HomeBuisnessYarm Town Hall Heritage Center opens to the public Pi News

Yarm Town Hall Heritage Center opens to the public Pi News


Pi News –


Yarm Town Hall Heritage Center is free and reopened to the public after months of painstaking renovation and restoration. Its centerpiece is Island in the River, a permanent display of artefacts paired with 10 related films, created with the participation of around 100 residents, including community groups.

Artefacts include a replica of a 10th-century Viking helmet – the first Viking helmet to be found in Britain – as well as fire and flood bells from the site’s previous use as a toll booth, and a ceremonial sword belonging to the lord . Manor Thomas Meynell, 1686 bushel measure from the original scales and polearms used at Yarm fair.

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One of the most interesting exhibits is the Silver Nose, which was inspired by local hero Tom Brown, who lost part of his nose in battle and was the last soldier to be knighted on the battlefield. The nose on display was thrown at a Yarm veteran, who was filmed talking about his ordeal.

A piece of recent history will be familiar to nostalgic revelers of yesteryear – the stone lion at the entrance to the former Tall Trees nightclub, with a film showing the contribution of the legendary venue owner and former clubbers who continue to live here. .


The films also include an all-female cast recreation of a meeting of railway pioneers at the George and Dragon pub, where the Stockton and Darlington Railway was founded, an interview with the man who found the sword while digging a sewer. 1950s pipers and members of the public, including allotment holders and food charity workers.

The objects are all housed in a replica of an Iron Age canoe carved by local volunteers from a tree trunk washed up on the Tees Barrage, inspired by a prehistoric canoe found during excavations for the foundations of Yarm Viaduct in the 19th century.

“It’s probably the earliest sign of habitation in Yarm and it’s all about the river,” said artist Matthew Rozier, who created the exhibition, a project produced by media arts organization Mediale.

“The aim was to incorporate all of these facilities and therefore bring that ancient link with the River Tees back to the middle of Yarm and this heritage center which looks like an island in the river of this wonderful high street.”

A holographic film of the Tees is projected onto a canoe setting at night, referencing the floods that have submerged Yarm High Street over the years. The ground floor currently houses a temporary exhibition about the regeneration of the town hall, but will eventually include exhibitions about the river, the railway, schools, churches, entertainment, business, trade and Yarm at war and games. will be held.

Mr Rosier added: “The idea was to connect past events in Yarm and see how they play out in today’s society.”

“It was a huge community initiative. We have worked with about 100 people from different industries. I am very grateful to everyone involved and supportive, particularly Yarm Town Council for their belief in this project.

Yarm Town Council has worked in partnership with Stockton Council to restore the town hall and transform it into a heritage centre. The project was funded as part of the council’s Town Centers Investment Program and a successful bid for £20m from the Government’s Leveling Fund, with a contribution from Yarm Borough Council.

Councilor Peter Monk, chairman of the town council and project leader, who has been working on the restoration since 2004, said: “This is a project I have been close to for a long time. Thanks to money from Stockton and Leveling Up we are able to produce this amazing exhibition.

He thanked Wharton Construction for “an absolutely fantastic job in restoring the building” and Juliet Johnson, the city council’s secretary and development manager: “She worked her socks off to make this happen and I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. Without Juliet, it wouldn’t have happened, it would just be a collection of artefacts.’

He later added, “It was a labor of love.

“It’s absolutely amazing. The end result is more than I expected.”

He said he was impressed with the canoe show: “We were lucky enough to get Matthew on board. We gave him the freedom to come up with the project. I’m absolutely in love with it.

“We brought together all the community groups to work on this. It was a real participation of the community.”

Stockton South MP Matt Vickers unveiled a plaque to officially open the heritage centre. He praised Cllr Monk for keeping the project going since 2004, “for having the vision, the tenacity like a terrier to get things over the line and keep going when it seemed like it was never going to happen”.

He said: “It is a great honour, pleasure and privilege to be here this morning to see a huge part of Yarm’s history take another step in its history. I don’t think he’s ever looked as good as he does today.

“Anything about change is a bit of a concern, but really, anyone who’s worried about what’s going to happen to City Hall doesn’t have to worry anymore. You’ve done a great job, well done.

He added: “Yarm is a really great town and I think it’s only right that we have a town hall that meets the standards for that. The public will be proud to come and have a look around.

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“I think part of the magic is that the community was involved in putting it together. Yarm has a great history and we need to promote and celebrate that.

Cllr Nigel Cook, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Wow, what a transformation. It’s fantastic to see this central historic building really transformed. I’m sure it will attract more visitors. .

“It has been fantastic and an honor to work with Peter and his colleagues at Yarm City Council to bring about these changes.”

He added: “I think anyone who visits this building will be amazed at the changes. It looks a million times better to me than it did a few years ago.”

The center is open from Thursday to Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00.


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