FOCUS on Industrial Archaeology No. 68, June 2007
Living Landmarks: People's Millions
A meeting with Prof. Mick Aston
December 2006 —
January 2007 — Exploring the seabed of the
February — History of Milling
March — Calshot and the Flying Years
April — An idiosyncratic look at the British Canal System
May — Wiltshire in the age of steam
AIA Ironbridge Weekend Conference on Roads
Flax & Hemp-based Industries in
South Eastern Region Industrial Archaeology Conference 2007
South West and West of
Twyford Waterworks Trust
HIAS Rescue and Restoration Section
Replica Cody Aircraft to be built
SR locomotive Lord Nelson — the continuing story
Thomas Telford 250
English Heritage Car Project
Snippets — for those who missed them
The ERIH is a project aimed at the promotion of industrial heritage and culture through the networking of existing sites, with appropriate interpretation, information and signposting to enhance their tourism potential.
Recognised for its educational and hobby value, industrial heritage has been viewed by the general tourist industry as a niche market and the aim of the project is to widen the appeal and awareness of industrial sites.
The concept is to obtain ‘Partners’ — usually Local
Authorities, National organisations, Universities etc. — and identify key industrial
heritage sites, known as ‘Anchor Points’. Other suitable sites in the area of
the Anchor Points are identified and a ‘
Trans-national ‘Themed Routes’ are to be developed, encompassing Mining, Iron and Steel, Textiles, Production and Manufacture, Application of Power, Transport and Communication, and Water. The idea is that potential visitors can either follow the route of an industry they are interested in or discover the industries in a particular area.
At present, participating countries are
In the longer term, if the idea is successful, it is hoped to extend the Themed Routes world-wide and the ERIH organisation will concentrate on advertising, overall marketing and quality control.
This project has the potential to transform the way industrial heritage is perceived and greatly benefit industrial heritage sites not only in visitor numbers but also in the authenticity with which they can portray the industrial past. As ‘they’ say, watch this space.
More information can be seen on the ERIH web site, http://www.erih.de
has been taken from a booklet
“Living Landmarks: People's Millions”
Six projects will be competing for the £50m ‘Living Landmarks’ challenge, where there will be a live televised vote on ITV in November. Bidders have already been given £½m each to develop their submissions, which were to be handed into the National Lottery's charitable arm, the Big Lottery Fund, by 31st May.
The six projects are:- Sherwood: The Living Legend — to transform historic Sherwood Forest as a tourist attraction; Connect2 — Transport charity Sustrans to help fund 50 or more local foot and cycle bridge schemes across the UK; Eden project climate change biome — a new attraction to teach people about the perils of climate change; Waterlinks — 51 Somerset-based projects to open up rivers and canals to people, including historic canal renovations and new canal locks; Black Country as an Urban Park — Four flagship developments at Dudley (regeneration of the Wren’s Nest and Seven Sisters Mine), Sandwell, Walsall (both linked by a new footpath) and Wolverhampton (creation of a walkway alongside the canal network).
