Interest began when a class of children at Hadrian Park Community Primary School investigated a section of the old waggonway, running from Hadrian Park to the Stephenson Railway Museum. Working with a professional artist, they took photographs and made sketches of the features and the flora and fauna found along the tracks. These formed the inspiration for a series of beautiful silk paintings.
When they heard about plans to regenerate the waggonway they decided to find out more. A Waggonways Club was formed, meeting once a week after school. Working over one term they extended their research using the internet and explored the history of waggonways and the lives of the people who worked along them. The work they produced forms a small exhibition in the school library.
But the real challenge was to decide how the waggonway could be improved and made into a resource for the local community to enjoy. Their ideas covered everything from paths to litter bins, recycling centres to play areas.
Using their research as a resource, the children produced detailed designs for ground works and installations. Joining forces with a group of pupils from Battle Hill Primary School, the children developed final designs for the paths, meeting areas and a trail of boulders with brass plaques based on the theme of mining life.
The children very much enjoyed the opportunity to design and model some of their ideas but best of all, they can now be very proud to see their work installed along the Black Path for everyone to enjoy.
Andrew and Matthew put the finishing touches to their models.
The Flora and Fauna display
Plans for the boulder trail
A selection of waggonway silk paintings
To view PhotoGalleries of the childrens work, please click on the links at the top left of the page.