Monthly Archives: December 2015

Member outputs, engagements and activities

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS (Peer-reviewed & invitational)

 

‘Telling environmental stories: The value of oral history to environmental history’ (Invitational Workshop on Oral and Environmental Histories, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Harvesting oral histories: Life, work and fog on the Tyne’ (‘Telling Environmental Stories: The Value of Oral History to Environmental History’ (Invitational Workshop on Oral and Environmental Histories, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Mapping the local response to national strategy: How the British Electrical Grid was built and developed – a southwest England case study’ (Invitational Workshop on Energy History, Harvard University, USA, October 2015) [Kayt Button]

‘The River Tyne’s great floods: Reconnecting pasts with futures’ (Invitational workshop on ‘Floods as Heritage: The Heritage Value of Floods, an Interdisciplinary Workshop’, University of Limoges, France, October 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Tyne after Tyne: Reconnecting river pasts with presents and futures, 1530-2015’ (‘Rains, Rivers and Reservoirs: An International, Interdisciplinary ECR Conference’ organised by the British Council and the Newton Fund, Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Vertical property regimes in Britain’s metal mining areas: an historical perspective’ (Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG Conference), Exeter, September 2015 [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Contested subterranean waterscapes: The vertical geographies of the Derbyshire soughs’ [Poster] (Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Conference, Exeter, September 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Mapping Historical Energy Protest in Somerset, UK, 1870s to present’ (International Conference of Historical Geographers, Royal Geographical Society, London, July 2015) [Jill Payne with Project Students Kayt Button and Alexander Portch]

‘Subterranean water conflicts and the vertical geography of flow: the drainage of the Derbyshire lead mines’, International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG), London, July 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Following the Flow: Recreation and Conflict on British Rivers’ (European Society for Environmental History, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Restoring flow?: Soughs as pathways of connectivity’, (European Society for Environmental History, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Energy (dis)connections: The development of landscape “rights” and energy production realities in South West England since the 1870s’ (European Society for Environmental History, Biennial Conference, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Jill Payne]

‘Fluvial pathways: Forging geographic, social, economic, ecological and cultural connections within the River Tyne catchment’ (European Society for Environmental History, Biennial Conference, Versailles, France, July 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Contested subterranean waterscapes: Lead mining soughs and water conflict in Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley’ (International Conference on Waterscapes and Historic Canals as a Cultural Heritage, Venice, May 2015) [Georgina Endfield]

‘Salmonscapes: Restoration, Reinscription and Contestation on the River Tyne’, (International Conference on Waterscapes and Historic Canals as a Cultural Heritage, Venice, May 2015) [Peter Coates]

‘River or ruin?: Connecting histories with publics” (Invitational Workshop, ‘Exploring the Past to Understand the Present and Anticipate the Future’, 1st Franco-British (AHRC/Labex) Research Workshop, Royaumont Foundation, Val d’Oise, France, January 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Between cultural and natural heritage, and human and natural archive’, Invitational Workshop, ‘Exploring the Past to Understand the Present and Anticipate the Future’, 1st Franco-British (AHRC/Labex) Research Workshop, Royaumont Foundation, Val d’Oise, France, January 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘The installation, maintenance and regulation of “sewers” in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British towns’ (‘Cities in Europe; Cities in the World’ (12th International Conference on Urban History, Lisbon, Portugal, September 2014) [Leona Skelton]

‘Mudding the waters: Recreational conflict and rights of use on BNritish rivers’ (‘Environmentalism from below: Appraising the efficacy of small-scale and subaltern environmentalist organizations’, Workshop, University of Alberta with Rachel Carson Center, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘With the tide and against the flow: The Severn Bore – History of a river wave’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Nuclear pasts and fracking futures in South West England’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Jill Payne]

‘Uses and abuses of the River Tyne, 1500-1800: Uncovering environmental concern in the pre-industrial context’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Leona Skelton]

‘Salmonscapes on two “kingly” British rivers of “the king of fish”’ (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Peter Coates]

‘From lead to tail: An environmental history of the Derbyshire Soughs’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘Beyond the barrage: Harnessing the power of the tides in the Severn Estuary’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Alexander Portch]

‘The UK National Grid: Environmental impacts, consequences and connectivity’ [poster] (2nd World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes, Portugal, July 2014) [Kayt Button]

‘The ebb and flow of energy: An environmental history of tidal power in the Severn Estuary, southwest Britain’ (Poster presentation, American Society for Environmental History, annual conference, Seattle, March/April 2016) [Alexander Portch].

