Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Glory Days for a Giant of Industry

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Glory Days for a Giant of Industry

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Belcher Reporter

STORIES from a Tyneside mainstay will be kept alive thanks to a PS46,000 grant.

Tyne and Wear Archives has received the funding from the National Archives' Cataloguing Grants Programme to help piece together the history of Vickers Armstrong and its predecessor companies, which made up a major part of the region's industrial landscape for over 150 years.

Funding for The Workshop of the World project will be used to catalogue a huge collection of records that date from 1847 to 1970.

Archivists believe that the project will reveal a huge amount of information about the social and economic landscape of the North East during the period, as the local engineering company employed 30,000 people at its wartime peak in 1918.

Areas of research will include the company's business practice over the years, its relationship with the British Government, arms dealing and its relations with foreign powers.

It will also look into the influence of company founder William George Armstrong, who built Northumberland's Cragside Estate and donated Jesmond Dene to the city of Newcastle.

Carolyn Ball, manager at Tyne & Wear Archives, said: "Tyne & Wear Archives houses one of the biggest collections of 19th and 20th Century industrial source material in the world and we very much see this collection as one of the jewels in our crown.

"For many people Vickers Armstrong is synonymous with the history of the North East, so it will be fascinating to delve into the huge number of documents that have been donated by the company over the years and piece together the story of such an iconic industrial heavyweight.

"Economically, politically and socially Armstrong and his directors wielded enormous influence across the region, through the manufacturing complex in Newcastle, the artillery ranges at Otterburn and the development of the huge estate at Cragside. …

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