Called The Men Who Built Britain, the archive will be hosted by the London Irish Centre, with support from O’Donovan Waste, a London company set up by one of those many Irish expatriates.
The archive will include an array of documents and recordings of the many Irish emigrants who became known as the generation that built Britain. It will be digitised from records and interviews already gathered by Irish historian Ultan Cowley for a book who wrote more than 20 years ago, chronicling the tales of those who crossed the Irish Sea to work in UK construction.
Irish construction workers at the time were widely labelled as ‘navvies’, the pejorative term used for the manual labourers who dug the canal network (the navigators) in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Details may be found in an article in the theconstructionindex.co.uk/ web site at: https://bit.ly/3P5EhDi.