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Celebrating 'Silverdale Our Story'

Posted on 18 January 2018

We've just completed the 'Silverdale – Our Story' project, an initiative funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project ran for 18 months and was designed to record the memories of Silverdale villagers and ex-miners from the coal mines, it also highlighted the transformation of the former site of the village's coal mines to the present day country park.

We recorded oral histories of local people and collected old photos of the village as a record of a lifestyle that ended when the pit closed in 1998.

Schoolchildren from the village helped to design a large piece of public artwork to celebrate the miners and other villagers, which has now been installed on the country park. Other schoolchildren contributed ideas that have been included in ten new interpretation panels that have been erected as part of a heritage trail on the country park. A new trail booklet was also created to support the panels.

Staffordshire Film Archive have renovated and digitised donated old footage of the village and its coal mines.

Students from Staffordshire University have helped to design and create a website that displays many of the photos and documents donated by villagers, which will launch later this month. You'll also be able to find the oral history stories there.

If you haven’t been to the award-winning Silverdale Country Park yet, you are missing a treat. Come see myself at Tipton or ranger Andy Hunt at Stoke for a copy of the Trail booklet (which includes a map of the site), and go and explore the history and wildlife for yourself.

- Chris Leech, Community Project Coordinator