Thread of Iron – Coming Soon

Our Publications Group, who are part of the Land of Oak & Iron Trust, have been working hard in recent months to bring another ‘lost’ book back to life.

After the success of ‘Men of Iron’ and ‘Tales of Derwentdale’, the group turned their attention to ‘Thread of Iron’ by Douglas Vernon of Shotley Bridge, which has been out of print since 2003.

For anybody interested in the industrial history of the Derwent Valley this book is a must.  Written in two parts: the first focuses on the history of Shotley Bridge where Douglas lived and where the famous sword-makers were based; the second part details the history of the Consett Iron Company from formation to closure in 1980.  The influences of these industrial enterprises stretched throughout the length of the Land of Oak & Iron, from the edges of the Pennines to the River Tyne and beyond.

This thoroughly researched historic account, which includes extensive reference material, is the authoritative comprehensive history of iron and steel making in the the Land of Oak & Iron.

Douglas unfortunately died shorty after his book was published and it has been out of print for almost 20 years.  After tracing his family to the south of England, the Publications Group made contact and obtained permission to produce this new edition.

The original planned launch date of 25 April 2020 had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We will be planning a new launch event when circumstances allow and will be posting details in the coming months to keep you informed.

For now, however, we will just tease you with a glimpse of the front cover, taken from a lino-cut by local artist Cathy Duncan, whose work is featured on Land of Oak & Iron signposts and displayed in a recent exhibition at the Heritage Centre in Winlaton Mill.

Land of Oak & Iron

Find out more in Helen Steadman’s Literature Review.