OUR PLANS FOR 2015
To buy the remainder of the site, do the work and then manage and maintain it properly could require something approaching £1m. We may not be rich but our heritage is and the potential of world-class heritage status for Eston hills should not be underestimated. We will be up against bids from across the country but the fact that the site once hosted the world's biggest ironstone mine which made Middlesbrough the world's iron-making capital is the ace up our sleeve. The fact that the only two remaining mine entrances are both on Lazenby Bank and one of them, the SS Castle, is a Grade-II listed building is really fortuitous. The fact that we have already bought part of the historic summit of the hills, and with public donations, will impress any funder. But we feel it is not quite enough for us to land big funding at this stage. We have therefore devised an impressive complimentary shorter-term plan that will optimise our chances further down the road.
Lazenby Bank in total public ownership is still the dream. We believe it is the only way to conserve this important heritage site fully and forever. Across all of Eston hills, we want to see the joyriding stopped, trashed footpaths restored, wildlife habitat improved, mine sites cleaned up and a heritage trail created. Only then can we reclaim the site from the neglect and abuse that has blighted it for years. Achieving this will obviously take time and a lot of funding but IT IS POSSIBLE.
THE MINERS' MEMORIAL
We propose the creation of a high quality and long overdue landmark that will honour specifically the epic legacy of graft and sacrifice of the Eston ironstone miners. The names of all 375 men and boys killed at Eston (as researched exclusively for 'A Century in Stone') will feature on the memorial. It will be erected on our plot to build on our success and introduce the legacy of Eston ironstone that will form the main thrust of our long term funding bid.
We don't want to go into any design details at this stage but rest assured it will be solidly built and protected by substantial steel railings for obvious reasons. It is hoped that the memorial will increase visitors to the Nab, enhance the public perception of the Nab as a place of pilgrimage and be respected and protected as a consequence. It will also form the crown jewel of the heritage trail that we hope will follow in the future.
The cost of this project we estimate will be around £40-50k. It will be eligible for small grants of £10k and under; and crucially can directly involve the local community in the form of donations and all manner of sponsored activities.
On completion, a grand opening ceremony with brass band and special guests will be held to mark the ocassion. The resulting media splash will set us up well to proceed with the big plan and allow the big funders to also get in on the glory! We hope to launch the Memorial Campaign in May. Until then, we are going to research what is viable in terms of design, materials, dimensions, planning considerations and costs.
OTHER PLANS FOR 2015:
We hope to continue liaising with the farmers and authorities to bring about an end to vehicles accessing the hills. We also plan to carry out our annual spring clean litter pick at the Nab and also at Trustee, where cutting back the foliage that is blocking footpaths is also much needed.
ALL FEEDBACK VERY MUCH WELCOME !
Thank you for reading
Craig Hornby & THE FOEH