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Industrial heritage route gets into gear in Sheffield

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A major new Yorkshire industrial heritage route has got into gear with a special launch in Sheffield.

Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, Barnsley’s Elsecar Heritage Centre and the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield now form a European Route of Industrial Heritage called ‘Makers, Miners and Money’.

To celebrate the opening of the heritage route, the Earl of Fitzwilliam’s 1913 Simplex car, one of only three left in the country, travelled from Kelham Island Museum back to the village of Elsecar.

The car, along with local children and characters dressed as Victorian coalminers and ironworkers, was met by mining veterans from the National Coal Mining Museum at the heritage centre.

The route joins 15 others in Europe, linking important heritage attractions in Germany, Spain and Poland.

The museums have become Anchor Points, described as ‘outstanding industrial monuments in the former heartlands of the Industrial Revolution’.

Dr John Tanner, project development manager at Barnsley Council, said: “Iron, coal and steel industries thrived from the 1600s to the 20th century and employed many thousands of men, women and children.

“Our ancestors helped fuel the expansion of the British Empire and this new heritage route is an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves just how pivotal their discoveries were.”

John Hamshere, chief executive of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said: “I think what makes the car so special is it is all original.

“The car is on display at the Kelham Island Museum every day, and it is our aim to keep it running for as long as possible into the future.”

The Simplex is a rare surviving example of the luxury touring cars built by the Sheffield Simplex Motor Works Ltd at Tinsley, Sheffield.

Richard Saward, business services manager at Kelham Island Museum, said: “People regularly say they don’t know we are here, so hopefully this will help bring in people who live on our doorstep.”

 

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