Copper Kingdom in Final Five of Guardian heritage award

Copper Kingdom in Amlwch, Anglesey has made it into the Final Five (of over 500 nominations) of the Guardian newspaper’s museums and heritage awards for innovation in engaging volunteers.

Doors to the Copper Kingdom, Amlwch, Anglesey.

Doors to the Copper Kingdom, Amlwch, Anglesey.

It is the only representation of industrial heritage and the only one from Wales–or indeed anywhere outside of London and South East England.

Public voting is now open and closes on 12 April. Vote Now!

The award is for the “UK’s most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction of the past year.”

Copper Kingdom, situated in Amlwch’s old copper bins in the harbour, is a refreshing example of a new heritage attraction that has bags of substance as well as style. It takes its history seriously and presents it wonderfully. If you have not yet visited, I could not recommend it more. I was one of the nominators for Copper Kingdom and this was my nomination pitch:

“Copper Kingdom is the most original, informative and immersive new heritage centre in Wales. A beautiful example of industrial regeneration, the old copper bins now house an inspirational story of how a tiny village port was for a while in the 18th century the centre of the world’s copper industry.”

Who cares about copper?

Tap manufacture (Triflow Concepts)

Tap manufacture (credit: Triflow Concepts, courtesy of CDA UK)

Since I started my research on copper I have come across several organisations who say they take a lead or interest in how the world’s copper industry is run. Some are national agencies such as the Copper Development Association UK. Others embrace more than one country such as CDA Inc. and the European Copper Institute. Others take a strategic role such as the International Copper Study Group and the Copper Committee on the London Metal Exchange. Continue reading

A new future for Swansea copperworks site

Vivian engine house, Hafod

Vivian engine house, Hafod (credit: Tehmina Goskar)

Yesterday Swansea Council and Swansea University signed a significant agreement to work together to give a future to the endangered copperworks sites still left in the lower Swansea valley, particularly those around the historic Hafod Works whose bicentenary is being celebrated this year. The story is covered here on BBC online.

Prof. Huw Bowen with whom I am working on the ESRC Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper project is leading efforts for a heritage-led regeneration of these sites of international significance. There is a long way to go but we hope that the project will raise much needed awareness amongst people in politics, business, culture, heritage, education and beyond of the importance of the heritage in copper in Wales, and more importantly, the connections it has with other industrial regions in Cornwall/West Devon, Anglesey, Ireland, south Australia, south Africa, Chile, Cuba and beyond with similarly rich copper histories. Continue reading

History, heritage and urban regeneration

Panel discussion on heritage-led regeneration

Panel discussion on heritage-led regeneration

On 14 October 2010, scholars, planners, heritage professionals, media, local authority representatives, volunteers from local community groups and others gathered to hear and discuss the subject of how heritage can make a positive impact on regeneration, especially the heritage of our industrial past.

History, heritage and urban regeneration was a symposium held at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, itself a result of the regeneration of the old dockyards, a long but immensely stimulating day was had by all. It also marked the official launch of the Global and Local Worlds of Welsh Copper project. This was an appropriate place and time to launch as crucial decisions are currently being made about the future of the old copperworks sites in the Swansea valley that once produced around half the world’s refined copper.

Read a review of the symposium on the IWA’s Click on Wales. Here is a wordle of the day.

Wordle: History, Heritage and Urban Regeneration

Copper histories online

This  website brings together a wealth of information, mainly historical, but also contemporary social information about copper and its industries, its art and expression, its makers and consumers. It is experimental at this stage, to gauge the impact of copper heritage in the UK and the rest of the world. While it will embrace copper’s long history (geology, mineralogy, mines), this site will specifically look to showcase examples of the uses of copper through time which go beyond its industries.

This site was founded by Tehmina Goskar, and you can read more about her new projects in copper history on her website.

Edit: 27 August 2012. This blog is now devoted to sharing information on the Biographies of British Copper research project.