Securing the future whilst remembering the past Seymour Civil Engineering helps Stanley remember its war time history

North East Civil Engineering company, Seymour Civil Engineering, has completed work on a town regeneration project that captures the history of its residents.

Due to issues with flooding across the South Moor Terraces in Stanley, Seymour Civil Engineering was called upon to install a sustainable urban drainage system, a natural approach to managing drainage and recycling water.

To do this, rain garden planters were fitted between the pavement, providing homes for five trees, each commemorating one year of fighting in the First World War.

Along with additional foliage, the trees, positioned along the length of Pine Street, act as markers within the Twizell Heritage Trail, a route which tells the story of South Moor’s origins shortly before the First World War and how the miners shaped the community. Each tree will be marked with a World War one battle insignia, remembering the hundreds of miners who lost their lives.

The project was funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, Durham County Council, Stanley Town Council and The Environment Agency.

Keith Love, Site Manager at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “As a company, we are really proud to have been a part of a project that has not only contributed to environmental improvement and flood alleviation, but has commemorated Stanley’s heritage.

“Seymour Civil Engineering does everything it can to make sure it builds positive relationships with the communities affected by the projects it undertakes.”

Before starting on the Pine Street project, the Seymour Civil Engineering team attended a meeting with the residents to discuss the up and coming work.

Keith added: “Through the community meeting, we established the importance of avoiding unnecessary road closures and ensuring 24-hour accessibility to the households of vulnerable and elderly residents. Without that meeting, we would have been none the wiser and the project would have likely caused a lot of problems and upset.”

The project also saw Seymour Civil Engineering refurbish the pathways with block paving, designed in the style of old fashioned film reel to commemorate the important role that local cinemas played in war time communications.

During both World Wars, the community surrounding Stanley depended upon the five cinemas in the area for updates from the frontline.

Seymour Civil Engineering is renowned for its commitment to giving back to the communities within which it works and the Pine Street project was no exception.

Keith added: “Seymour Civil Engineering is passionate about going above and beyond to ensure its presence is considered a benefit, and its work is well received.

“Just one example of this is the work we did at the Stanley Community Centre. Mid way through the project we were approached by the centre’s management committee, asking if we could help make the facilities more accessible to the large numbers of elderly residents who use it. We offered to install dropped kerbs around the site, as it was clear that the community centre was an important part of community life, as anything we could do to help out was no trouble.”

“It’s brilliant to know that we’re making a real difference to people’s lives. The adjustments we made to our schedule and the extra work we added, had no effect on the completion of the project, but the positive impact it had on the community was ten-fold.”

Adrian Cantle-Jones, the Durham County Council Project Manager, said: “South Moor residents are delighted with the wonderful improvements to Pine Street and the wider Twizzel Burn and South Moor Heritage Trail. The South Moor Partnership is looking forward to continuing the regeneration of the South Moor Terraces and Twizzel Burn Catchment”.

The Pine Street project is one of a number of community initiatives that Seymour Civil Engineering has completed. Starting this Autumn, the firm has been contracted to carry out the civil and infrastructure work for the Remaking Beamish project, an £18 million development at Beamish museum that will see the addition of more than 30 new exhibits including a 1950’s town.