Industrial heritage


The gunmetal grey of the corrugated roofing sheets contrast sharply with the deep burnt umber of the old brickwork, the mortar barely noticeable as its once bright colour has darkened with age. The plaque on the wall above the large double doors gives a date of 1841 and the 170 plus years of weather, pollution, grime sit heavy on the shoulders of a building once considered at the cutting edge of industrial design. A monument to a largely forgotten past, just as the grand neo-gothic churches of the same period are monuments to a belief that is no longer the driving force of a nation.

The parallel decline of faith and industry, too many idle hands that are never told they are the devils playthings. What drives us? What motivates us when fear of eternal damnation no longer stalks our waking moments? What happens to the protestant work ethic when the protestants are gone? The great industrialists that built both factory and church are gone, consigned to elaborate crypts, their names mere echoes, blue plaques on walls, a collection of syllables with no attachment to their deeds, and maybe that is what is missing? A sense of attachment, of belonging….

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