The Tyne and Wear Heritage Forum (TWHF) is an alliance of organisations committed to celebrating the dynamics and momentum that characterised the industrial revolution at the same time as preserving and protecting those remaining elements associated with this period of industrialisation which has so heavily marked our region.
The TWHF plans to start by organising a conference for Saturday 23 January 2016: 'Innovation, Invention, Industrialisation', a conference to celebrate the central contribution of Tyne & Wear to the industrial revolution, to which members of all the different local heritage and history groups will be invited, as well as members of the public. One of the aims of the conference will be to draw attention to how this industrial heritage can be preserved with examples of successful schemes such as the Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust's conservation of Dunston Staithes on the river Tyne at Gateshead but also, buildings associated with this period that are at currently at risk or have recently disappeared.
A conference on its own however, can only - through the presentations of a range of key note speakers - remind the invited audience of the contribution made by the region to national and international development and provide successful examples of preservation work. What it does not do is set in place a movement to protect and preserve the local heritage. When the Tyne & Wear Heritage Forum was set up it decided that rather than being an organisation meeting together to discuss matters of mutual interest, it wanted to become involved in conservation work, at a time of reduced funding for heritage projects. It seems important therefore, to see the conference not as a one off occasion but rather as the launch of something more definite and sustained. The aim is to persuade delegates leaving the conference to become actively engaged in conservation work and to provide them with the means to do so.
Further information can be found on their website www.twhf.co.uk