 

UK CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS

‘Out of the Mud’ exhibition, with Tana West and Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol, November/December 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

‘Landscaping Change|Water’ event (Panel member and speaker, Arnolfini, Bristol, November 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘What have we done to the river and what has the river done to us?: The Tyne’s environmental story, 1530-2015’ (Invitational Departmental Seminar Series, Human Geography Department, Northumbria University, Newcastle, November 2015) [Leona Skelton]

Severn Bore oral history event, Epney, Gloucestershire, 29 October 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

‘The environmental history of the Tyne’ (‘Rivers of the Anthropocene: Explorations in a Human-Engineered World’, Workshop at Newcastle University, June 2015 [Leona Skelton]

‘“Tinkering with the River of Tine”: Attempts to control the climate’s impact on the River Tyne’s flow, functions and form, 1530-1800’ (Workshop on ‘Ruling Climate: The Theory and Practice of Environmental Governmentality, 1500-1800’, Warwick University, May 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Down the rabbit hole: Encounters with the inner earth’ (Symposium on Spaces of Attunement: Life, Matter, and the Dance of Encounters, Cardiff, March 2015) [Carry van Lieshout]

‘British rivers: Flow, ownership and “modern” water’ (guest speaker, ‘Civic Matter: Infrastructure as Politic’ seminar series, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, February 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Debating energy, constructing landscape: Energy development and the visual in Somerset, England, 1900-1929’ (Centre for History and Economics, Magdalene College & Kings College, Cambridge University, 27 February 2015) [Jill Payne]

‘Knowing place: Recreational use of British rivers’ (‘Rivers of War and Recreation: Round Table on Global Environmental History’, inaugural Birmingham Seminar for Environmental Humanities, University of Birmingham, December 2014) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Mapping Somerset’s energy landscape’ (‘Space and time: Cartographies and memories as method’, South West Doctoral Training College (SWDTC) Workshop, Bristol University, November 2014) [Jill Payne]

‘Beyond the barrage: Harnessing the power of the tides in the Severn Estuary’ [poster] (Severn Estuary Forum, Severn Estuary Partnership, Cardiff, September 2014) [Alexander Portch]. Download poster

 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

‘Tidal Turnings’ (Panel member, Bristol Loves Tides (Bristol Green Capital 2015 funded project)/’Towards Hydrocitizenship’ AHRC project event, Phoenix Wharf, Bristol, June 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Into the Mud’ (event – funded by AHRC Connected Communities Festival 2015 -exploring sensory engagement with place through close-up examination and creative use of the riverbed, bringing together members of ‘Power and Water’ with ‘Towards Hydrocitizenship’ project (AHRC Connected Communities), local community group Ideal Action, members of the public and artist Tana West, June 2015) [Marianna Dudley with Tana West]

‘Hidden River History’, Festival of Nature, Bristol, June 2015 [Marianna Dudley & Jill Payne]

‘Ralph Gardner’s Plea for a Port at Shields: His England’s Grievance Rediscovered (1655)’ (Public Lecture Series, ‘Once upon a Tyne: Riot and Rebellion on the River’, Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields, June 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘The Tyne Talks: Environmental History from the View of the River’, Temporary Public Exhibition, Low Light Heritage Centre, North Shields, 12 -30 June 2015 [Leona Skelton]

‘Severn Water Colours’ (Outdoor workshop at Ship’s Graveyard, Sharpness, explored environmental change, visual amenity, and connection to place in collaboration with Bristol Folk House ‘The Versatility of Watercolour’ adult education class; the artworks were made into postcards [print run 400] displayed and distributed free of charge at the Festival of Nature, June 2015), May – June 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

 ‘Investigating our subterranean heritage: Socio-cultural perspectives on Derbyshire’s soughs’, Matlock, AGM of the Peak District Mines Historical Society, Matlock, November 2014 [Carry van Lieshout & Georgina Endfield]

‘Water, Water’ (Street theatre collaboration with writer Katherine Mitchell and Bristol University drama students, based on water rights and access research, performed in various locations around Bristol, Bristol Bright Night [part of Europe-wide Researcher’s Night], At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol, 26 September 2014 & 25 September 2015) [Marianna Dudley]

‘Somerset’s energy landscape’ (Bristol Bright Night [part of Europe-wide Researcher’s Night], At-Bristol Science Centre, Bristol, 26 September 2014). [Jill Payne]

‘Tickertape: Waterscape’ (public art installation, with Eloise Govier), Millennium Square, Bristol, 26 September 2014). [Jill Payne]

 

STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

‘Degeneration and Regeneration on the Tyne: River Pasts, Presents and Futures’

(Presentation to Clean Tyne Project Steering Committee [including representatives of: Tyne Rivers Trust, the Port of Tyne, Gateshead Council, South Tyneside Council, Newcastle Council and Northumbrian Water], Gateshead Council Offices, Gateshead, 19 June 2014 [Leona Skelton]

‘Degeneration and Regeneration on the Tyne: River Pasts, Presents and Futures’

(Presentation to Tyne Rivers Trust, Corbridge, 6 June 2014 [Leona Skelton]

Invited member, Tyne Rivers Trust ‘Tyne-Specific Education Programme Steering Committee’ (with presentations on 25 November 2014, 20 January 2015, 10 February 2015 and 14 May 2015) [Leona Skelton]

‘Tidal Estuaries and Barrage Development: a Bristol – Bay of Fundy Comparative Roundtable’ with Emeritus Prof. Graham Daborne (Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada), and representatives of Severn Rivers Trust, Devon and Severn IFCA, RSPB; Angling Trust, UWE and Bath Spa University, Bristol, May 2015 [Marianna Dudley]

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

Marianna Dudley was interviewed for ‘Bristol Loves Tides’ (Bristol Green Capital 2015 funded project) Education Programme film about water, tides, and Bristol, for distribution in local secondary schools, April 2015.

