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Celebrating the industrial past: Regional commemorations of British railway

Thursday 4 November 2021, 6.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Sophie Vohra

Join Dr Sophie Vohra of the National Railway Museum to explore the commemoration of local railways in Britain.

This talk will examine the ways British railways have and continue to be celebrated by communities with regional connections to this industry’s history. Examining two different types of commemorative events – the long-running annual Camborne Trevithick Day and the planning for the bicentenary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) in the North East of England – it will demonstrate how and why communities engage with their industrial landscape and their associated symbols of railway history.

Celebrating a local nineteenth-century engineer, Richard Trevithick, each year, the former has become a recurring feature of the wider culture of the Cornish town and its industrial history. The S&DR has been celebrated at every 50-year juncture since it opened in 1825. Currently in the planning stages, the bicentenary celebrations in 2025 and beyond will be ambitious, and are being designed to celebrate the history of this pioneering railway as well as to protect and conserve the heritage of the region and to benefit the local communities in the long term.

Speaker information: Dr Sophie Vohra is a Research Associate at the National Railway Museum and the University of York. She completed her doctorate in History at York in collaboration with the NRM in 2020. Her research examined the commemorative cultures of the British railway industry from the nineteenth century to the present. Her paper stems from this work.

Sophie has a long history with IPUP, having undertaken her MA in Public History at York (2012-2013), taught on the BA Histories in Public module, and been an active member of IPUP’s postgraduate community throughout her MA and PhD.

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Location: In person and online