The sixth is closer to home and goes under the name of Inspired. This is a project based at
Apart from a couple of refurbished buildings which are
now the offices for the museum staff, the 221ha air base at Wroughton is little
changed from the days when it was used as a maintenance site during WWII. The
(information from the
New Civil Engineer,
A meeting with Professor Mick Aston (Angela Smith)
It’s strange how coincidences occur. In December’s Focus I wrote an article about Time Team’s archaeologist Mick Aston
having given his first extra-mural lecture in Birmingham in 1968 to a group of us
on one of Edwin Course's IA ‘weeks’ with Southampton University. Well, in February
Mick was giving a talk at
A “question-time” of nearly half-an-hour followed. One
person asked why there were so many Roman sites chosen on Time Team … was this because there were so many, above all other
types of sites, submitted. The answer was that the programme organisers want it
that way as they think that is what the viewers want, and gets the best viewing
figures. At least half of the programmes will be Roman excavations. Mick would
prefer more sites such as old houses, monasteries … and industrial archaeology:
something that is a bit different from yet another Roman villa. Another person
commented about the problem of recruiting younger people to archaeology. Mick
said that he is worried about the future for archaeology, but he has training
programmes to try and get youngsters interested in the subject before they old
enough to be “sidetracked” in their teens. He also has strong connections with
Angela Smith meets Mick Aston at a talk he gave in Winchester on February 27th, 2007
Afterwards I was able to have a brief chat with him and showed him the 1968 study tour programme (he instantly said “That was Dr Course, wasn't it”) which he was delighted to see as this gave him a definite date which he didn’t have previously. He asked his PA to make a note of the dates and she copied the programme on her digital camera. I showed Mick the December Focus and explained how the group had metamorphosed into HIAS, and he asked about Edwin. Mick only gives about 8 lectures a year so, if you ever see one advertised, my advice is make the effort to attend.
Meetings (report by
meeting found us all gathered at the County Records Office in
Amongst the footage David showed us were pre-fabs being
erected on the Stanmore Council Estate just after the war for temporary
housing, until more substantial brick houses were built, featuring the Mayor of
Winchester posing with the new tenants, and handing over the keys. A 1930s film
of the construction of
January 2007 — the New Year started with a talk by Rebecca Causer on Exploring the Seabed of the Isle of Wight. Rebecca works for the Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, a job she has been involved in for two years. The H&WTMA was formed in 1991 to “identify, preserve and make people aware of this fragile and mostly unseen heritage” with the backing of HCC and the then Isle of Wight County Council. Rebecca went on to tell us about the richness of our maritime archaeology situated around the Solent, and the magnificent finds that have been discovered over the years including bones of a buried mammoth, flint tools from the Mesolithic period, jars from Roman cargoes and, of course, many wrecks which number about 4000 in the Solent alone.
Rebecca went on to tell us that the co-operation of the aggregate
industry in the Trust’s work is very important and is relied upon a lot for
marine archaeology information. With 200 million tons of aggregate removed per
It was obvious from Rebecca’s talk that the potential of what marine archaeology can tell us is immense, and we were very grateful to her for sparing the time in coming along and sharing this with us.
Owing to an unfortunate mix-up, February’s meeting, The
Future of Historic Dockyards around the World by Dr Celia Clark, was unable
to go ahead and instead we had a talk by John Silman on the History of Milling. Before John’s talk,
Celia did tell us that she is trying to get Portsmouth designated as a World
Heritage Site, but is facing a lot of competition from other Dockyards around
the country. What makes it more complicated for
John started his talk by showing us sketches of early man and his endeavours to feed himself through his wits. Then he went on to show us a sketch of what a Roman corn mill would have looked like together with a medieval water wheel circa 14th Century with its own eel trap, a 1590s floating boat wheel, a 1662 German corn mill and French & Italian water wheels. Windmills, John said, have been around since the 1100s. With this information, John slowly built up a comprehensive evolutionary picture of how both sorts of mills have progressed and changed over the years.
John’s slides were then of a variety of mills, many still
standing, but alas many now demolished including a 120ft nine-storey windmill
in Southsea built as a co-operative by the dockyard workers, but demolished in
1922, with others having been more fortunate including Longbridge Mill at
Sherfield-on-Loddon, which is now a Whitbread pub, and has undergone an
extensive programme of repair and renovation following a fire. The Hampshire
Mills Group now carries out milling there every fourth Saturday in the month,
and do a healthy trade in selling the flour over the bar. One of John’s prettiest
slides was of Maybury Mill in
We do hope that Dr Clark will return and present her lecture sometime in the future, but were very grateful to John for standing in at the last minute.
