Photo of Graft and Glory exhibition, showing Spedding Mill and panel on Women in mining

Graft and Glory Virtual Exhibition

Explore our Graft & Glory Exhibition from the comfort of your own home and unearth our industrial heritage. Our exhibition is best explored on laptop, desktop or tablet devices.

Use our Superheroes Activity Sheet to help you find out fun facts from our engineering Superheroes.

Photo of the Rock Showman on the beach, holding a piece of coal

What’s Beneath Our Feet: Video Series

Have you ever wondered what lies deep beneath your feet? Join geologist, the Rock Showman, and his trusty Rock Hounds as we dig deep and learn all about coal, fossils and minerals that can be discovered beneath your feet.

Combined images sent in from weekly challenges: bridges, boats and stained-glass windows

Common Good Challenges

Join Susan from The Common Room team as she presents a series of fun challenges, inspired by our archives and collection, that you can do at home. Whether that’s engineering your own boat or bridge, or creating a stained glass window or map, be inspired by our history and get involved!

Black and white photo of the Turbinia steam ship at Spithead

Pioneering Minds Podcasts

Delve into stories of the North East's industrial heritage and learn something new with our heritage podcast series: Pioneering Minds. Working in partnership with Ruth Baldasera, The Common Room present this series of podcasts, themed on the eminent engineer, Charles Parsons and his family.

Photo of two panellists at panel discussion at Redhills

Panel Discussion: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Watch our fascinating panel discussion on the 4th Industrial Revolution, as well as interviews with the panellists, held in October 2019 at Redhills: Durham Miners' Association.

"The 4th Industrial Revolution: Ensuring A Just Transition For Communities And The Workforce", invited people to discuss, learn from and question our panel of experts.

Part of a handwritten census from 1841. One line says 'Susan Crowther (65 year old female), Engine Builder.'

Susannah Crowther, Engine Builder

What about the female engineers? Thanks to Mike Greatbatch, we have uncovered the story of Susannah Crowther who, we were surprised to learn, was an engineer from 1841! She recorded herself as ‘Engine Builder’ on the census, having sustained her late husband’s steam engine making business for almost 30 years.

Mike, expert on the heritage of the Ouseburn, has been kind enough to share his pre-publication manuscript with us so you too can learn about this remarkable woman.