Leona Skelton worked with the Environment Editor at Newcastle’s local newspaper, The Journal, to disseminate her research findings and information about the project, resulting in:

‘A source of environmental concern: The Tyne’s River Court Books, 1644-1834’, ‘Environment, Law and History’ blogspot (David Schorr, Tel Aviv University), http://environmentlawhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-source-of-environmental-concern-tynes.html [Leona Skelton]

 

The Oldest Geordie: Environmental History of the River Tyne

Rivers are at the heart of defining the identity and lifestyle of many cities around the world, and that is nowhere stronger than in Newcastle on Tyne in the Northeast of England on the banks of the River Tyne. The people who live on the banks of the Tyne are fiercely proud of their river. Once the river was an industrial powerhouse of the British Empire, and by the 1880s the Port of Tyne exported the most coal in the world, and the river was amongst the world’s largest shipbuilding and ship-repairing centres.

There has been much consideration of how the River Tyne has shaped Tyneside and Tynesiders, but very little appreciation of the enormous extent to which people have shaped the river. To bear out this invisible history of the river, historian Leona Skelton, a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Bristol, has worked on a research project that challenges us to think from a river’s perspective and to include in our river histories the flow pathways which rivers ‘wanted’ to follow, regardless of the changes that humans have forged upon the river. On episode 69 of the Exploring Environmental History Podcast Leona challenges us to look at a river as an historical actor with its own agency.

Leona’s Research was part of the British Arts and Humanities Research Council funded environmental history initiative “The Power and the Water: Connecting Pasts with Futures”, that focuses on environmental connectivities that have emerged in Britain since industrialisation.

 

Further reading and resources
Archer, D., Tyne and Tide: A Celebration of the River Tyne (Ovingham: Daryan Press, 2003)

Chaplin, M., Tyne View: A Walk around the Port of Tyne (2012).

Charlton, B., Upper North Tynedale: A Northumbrian Valley and its People (Northumbrian Water, 1987).

Cioc, Mark, and ebrary Academic Complete. The Rhine: An Eco-biography, 1815-2000 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002).

Levine, D., and Wrightson, K., The Making of an Industrial Society: Whickham, 1560-1765 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991)

Mah, A., ‘Memory, Uncertainty and Industrial Ruination: Walker Riverside, Newcastle on Tyne’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 34, no. 2 (2010), pp. 398-413

Marshall, M., Tyne Waters: A river and its salmon (London: H F & G Witherby, 1992)

Rennison, R., Water to Tyneside: A History of the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company (Newcastle: Newcastle & Gateshead Water Company, 1979)

Blog of Leona Skelton

 

Music credits

So Cold” by @nop, available from ccMixter

Clash” by zorza, available from ccMixter

Healing” by Stefan Kartenberg, available from ccMixter

Exploring environmental History podcast

 

This podcast was simultaneously published on the Environmental History Resources website as part of the Exploring Environmental History podcast series.

Video: Waters Meet, Warden, Northumberland

By Leona Skelton

About two miles from the Northumbrian market town of Hexham, close to the villages of Warden and Fourstones, is the spectacular confluence and the beginning of the main River Tyne, known locally as the Meeting of the Waters or Waters Meet. Here, the North Tyne (which flows south-east from Deadwater Fell near Kielder and the Anglo-Scottish border) meets the South Tyne (which makes its way north from near Alston high in the Pennines before turning sharply east towards Hexham) in a breath-taking natural compromise between the respective bodies of water, each possessing a different speed, colour and character of flow. As several of the oral history interviews which I conducted in January 2015 revealed, this is a favourite spot for many people living throughout the Tyne catchment (competing with equally popular sites such as the Collingwood Monument at Tynemouth and the regenerated Newcastle-Gateshead quayside) and it’s not hard to see why when you visit the site in person. Its relative isolation from roads, housing and other human distractions enables visitors to appreciate the soundscape of the waters’ communications as eddies crash together and the waters make their journey henceforth in unison to the North Sea. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen salmon leap out of the water and it’s great to see them heading up either the North Tyne or the South Tyne in a purposeful manner back to spawn and then die on the precise gravel beds where they once hatched. It’s a popular place for anglers, and private rods have been available only recently, from 2012, by the family which has owned the beats for four generations. Some forty miles from their respective sources and thirty miles from the sea, the Meeting of the Waters is a must-see site for anyone trying to understand the river, its character, its flow and its wildlife.

Links:

http://www.wardenfishing.co.uk/watersmeet.html

http://www.fishpal.com/England/Tyne/Warden-Watersmeet/?dom=Pal

http://www.bridgesonthetyne.co.uk/motw.html

Video footage provided by Gordon Ball, gbmediaspecialists.com