meeting welcomed back Colin Van Geffen whose talk this time was titled Calshot and the Flying Years. Colin
apologised for missing his last scheduled talk, and thanked us for asking him
back. As well as slides, Colin brought along a selection of model planes that
feature in his talk, and an assortment of other flying memorabilia. Explaining
the difference between a flying boat and a seaplane, which has its floats in
the water whereas a flying boat has its hull in the water, Colin informed us
Back in 1914 a successful drop of a torpedo by a Sopwith seaplane was carried out at Calshot, the pilot being a Captain Gordon Bell. At this time the demand for Sopwith Camels was such that it had to be franchised out to other airplane manufacturers. Some of these planes survived well into WW2 and were used for training purposes. Between the wars the station continued with training and testing and in 1927, 1929 and 1931 it was used by the RAF High Speed Flight to train for the Schneider Trophy Races.
During WW2 Calshot was mainly used for repair,
maintenance and modification of RAF flying boats, and the maintenance side
continued after the war until it was finally closed on
Unfortunately, Jeff Pain was unable to give his
advertised talk on 40 Years of I.A.
at April’s meeting, but fortunately John Silman stepped in again [see February’s
meeting] with a talk on An idiosyncratic
look at the
With a wide selection of slides, mainly taken on family holidays in the past, John started off by explaining how canal systems worked and then talked us through his slides which included a fair bit of I.A content as well as specific canals and their boats. From a 1963 slide showing an old butty converted to an 8 horse powered engine with a leaky roof and about 9" of snow on the ground [was this a holiday?] to different canal tunnels, a steam powered dredger [now in a museum], towpaths [without the horses], canals before and after restoration, numerous locks together with John's very informative commentary throughout.
Other information included snippets such as, did we know
that mules and donkeys were used to tow the narrow boats as well as horses, and
that mules would not drink contaminated water, but horses were not so
discerning. How one year the Farnborough Air Show nearly didn’t go ahead as the
What came over well in John’s slides was that wherever there was a canal, even if it was in the middle of an industrialised city such as London or Birmingham, there was always a feeling of it being in a more rural location than it actually was, so bystanders can enjoy the canals just as much as the people who actually use the waterways for work or pleasure.
A big thank you and round of applause to John was standing in at short notice, and we still have Jeff’s talk to look forward to, rescheduled to August.
May Meeting (report by Angela Smith)
Carol was somewhere up in the wilds of
Illustrated were such subjects as transport (railways,
roads and canals), quarrying, mills (water, wind and textile), breweries and
workers’ housing. Peter commented, referring to Brunel’s Great Western Railway,
that there are hopes of making the whole of the GWR line a World Heritage Site
as he showed the ornamental portal of Box Tunnel which is twice the height of
the bore of the tunnel. When the tunnel was being cut, Bath Freestone was
discovered, so underground quarries were cut to remove this delicately coloured
limestone. Other limestones which are quarried in the county include
Passing through Wiltshire are parts of three canals — Kennet & Avon with highlights such as the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes, the Dundas Aqueduct and the steam pumping station at Crofton, the derelict Thames & Severn (which just creeps into the north of the county) and the Wilts & Berks, some parts of which have been restored.
It was a fascinating talk, perhaps more so as the majority of the illustrations were fairly recent, so it is possible to visit some of the places. One frustrating aspect — Peter kept on referring to the slides he was unable to fit in! However, anyone really interested can always purchase Wiltshire in the Age of Steam where everything seen during the talk is illustrated, many sites with grid references. It can be ordered from the publisher, Halsgrove Direct, Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SS at a cost of £19.99 with p&p £2.95. Cheques payable to Halsgrove. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The ISBN number is 1 84114 549 1.
AIA Ironbridge Weekend Conference on Roads — 14/15 April 2007(Ray Riley)
For some years the Ironbridge Weekend has been themed, following particular aspects of industrial archaeology, an approach which has proved attractive judging by the numbers who attend. The April 2007 meeting concentrated on roads — ports, canals and railways having previously featured.
