CARGOES a project made possible by The Heritage Fund

We feel that engaging people in the process of making objects that  they can then keep, fosters not only manual skills, but wellbeing,  improved/new social networks and a sense of pride. A distinct  outcome of lockdown has been a renewed interest in ‘making’  exploring processes from the past. We’re taking advantage of this  while it lasts, before young people get back on their smartphones,  where all the thinking is done for you. 

Cargoes unearths 19thC glass/lighting, photography and hydro  power innovations, each with a site- specific output collecting  accents, dialects, languages and lexicons of residents, collating  oral histories that will feed into evaluation. Photographic processes  employed to capture activities also records who is taking part.

We’re investigating lost histories in the exchange of goods,  materials and labour, highlighting the commonality of two areas  built on maritime trade, before railways dominated freight. We’ll  explore 19thC innovations that travelled between the Northeast  and London and vice-versa: Joseph Swan’s lightbulb that lit up  London and his tonal system that revolutionised photography;  Michael Faraday’s lighthouse technologies and miner’s lamp that  improved the lives of seamen and pitmen. Through meetings with  people trying to save/preserve important historical sites connected  with the period, we found a great need for meaningful public  engagement with this golden age of scientific discovery.  

With government now promoting a welcome ‘levelling up’ between  North and South, this feels like the right time to open up  investigation and dissemination of largely-forgotten reciprocity  between the Thames and the Tyne areas, trade, innovation and  industry centred on maritime routes that hugged our Eastern  Seaboard. Whether this was sand ballast washed up by the Tyne  facilitating glassmaking that later saw economic migrancy to the  Thames Plate Glassworks on the Lower Lea, or the vast amounts  of Tyneside coal firing up massive Thames-side gasworks.

Project Title



The Thames/Lower Lea and Tyne/Ouseburn areas

Project Lead

Garry Hunter for Fitzrovia Noir


Graham Carrick for Fitzrovia Noir
Martha McKellar from NewBridge Project

Partner organisations

Armstrong Studio Trust
Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust
Fyto Hydroponics
Havering Changing
Jesmond Park Academy
Lens Lab Leeds
North Tyneside Art Studio
Orbic Glass
Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust
Whitburn CofE Academy


Freya Bernard
Ged Lynn
Jonathan Turner
Mark Greenwood
Michael Lindley
Tom Chadwin
Will Creswick




September 2021- December 2022 



“The main aim of the project is to engage with young people to learn about trade in the late 19th century and we look at innovation and technology from the 1800’s and compare it to now.”

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