What we do

Welcome to Old Bank 2. We offer expertise in local and regional history, historic landscape, and community heritage projects.

About Us

Dr Gill Cookson

My enthusiasm for history grew out of a concern for threatened buildings in my native West Yorkshire. Historic buildings and landscapes are still what I love most about my work.

I studied at Leeds University under Maurice Beresford, who introduced me to a world of historical possibilities. After that, I was documentary researcher for RCHME (now incorporated into English Heritage) on their survey of Yorkshire textile mills. Afterwards I did a doctorate at the University of York, on the origins of textile machine-making during the industrial revolution.

From 1999 to 2009 I was county editor of the Victoria County History of Durham, part of England's most prestigious regional history programme. The project I managed produced major histories of Darlington and Sunderland - both academic and popular. The last of these, Sunderland: Building a City, is published in 2010.

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I've also written and edited books on the history of engineering, including a biography of the electrical engineer Fleeming Jenkin, and The Cable, a popular account of the first transatlantic telegraph. Other books include a landscape history of Gomersal, an edited reprint of a classic Keighley history, and editing a recent work on the Esk Valley.

Besides numerous articles in academic journals, I have contributed history features to mainstream publications including the Northern Echo and History Today. I also appeared in TV history documentaries and carried out research for Tyne Tees TV’s The Way We Were.

I have delivered countless lectures to local and regional groups and learned societies. I organise well-supported day schools jointly for the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society and Yorkshire Archaeological Society: on Esk Valley history (2007) and Anglo-Saxons in north-east Yorkshire (2009), and coming up in 2011, about the history of fishing on the north-east coast.

I am a research fellow in the history department at Durham University and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. My degrees are from York (a DPhil in economic history) and Leeds (BA in history and postgraduate teaching certificate).

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Our associates

I work closely with North East Archaeological Research Ltd. (NEAR) and Dragon Films Ltd., who bring expertise in archaeology, film-making, photography, heritage law and planning.