From bone washers and moulders to pit girls and painters, this exhibition shines a spotlight on the lives and voices of the people who have worked in the industries of the Ironbridge Gorge from the early days of the 18th century until the end of the First World War.
The story of the Ironbridge Gorge and the Industrial Revolution often revolves around famous ironmasters, inventors, and entrepreneurs. While their stories are well known, less attention has been paid to the lives of the workers. Drawing on the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s extensive archive collections, including oral histories, diaries, and photographs, this exhibition will explore who they were, the work that they did, the vital contributions they made to the Gorge’s world changing history, and the hardships they faced whilst doing this. It also considers local industrial workers’ lives beyond their employment and the important role that religion, hobbies, and leisure pursuits played in their identity.
The exhibition is hosted in the Coalbrookdale Gallery, inside the offices of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coalbrookdale. It is free to enter and runs from the 28th April to 5th November 2023.