John Crompton introduced proceedings with an examination
of the evolution of the British road system from medieval packways to the first
motorway — the
There was a fascinating walk on Saturday afternoon
viewing four important nearby bridges on the
The evolution of the street tram was capably presented by Chris Irwin, followed by Ray Riley on the evolution of the road bridge from Greek times to the 19th century. The weekend concluded with a talk by David Lowe on commercial issues facing modern road hauliers. The talks certainly provided a useful background to industrial archaeology which tends to emphasise detail rather than process.
Flax & Hemp-based Industries in
Report of a one-day conference held on
by Eleanor Yates, Roger & Wendy Hedge, Mick Edgeworth & Andy Fish
After coffee and a welcome by the organisers, Robert
Allwood and Sandy Buchanan, the first paper on the industries in
Mike Bone, an economic historian and industrial
archaeologist, gave the second paper covering
The third paper was by Pam Slocombe of WANHS on
Wiltshire’s industry. She had important points to make about the soils
(greensand & clay) where hemp and flax can be grown and the areas of
After lunch short papers were given by Ann Heeley on an oral history project based in Glastonbury, including interviews with flax workers; Ross Aitkin on the Coker Rope, Twine & Sail Trust and its research into the 16 new scutching mills built in the years leading up to the WWII, each able to handle locally grown flax from about 3000 acres; Sally Jackson on ten cottages in East Coker clearly associated with the industry, though this is not immediately apparent now; Robert Allwood on pits, shown on maps, which may or may not have been used for sheep dips or flax retting and finally Sandy Buchanan on the ‘missing’ bleach fields, shown on maps until the C19, but now unrecognised, and the different chemical methods of bleaching sailcloth used later. Interesting points were made about the subsidiary industries of linseed oil, tow and the techniques of growing flax and hemp.
Coker Rope and Sail Trust . . . and a Salted Cod recipe
The Trust issued its first Newsletter in February. HIAS
members may remember that it entered last year’s
This item was spotted by Wendy Hedge and comes from the magazine Handwoven, Jan/Feb 2001 (Interweave Press USA), and appears to be a contribution from a reader relating to a comment from a 1984 reprint of a book by Harriette Simpson Arnow called Flowering of the Cumberland.
“Hemp had no history of widespread cultivation in the American colonies. England had long offered bounties for its production, but most farmers … felt the hard and long labor of producing hemp fiber made the crop … non-profitable. England in order to supply her rapidly expanding navy with rope had to depend largely on Russia, producer of a very high grade, snow-rotted hemp.
Revolution cut off the supply of hempen rope, and the growth of the plant
became more wide-spread, for with a scarcity of imported cloth and all cloth
expensive, even the hempen variety increased in use. As early as 1780 hemp was
being grown in
South Eastern Region Industrial Archaeology Conference
This year’s SERIAC was held in the John Madejski Theatre
After the official welcome, the proceedings were led off
by Paul Sowan whose talk was entitled, not surprisingly, Chalk Mines and Underground
Quarries in Berkshire. There are 5 chalk mines in
The subject of the second talk, the Epsom Mental Institutions - History & Services, given by Alan Thomas, was rather on the periphery of IA. Built in the early 20th century to house, treat and if possibly train those people with mental illness, the site catered for up 8000 inmates. The final, sixth, institution planned for the site was never built and rundown started after the second World War, final closure being in 1996. Most of the site has since been demolished. Self-contained, the site had its own artesian well, the electricity power station providing light and power for the site including the three sets of water pumps. The empty boiler and power houses (latterly used as training workshops) have been restored as part of a leisure complex and the in-situ water pumps have been cosmetically restored.
The last talk of the morning, by David Buckley, was on
the ideas and development of the European Route of Industrial Heritage.
