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learn about bowburn’s history at new improved heritage room

Generations of residents can learn about their County Durham community’s history after a

heritage archive opened to the public.

Bowburn Local History Society’s Heritage Room, in Bowburn Community Centre, never

fully reopened after closing at the start of the Covid pandemic.

But volunteers continued to catalogue its collection of books, maps, photographs, and

memorabilia and funding, including a £1,000 community grant from housing association

believe housing, was secured to update the facilities and buy a new computer so

photographs and records could be digitised.

The archive is now easier to search, and the Heritage Room is open at least once a week

to visitors. The resources also support the Society’s events programme which includes

talks by guest speakers.

Anne-Marie Parkin, a Community Investment Coordinator at believe housing, officially

relaunched the room.

She said: “It is wonderful to see this facility improved and reopened so local people of all

ages, and visitors, can understand and celebrate the area’s history.

“Hopefully lots of residents, including believe housing customers, make use of it and

develop new skills and meet likeminded people to boost their opportunities and overall


The collection paints a picture of how the Bowburn area has grown and changed over

centuries. It commemorates its heritage of coal mining – which was the biggest local

employer for 200 years – as well as farming, factories, people, and important transport

routes nearby such as the Romans’ Cades Road and A1(M).

Mike Syer, Chair of Bowburn Local History Society, said: “The collection has been built up

over the years using donations from residents and former residents.

“Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, including many from Durham University, and the

funding we secured, visitors can now be guided quickly to what they’re interested in.

“We hope to attract more people to find out about our local history in the room and at our


The Heritage Room opens on Wednesdays, from noon to 2pm. To visit at other times or

for more information call Mike Syer on 0191 3771491 or Malcom Bell on 0191 3771391.


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