Getting on track with our heritage

THE charities Sustrans and Art Gene are inviting people to attend launch events to start a new industrial heritage arts trail along two sections of a 19th century railroad, which once formed the lifeline of West Cumbria’s iron industry.

The former railways are part of the Coast to Coast (C2C) walking and cycling route between Whitehaven to Rowrah, and Workington to Seaton, Siddick and Broughton Moor. A number of railway lines in the area were linked to the iron ore mines at Knockmurton and Kelton and ironworks at Workington, Cleator and Distington.
Now, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Sustrans and Art Gene will begin community consultations and workshops to investigate the secret stories behind the area’s industrial history and wildlife, for a future arts trail along the paths. The project, called ‘Tracks of the Ironmasters’, is the local name for the main iron ore railway in the area.

Sustrans and Art Gene are looking for volunteers to work in a series of ‘community stations’ along the route, where they will gather stories and information about their area. They are keen to hear from anyone who has memories, artefacts, documents or photos that help to bring the path’s history and environment to life. There are two events if you would like to get involved or find out more:
* Tuesday 14 July 6-9pm: Launch in Workington at the Helena Thompson Museum
* Wednesday 15 July 6-9pm Launch in Whitehaven at the Haig Pit Colliery Museum
For more information about how you can get involved with Tracks of the Ironmasters please contact Nick Owen on 077422 71570 or email him on