Redcar Festival of Thrift marks SSI steelworks closure

Festival of Thrift Image copyright Tracy Kidd
Image caption Thrift festival visitors were given advice on how to recycle clothes

More than 35,000 people attended a Festival of Thrift on Teesside which included start-up firms established by redundant steel workers.

It was moved from its Darlington base to Redcar in support of the people who lost their jobs when the town's SSI steelworks closed a year ago.

Visitors were offered money-saving skills, recycling tips and the chance to sample food and crafts.

The event took place over the weekend at Kirkleatham Museum.

Image copyright Tracy Kidd
Image caption The Phoenix Choir celebrated 170 years of iron and steel-making in Redcar

The festival, which is now in its fourth year, was the brainchild of designer Wayne Hemmingway.

More than 2,000 people lost their jobs last October when SSI's Thai-based owners went into liquidation.

Some of the small businesses which took part in the festival were set up by former steel workers.

Festival Director, Stella Hall, said: "A year after the devastating blow of the closure of the steelworks the weekend has provided a positive focus for the area.

"We have been able to celebrate some of the proud history of this area and share it with visitors who in turn can pass it on."

Image copyright Tracy Kidd
Image caption Fashion shows featured local designers

Mr Hemingway added: "Living a life that doesn't cost the earth is an important message for all generations and the festival is unique in offering masses of creative and money-saving ideas and activities alongside an incredible cultural offering."

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