Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The John Martin Festival 2011: at The Garden Station Langley

The title is The John Martin Festival 2011: at The Garden Station Langley. This is a page which will be a work in progress so keep checking back. Just got back home from a fascinating morning and the sun even came out. By 0830 I was casing the joint at Haltwhistle preparing for a Hadrian's Wall Heritage event.

At 1000 I was arriving at The Garden Station, Langley. This was to plan an event for the 2011 John Martin Festival. It is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our heading picture shows the old lead smelt mill flue in the woods. Clear as a path but actually all collapsed, imagine an arched roof covered in earth and with the arch now fallen into the flue. Some bits are intact however.

The date for your diary is Saturday 14th May from 1000 to 1600. John Martin was a painter heavily influenced by the industrial landscape and when a child growing up in Haydon Bridge, the nearby lead smelt mills at Langley would have been fully operational. Today Langley is a quiet hamlet and the evidence of its intense industrial past is cloaked in woodland. Seemingly innocent fishing lakes were once at the core of its power system. Our day will start in The Garden Station which last saw a train in 1950.

The draft timetable is:
1000-1020 Arrival and welcome.
1020-1120 A presentation by myself about Tynedale and Langley's industrial past and John Martin's industrial associations.
1120-1230 A walk to the old brickworks and Langley Dam lake.
1230-1330 Lunch available for you to purchase from The Garden Station's café.
1330-1530 A walk in the old smelt mill area seeing the remains of the flue and on up to the chimney.
1530-1600 Tea and wrap up.

Mention of wrap up: come well shod! And if the weather looks as if it might rain, make sure the waterproofs are in. The walks are not heavy grade but do require care about where to place your feet! The walk to the chimney on the moor is an ascentand is roughly a two mile round trip. The old chimney has been restored and those of you who follow my Auden interest will know that he was another artist who took inspiration from the industrial landscapes of the North Pennine dales. He certainly came to Allendale and wrote about the lead smelt mill, its flue and chimney at Allendale Town. He could have got there by train through Langley before the passenger service ceased in 1930. We can document that he visited Allendale before then (see 1924 poem Allendale).

Find out more about John Martin here.

Details about bookings will follow.

1 comment:

robertatforsythe said...

How many folk prepared to come out for Langley for this would like to start the day at 04.30 at Wallish Walls?!/event.php?eid=191407837565174

and for booking details now go to and