This is a scheme setting up a series of industrial heritage trails in north-western
Dick Greenaway gave the first talk after lunch which was
about Woodland Archaeology in the Wessex AONB (Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty), which covers an area of
Six well-known Civil Engineers in the Thames Valley
in the 18th and 19th centuries were selected for the next talk by Stephen
Capel-Davies, and the work they undertook was explored. Notice was also taken
of links between them, e.g. who was apprenticed to whom. John Smeaton, the
first person to call himself a civil engineer (as opposed to a military
engineer) made improvements to the waterwheel which was applied in water mills.
He also engineered
The final talk was Information Explosion and the 19th Century
Printing Industry by Martin Andrew, on the printing industry and the
collections in the Typography & Graphic Communication Department of the
After the conference there was a choice of visits; either
South West and West of
A few notes on the 38th IA Conference of South Wales and West of England.
The Conference was held by the Somerset IA Society on
We learned that the venue had been selected for its ample
car parking. Sod’s Law prevailed,
however. Mayhem ensued just as Councillor Andrew Govier completed his opening
remarks and welcome to
Things got under way, after all this, with an excellent
presentation by John Willows, Curator of the
Mary Miles, a noted historian of
Henry Gunston, from the Vale of White Horse Group [nb not
Society], gave a fascinating overview of the types and designs of water flow
mechanisms to prevent flooding upstream in tidal rivers and fenland areas, hard
to depict without illustrations. Many illustrations came from the
The afternoon started with an interesting overview of some of the 20th century wartime structures that have been recorded in Gloucestershire, before total decay or demolition. Alan Strickland has made determined efforts to elicit the purpose of assorted buildings before all knowledge has been lost. He dealt with a range of airfield buildings, even down to firing ranges, where little but a wall remains. The most curious was a tall block that turned out to have been used to train bomb aimers, where an image simulating the target area was projected on to the floor and it was moved in response to the bomb aimer‘s actions, while laying on a platform set at a height to reflect an aircraft's position. An early analogue simulator. He also covered parachute packing stations, where a key stage is drying, barrage balloon hangars and Royal Observer Corps posts, that were continued after WWII and eventually became nuclear fall-out observer posts, should the event have arisen. He didn’t have time to cover POW sites, searchlight installations, munitions activities and others.
The next lecture on coal shipping facilities in
The Kelly Mine Preservation Society pairing gave an
intriguing review of the formation of their Trust and all that went on,
involving finally getting the co-operation of the land-owner, in setting up the
Trust, to rescue the buildings and extensive equipment of this unique legacy of
mining of micaceous haematite in the
During restoration, overnight, a missing cover plate that had been taken by “vandals” mysteriously reappeared. Sadly, this didn’t apply to all the brass bearings, water gauges, valve fittings and the like, all of which had, as is so common, gone to line someone’s pockets in the thirty years of dereliction. Some losses occurred when the more rudimentary part of the main building collapsed under the weight of snow in 1963. The team has made a remarkable job of researching the process and equipment and rebuilding it, much from scratch.
The day concluded with a choice of three alternative site
visits, which we forewent. One was to the nearby Westford Pumping Station,
another to the lift and aqueducts at Nynehead on the
Twyford Waterworks Trust — www.hants.org.uk/twt (Ian Harden)
The period since the last report has been one of considerable activity. Although a return to steam remains some way off, a significant step forward has been made with the removal by specialist contractors of the remaining asbestos and brickwork surrounding the boilers. This was completed only days before the May open day and afforded visitors the rare sight of Babcock boilers in skeletal form. Unhindered access to the quarry was also possible for the first time since the New Year.
Whilst present day volunteers have been making great
strides forward, we have had cause to remember the contributions of two past
engineers. Bunny Burrell died in mid February. At the suggestion of his family,
a celebratory Tea was held at the Waterworks in late April attended by family,
friends and volunteers past and present. Bunny's son presented a cheque for £1
000 to the Trust in his father’s memory and this will be put towards the
refurbishment of the
Unbeknown to us at the time, the previous day saw the
passing of the Trust’s first Chief Engineer, Jack Sara aged 89 years. A
Cornishman by birth, he graduated at King’s College,
As for on-site progress, work on the kiosk has proceeded well with a new slate roof and outer timber cladding now in place. Grants from HIAS and Twyford Parish Council have helped enormously with this project and are much appreciated. A further grant from the Parish Council has contributed towards improving the handrails on the steps up to the lime kilns.
