The People’s history of Telford #TouchTelford

A new Cinderloo Project to identify 100 items that you can touch that tell the story of where we have come from and where we are going.

Telford has a short history (53 years) but was built on a location whose history goes back to the beginnings of time. The custodians of our history have curated it most notably at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum and at the county archives in Shrewsbury. Their curation tells only part of the story and this project aims to tell the story from the ground beneath our feet upwards.

The geology, the walls, foundations and footpaths tell a far more interesting story that the people of Telford enjoy quietly every day because it is often at the end of their road or sometimes in their back garden.

It wasn’t kings and queens, ironmasters, charter masters or priests who shaped Telford but geological processes, navigators, coal miners, iron workers and more recently earth movers, open cast miners, house, road and rail builders with assistance from civil engineers, town planners and individuals who had a vision for how the area could thrive and prosper in the future.

This part of Telford’s history isn’t captured in the museums or by the memorials its just all around us, possibly neglected, probably with out a sign to shout out about it but for local people defining the place we live in.

We are suggesting 10 categories covering periods in Telford’s history, would like to identify 10 items for each period and identify a local ‘expert’ for each period who can assist in curating the items

  1. Our geological legacy – the land we live on Pre AD43
  2. What we did for the Romans – the roads that link us, what they left behind AD43 – 1066
  3. Medieval Telford – The abbey’s and impact of the enlightenment 1066 – 1708
  4. The industrial revolution – What we are famous for but present that it was all about the Ironbridge 1708 – 1821
  5. Cinderloo and the decline of Telford’s industrial base 1821 – 1901
  6. The 20th century – world wars and the post war boom 1901 – 1968
  7. The birth of the new town- key touch points for the new town 1968 – 1999
  8. The 21st century – 2000 – 2021
  9. The future is here – just unevenly distributed – beyond 2021 glimpses of the future that are here now
  10. Items that are outside of Telford that we think should be bought back to tell our story

Because this is a people’s history, we want to set some guidelines for what we will include: –

  • You don’t have to pay to see it
  • You must be able to touch and provide a 3words location for it
  • It needs to be within the boundary of Telford and Wrekin
  • When you are touching any of the items make sure to use hand sanitiser

We will use social media to gather suggestions and use polls to identify the ‘top 10’ in each category using #TouchTelford 

Each item will need a photo, a description of no more than 300 characters, a what3word location and if possible, a linked artifact that could be displayed in an exhibition.

If you would like to make a suggestion contact

The hand of Tony Mugridge, local itinerant brick maker touching the Lawley Gate well














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