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For well over a century, the North East of England has been known as one of the heartlands of England’s industrial history, with the area standing as the base for various industries ranging from shipbuilding to coal mining. For nearly 170 years Teesside was synonymous with blast furnaces and smoggy skies, and the river associated with murky waters and huge shipbuilding yards.


But there is another side to the North East that is little shown when people delve into its history. Teesside may be known for its heavy industrial works and vintage images of black skies from so much pollution, but there was a contrast between the daily lives of Teessiders and the vibrant countryside that their towns and villages were nestled in.

12 artworks
Evening in the Dene
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Evening in the Dene 1970

Deryck Stephen Crowther (1922–2007)

Oil on board

H 56 x W 91.5 cm

Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Middleton II
© the artist. Photo credit: Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Middleton II 1990

Robert John Watson (b.1945)

Oil on canvas

H 140 x W 215 cm

Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Pit Road at Night*
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Pit Road at Night*

Norman Stansfield Cornish (1919–2014)

Oil on board

H 76 x W 99 cm

Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Swaledale from the Barf, North Yorkshire
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Swaledale from the Barf, North Yorkshire 1970

Thomas McAndrew (b.1916)

Oil on board

H 46.5 x W 74 cm

Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington, County Durham
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Darlington Borough Art Collection

Building Shop, Faverdale, Darlington, County Durham

W. W. Neasham

Oil on board

H 36.4 x W 48 cm

Darlington Borough Art Collection

High Force
Photo credit: Darlington Borough Art Collection

High Force

Joseph Miller (active c.1812–1858)

Oil on canvas

H 59 x W 73 cm

Darlington Borough Art Collection

North Lodge Park, Darlington, County Durham
Photo credit: Darlington Borough Art Collection

North Lodge Park, Darlington, County Durham

Victor William Hobson (1865–1889)

Oil on canvas

H 92 x W 138 cm

Darlington Borough Art Collection

Steel Elegance
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Dorman Museum

Steel Elegance 1990

Arthur Alan Carter (1925–2000)

Oil on board

H 52 x W 74 cm

Dorman Museum

Red Funnel
© the artist. Photo credit: Redcar and Cleveland Council

Red Funnel

David Watson (b.1944)

Oil on panel

H 122.6 x W 90.8 cm

Redcar and Cleveland Council

Hinderwell Railway Sorting Office, North Yorkshire
Photo credit: Redcar and Cleveland Council

Hinderwell Railway Sorting Office, North Yorkshire

Frederick William Jackson (1859–1918)

Oil on canvas

H 24 x W 36.5 cm

Redcar and Cleveland Council

Stockton and Darlington Railway Coal Train
Photo credit: Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Stockton and Darlington Railway Coal Train

unknown artist

Oil on hardboard

H 32.5 x W 44.1 cm

Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Victoria Bridge and Clevo Flour Mill, Stockton-on-Tees, Tees Valley
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Victoria Bridge and Clevo Flour Mill, Stockton-on-Tees, Tees Valley 1966

Doris Moody

Oil on board

H 32 x W 44.5 cm

Preston Park Museum & Grounds