Colouring in

David Mennear – Land of Iron Administration Assistant

Have a look at these two digitally ‘coloured in’ historic photographs of our local mining communities in the North York Moors, from 100 years ago.

Photograph by Thomas Smith, courtesy Beck Isle Museum. Photo colourised by: Photo Restoration Services.

Our first photograph (above) shows ironstone miners at Sheriff’s Pitt, Rosedale, getting ready for a day of hard labour in 1900. If you look closely you can notice the clothing they wore and the wide shovels they used for helping to move the heavy ironstone and scoop it into the tubs. From the tubs it was taken out of the mine and along to the nearby calcining kilns to remove the impurities to make it lighter to transport via rail on to blast furnaces in the wider region.

Photograph by Joseph Brotton, courtesy Ryedale Folk Museum. Photos colourised by: Photo Restoration Services.

The second photograph (above) was taken by J. Brotton on the 24 July 1903 – it’s of an almighty crash at the bottom of the Ingleby Incline railway. The incline is a 0.8 mile long stretch of rail to the moor top, which reaches a stonking 1 in 5 gradient at its steepest points. It was here that wagons were carefully drawn up and down the incline by a rope pulley system to allow the transport of ironstone from the Rosedale mines on to Teesside for processing into pig iron, before being transported and used across the country and the world.

Does the colourisation help make the people look more relatable? Does it make the scenes seem more immediate? Does it bring the communities of the 1900s to life?

Photos colourised by: Photo Restoration Services

4 thoughts on “Colouring in

  1. Excellent colourisation. Yes it makes the photographs better to relate to – if thats the right description. It certainly brings them to life – and up to date.

  2. To me the colour brings the image to life and really shows just how hard the working conditions were. These images and the sites must be preserved. We take too much for granted today. There is a danger that people think that things just happen on a touch screen not through hard physical graft. These images are recent history when all said and done.

  3. This “colouring in” technique for enhancing these images is truly amazing. It just makes these people come to life in today’s colourful world. The details are incredible. Wonderful work – thank you. Denise Dane

  4. Pingback: Reading the Past: ‘Snapshots’ of Ironstone Life in Rosedale | The official blog for the North York Moors National Park

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