion on the Unesco UK Memory of the World Register.

The register is an online catalogue created to promote a nation's heritage.

Entries onto the UK register are awarded the globally-recognised Memory of the World status and are made accessible to an international audience. The latest entries, were revealed today and include the Domesday Book and the personal archives of Winston Churchill, the poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, First World War supremo Field Marshall Douglas Haig and the Cumbrian journal of William Wordsworth's sister Dorothy.

And the North East has two of the new entries.

They include the vast collections of material from the shipyards of the Tyne and the Wear.

They are held by Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums which, as the yards closed, was in a race against time to secure material before it was lost.

Only in the last few years has TWAM won funding to begin the job of sorting and cataloguing the mass of information, ranging from shipyard board minutes to ships' plans, production records and photographic collections.

The other entry is the archives of Robert Stephenson and Company, whose South Street works in Newcastle produced steam locomotives for the world. The South Street building survives today and is part of the Stephenson Quarter redevelopment plans.

On the shipyard front, TWAM was only able to catalogue the records of Tyneside's Swan Hunter yard in 2008-2009 and the Sunderland shipyards in 2011-2012 because of grants from the National Archives Cataloguing Grants Programme.

Work by archivist Alan Hayward on the Sunderland yards showed that in both 1905 and 1907 the Sunderland shipyard of William Doxford & Sons Ltd built the greatest tonnage of any British shipbuilder. …

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