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Anniversary forges new links with viaduct project

The blacksmiths involved in the original event, with their 10th anniversary panell, left to right, Phil Johnson, Stephen Lunn and Bill Cordaroy.

The blacksmiths involved in the original event, with their 10th anniversary panell, left to right, Phil Johnson, Stephen Lunn and Bill Cordaroy.

Residents and blacksmiths returned to a historic Northumberland viaduct to mark the 10th anniversary of its decorative ironwork panels.

The wrought iron panels on Kielder Viaduct were made by about 60 blacksmiths from across the country in a Forge In event in 2004.

But the illustrations that inspired the decorative panels, drawn by school children and community groups in Kielder, were thought to have been lost.

When members of the Kielder Viaduct Heritage project team started researching the viaduct’s stories, they found them at the forge of blacksmith Stephen Lunn in Red Row.

Oral historian Dr Liz O’Donnell said: “Stephen helped instigate the Forge In event in 2004.

“I had no idea when I went to record Stephen’s memories of the day for the Viaduct Heritage Project that he had kept the original designs.”

Three of the blacksmiths involved in making the original panels returned to the viaduct to create a commemorative plaque which was unveiled by Coun Val Tyler.

The anniversary was also a chance to unveil a series of new interpretation features, developed as part of the Viaduct Heritage Project.

The resources, which reveal the story of the viaduct, include a short film, a new trail map, graphic panels, an audio post with snippets of oral history and family-friendly activity sheets.

 

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