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Program 118
Eston, Middlesbrough, EnglandHighlightsLocation

On the mighty River Tees, in the heart of Great Britain's industrial North, Middlesbrough is one of the region's biggest commercial centers.

The mouth of the Tees is a view to enthrall any student of British commerce. On the river's banks, north and south, in an area known as Teesside, stand some of the most important industrial complexes in Europe.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the fortunes of the region were given a colossal boost when two local entrepreneurs discovered ironstone in the hills of Eston. Their timing was perfect: the ironworks of Middlesbrough had run out of accessible material. But the Eston hills yielded 63 million tons of ore over the next 100 years. This rich resource, mined by a burgeoning workforce, fueled the resurgence of the iron and steel industry along the Tees, and brought in its tow increased trade, population and prosperity for the people of the surrounding region.

These days, Middlesbrough features sites as diverse as its impressive premier-league soccer stadium and avant-garde street sculpture. One such piece of sculpture, by Claus Oldenburg, appears at the Civic Center. The work, in part, reproduces the handwriting of a historical hero from Middlesbrough's past, the illustrious Captain Cook. Destined to become a great sailor and explorer, James Cook was born in 1728 in a farm laborer's cottage just a few miles from Eston. As a boy, he would have been able to see the tall ships going up and down the River Tees, which is what perhaps inspired him to join the navy. By the end of his life, he had quite likely seen more of the world than any man before him—including North America, New Zealand and the Pacific islands—and all the accompanying experiences of such adventures.

In 1779 the captain and his men fell afoul of some of the inhabitants of Hawaii, and Cook died at the age of 51. But his legacy was extraordinary, not only having changed the map of the world as it was then known in Europe, but with his interest in science and medicine, he also improved the quality of life for sailors on board the ships of the Royal Navy from that time forward.

Today, as a vigorous market town, Eston houses the Central Civic Offices of the neighboring borough of Redcar and Cleveland, and on a suitably grand scale, it was the new Eston Sports Academy that played host to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK during its visit to the area.

To learn more about Eston and the Middlesbrough area, visit: and

Source: (Tees Valley Communities Online)

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