Workington is set to uncover the untold stories of its working-class past.

From mines to factories, farms to shipyards, the history of everyday life and work in Workington has often been overlooked.

However, an initiative aims to celebrate the people and places that shaped the town.

At the heart of this project is the Helena Thompson Museum, along with the Workington Heritage Group (WHG).

These organisations are working tirelessly to promote and preserve Workington's history for future generations.

The coal and steel industries played a significant role in shaping the region's identity.

Coal mining in Workington dates back to at least the 17th century, but it wasn't until the 18th century that it truly took hold.

By 1802, the coalfield was producing over 65,000 tons of coal annually.

This, coupled with the availability of iron ore, led to the rapid growth of the town and the development of its mining and industrial heritage.

The arrival of the railways in 1845 furthered the expansion of Workington and the iron and steel industries.

As the workforce grew, so did the town itself.

Close-knit communities formed around the collieries, creating their own social clubs and annual events like miners' galas.

However, the life of a miner was not without its dangers.

On July 28, 1837, Workington experienced its worst industrial disaster.

The inter-joined Isabella, Union, and Lady pits suffered a roof collapse, causing the sea to rush in.

Fifty-seven workers were trapped underground, with only thirty managing to escape.

The rest, including twenty-four men and two boys, tragically lost their lives.

This event highlights the precarious nature of working-class employment during this period.

The Isabella pit had previously witnessed multiple fatalities, including a firedamp explosion in 1833, which claimed the lives of thirteen miners, three of whom were children.

Another explosion in 1835 resulted in the loss of five more lives.

In total, there have been sixty-seven recorded deaths at these mine workings, emphasising the inherent risks associated with mining.

Workington's industrial history is a harsh reminder of the dangers faced by workers during this era.