The Winter Wonder – The Middlesbrough Winter Garden resulted from a collaboration between Teesside University students and Middlesbrough Council.
Students Joe Sherry, Daniel Broomes and Michael Fleming carried out research into the history of the Winter Garden using material from the collections of Middlesbrough Reference Library and Teesside Archives as part of their Film and TV degree programme.
As part of their course the students interviewed historian and Middlesbrough Council’s Heritage Development Officer Dr Tosh Warwick to produce a short feature film on the history of the Winter Garden.
The work reveals the story of the wider context in which the playwright and social investigator Lady Florence Bell established the Winter Garden in 1907, its function as a place of comfort and entertainment in winter months and its support of Belgian refugees during the First World War.
The film also uses unique material from the collections of Middlesbrough Reference Library and Teesside Archives to tell the story of the ‘social experiment’ which attracted nationwide attention that also hosted art exhibitions and lectures by senior political figures and ‘Queen of the Desert’ Gertrude Bell.
Joe Sherry said: “As soon as I found out about the Winter Garden I was intrigued and knew that it presented a good opportunity for a project.
“After carrying out research I was surprised to find that not many people knew what it was.
“I wanted to produce this short film about the Winter Garden which will hopefully spread awareness about the venue and inspire others to learn more about its history.”
The Teesside University and Middlesbrough Council link-up is the latest initiative to celebrate the heritage of the Winter Garden.
In recent years a new Tees Transporter Trail blue plaque has been installed at the Dundas Shopping Centre, built on the site of the Winter Garden, while the history of the venue also features on the new Heritage Lottery Fund supported free Tees Transporter Bridge Heritage App.
A host of talks and events have also been held on the Winter Garden including as part of the Middlesbrough Council-supported Discover Middlesbrough and Local History Month annual programmes with future talks planned in the coming months by the Middlesbrough Winter Garden Project.
Dr Tosh Warwick added: “The collaboration with Teesside University students reflects an ongoing commitment by Middlesbrough Council to work collaboratively in celebrating the area’s rich heritage.
“The numerous activities in recent years relating to the Winter Garden underline the ways in which the Council has worked with the business community, creative sectors, historical organisations, volunteers and education providers to share Middlesbrough’s history with the wider community.”
- Winter Wonder – The Middlesbrough Winter Garden can be viewed on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4781nqGrbLo
- For more information on the Tees Transporter Bridge Heritage App visit www.teestransporterbridge.com
- More information on the Tees Transporter Bridge can be found at www.teestransporterbridge.com