Julie Macbean


The Black Path Project



The Project

The aim of the Black Path project is to celebrate the industries and communities that have existed alongside the Black Path since the birth of industrial Teesside. It will engage the local community in action-based deliberation of their heritage in a way that leads to a representational artwork on and near a recently-constructed wall adjacent to South Bank’s Station Road entrance to the path. 

The Black Path is an ideal location for celebrating Teesside’s industrial heritage. As early as 1866, over forty blast furnaces lined it and in the years since it has continued to be encircled by a range of industries —  iron, steel, slag, engineering, ship-building, chemical, salt, shipbuilding, etc. However, there was a path known as the Sailor’s Trod in advance of industrial development of Teesside. It ran from Newport to ports at Cargo Fleet, Tod Point in Warrenby, and Whitby. As the name suggests it was a route that linked various ports and was primarily used by mariners. It may well have been the route taken by a young James Cook. 

The “trod” was diverted in 1861, to follow the railway line between Middlesbrough and Redcar. It eventually became known to its users as the Black Path, and continues to be an important thoroughfare: it is the end section of the TeesdaleWay, part of the Coastal Footpath and still an important walking route between local settlements, as well as to and from the Riverside football stadium. 

Foundation Press (see https://foundationpress.org) have been selected to take the lead in provision of community workshops that use heritage as the theme for developing individual artworks and developing the plan for the final artwork that will be located on the wall. Their brief includes encouraging local artists to participate.

Foundation Press’s development process involves working with groups to print books using their perspectives on their own heritage. It is envisaged that these books will form a Black Path library that records the process leading to the design of the final artwork.




The Artwork wall

The Black Path towards Cargo Fleet






      Copyright Julie Macbean 2019
coastal locations