About Us

Our Mission – “A Shildon that feels important again”

We aim to research and understand Shildon’s cultural and industrial heritage and explore what aspects we can put to work today to make our community better connected, more enjoyable to belong to, and one that feels important again.

Who we are

The Shildon Heritage Alliance CIC is a volunteer driven Community Interest Company based in Shildon, County Durham.

It has a board of six directors and an ever fluctuating pool of volunteers. We’re people with experience and a broad rage of skills, that have come together with the above aim.

We specifically champion aspects of heritage that are not covered by the other organisations.

What we do

We research our community’s cultural and industrial heritage.

We raise awareness and remembrance of the significance in the town – for example, it was a world first for more than one reason.

We try to make SRI feel like a place to enjoy belonging to – a big family we all belong to.

We seek to share and tell the wonderful stories about Shildon that nobody else is telling – and discover what we could learn and use today to make lives more fulfilling.

We invest time and money into making Shildon Railway Institute, our centre of operations a more enjoyable place to visit and participate.

We organise and promote events that communicate, celebrate and allow people to participate in Shildon’s heritage

Some principal project focus with our community are:

a) To champion, develop a future vision for and preserve Shildon Railway Institute, the world’s first such institution founded in connection to the rail industry. The vision incorporates a strong heritage focus with essential facilities for community wellbeing.

b) To curate, preserve and make available our archive collection and research relating to the work of George Allan and Thomas Bulch, Shildon born brass composers with international influence,

c) To capture, make available and promote digitised first hand accounts of our industrial heritage and culture through filmmaking, story telling, documents and oral history.

Current Board of Directors

The current directorship of the Shildon Heritage Alliance CIC is as follows:

Sue Clarke

Lisa Knight

Dave Reynolds

Dene Clark

Anthony Knight

Michelle Armstrong

Our Contact Details

We can be contacted via the following means:

eMail: contact@thesha.uk

Telephone: 07967 202583

Post: 8 Wordsell Way, Shildon, County Durham, DL4 9GU

Frequently Asked Questions…

Q: Why concentrate on heritage, and the past, shouldn’t we be looking to the future?

A: The past sometimes hides the keys to a better future. There’s no doubt that Shildon has been down on its fortunes since the 1980s when the railway works closed, but as long as Shildon treasures its roots as the first industrial railway town in the world it will remain connected to the world, that will always bring new possibilities and inspiration. Yesterday’s great stories of engineers, musicians, sportsmen or creators within the community can inspire tomorrow’s great achievers in this community and far beyond. The past holds keys that can unlock and inspire bright futures for our young people.

Q: Why you? What makes you the right people to champion aspects of Shildon heritage?

There are a number of other excellent specific heritage ad history interest groups in the area such as the Brusselton Incline Group, the Shildon Recall History Society. We’re not alone in championing peeps into the past. But what we do is different in that rather than simply admiring the past we try to uncover what that might lead to for our future. We look forward as much as we do backward in time. We heard friends, family and neighbours telling us that “someone should have done something” for Shildon, and have decided collectively to try to “be a someone” in the present, and to encourage others to ‘be that someone” in the future.

Q: You’re a company then. That means you all get paid, right?

Not so, in fact quite the opposite at times. Many of us have put money into our ventures that we’ll not see returned. We are entirely unpaid and don’t take a penny from the money we raise. Every fundraising event or initiative we organise is with a view to progressing our common goals. Though we’re not wealthy philanthropists, each volunteer has made, and will make, an investment of time towards progressing our aims without expectation of payment.

Q: What have you done so far?

The organisation was initially born through the foundation of the Save Our Stute campaign, which commenced in May 2019 to help the Committee of the Shildon Railway Institute after reports that the ‘Stute’ was likely to close towards the end of the year. Whilst playing our part in preserving the Institute for future generations remains central to our aims, we have broadened our aims to produce many smaller outcomes, most of which have been broadcast through the Save Our Stute social media feeds – though some are documented on this site. These have included the making of films, publishing of books, collecting of assets and the creation of experiences.

Utilities (For SHA Team Use)

SHA Cash Handover Form – sha-fin1a