STUDENTS at a Saltney school have been finding out about the town’s industrial history with the help of a Welsh heritage website.
Year 9 pupils of St David’s High have been delving into Saltney’s past using old maps and photographs from People’s Collection Wales – a bilingual site dedicated to sharing the nation’s history.
And Steve Richardson, head of history at the school, is encouraging students to use the site for this term’s topic – The Industrial Revolution.
To find out how the era left its mark on Saltney, the focus of the pupils’ investigation became Ewart Street – named after Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone – which runs alongside the railway line near Mold Junction.
As well as learning about the town’s industrial past, the class has been finding out how Ewart Street’s residents lived during the revolution.
Sophie Ravenscroft, 14, said: “It’s been so exciting doing the detective work to find out how people lived.
“After analysing the pictures to find out as much as we could from them, we would fit in missing pieces of the jigsaw by looking at censuses to give us more information.”
As a centre for shipbuilding, tonnes of materials including iron, steel and coal for the furnaces would pass through Mold Junction each day.
Trains heading to Holyhead transported Irish mail, as well as Welsh slate for exportation all over the world.
The firm responsible for the railway in 1891 was the London North Western Railway Company, which built houses on Ewart Street for its employees as well as Mold Junction School and a barracks for workers to rest in.
A rosette company is now based in the old school and the street today is made up of social housing.
As part of the project, members of Saltney and Saltney Ferry History Group took the children around Ewart Street and the railway station, and the pupils have uploaded video packages about life in early 20th century Saltney to People’s Collection website.
Student Bradley Woodworth, 14, said: “Working on this project has opened my eyes to how much you can find out about our history from a few photographs and maps, and I’m excited other people will be able to find out more about industrial life in the area because of our work.”
Rheinallt Jones, from People’s Collection Wales, said: “St David’s High School is one of the first schools to upload their research on to the website – and we are very impressed.”