In the Filter House, four of the seven tanks are now in position after extensive cleaning and painting; one has also had its Haines filters installed. This terse statement however, belies the time spent removing the remaining external pipework and freeing the valve rods before needle-gunning out many years accumulated rust and chalk sludge.
Out in the open air, the eastern end of the railway has been widened to accommodate a stabling siding and the spoil tipped on the downhill side of the line midway across from the lime kilns at the end of a short spur. In the adjacent meadow, a nature trail has been created, courtesy of the local Wednesday Conservation Volunteers, running past the boat pond up a new set of steps, across the railway and round in a loop to the kilns. The group has also built a fence and planted a hedge parallel to the railway.
Beyond the confines of the Waterworks, the Trust joined
forces in mid January with other local attractions at the Excursions 2007 event
The first open day of this year on May Bank Holiday Sunday was highly successful in financial terms and was augmented the next day by guided tours of the site which attracted another 50 visitors despite some atrocious weather that luckily had not prevailed 24 hours earlier. This format was trialled at Easter when 200 people attended on the Sunday and Monday. A similar programme to previous years is planned for the remainder of the summer including a Railway Gala in June and a Model Day in July. In a departure from normal routine, both events will take place on the second Sunday of those months. Normal service will be resumed for the August and September open days.
Maritime Projects (Angela Smith)
S.S. Shieldhall (www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk)
The ship has been a hive of activity over the winter
months to carry out work funded by the HLF grant. New wooden decking has been
laid and caulked on the fo’csle and poop deck, two aft cargo tanks have been
cleared of redundant stored items and cleaned to a spotless finish, and a
replacement fresh water tank installed. In addition the annual check of engines
and boilers has been carried out and a new bar fitted, among other ‘minor’
tasks. The lottery grant was under budget and the HLF has suggested using the
remainder on a business plan. The first public voyage took place on April 21st
when 136 passengers were carried. May 12/13 was spent at
Tug/Tender Calshot (www.tugtendercalshot.co.uk)
Much work has been carried out on the tug/tender. Marine
growth on the hull has been removed by divers, with the vessel having to be
turned on its berth in
The steam tug is still berthed at Shoreham but the site there has recently been sold so the Trust is uncertain about its security of tenure. A HLF PPG has been awarded and the Trust is now working up to a full lottery application for further work.
Medusa - HDML 1387 (harbour defence motor launch)
The Medusa's rebuilding work, which is taking place at a former shipyard in Hythe (Hants) which the Medusa Trust took over, is expected to be complete in the spring of 2008. Costs are on target for the £1m lottery grant.
British Military Powerboat Trust (www.bmpt.org.uk)
ST1502 and FMB Ark Royal still operate from Marchwood and are available for trips. The Trust has about three years before the proposed Poole Maritime Centre will materialise.
Ex-Hythe ferry Hotspur II
This 1936-built Hythe ferry, which was sold to operate as
HIAS Rescue and Restoration Section
Timsbury waterwheel and pump (Angela Smith)
The work to restore the waterwheel and pump at Mayfly Cottage, adjacent to Timsbury Manor House north of Romsey, is drawing to a close. A trench was dug to take a pipeline from the pump to a nearby pond, also fed by the ‘carrier’ off the River Test, where a fountain was to be installed. On March 18th, Vintage Spirit magazine news editor Ken Rimell and his wife visited to take photographs and make notes for an article, which appeared in the May edition. By this time the mechanism to divert the water flow to the wheel was in operation and the wheel was turning beautifully. John Christmas brought along and installed the final section of the pump and water came through for the first time since the 1920s. A final sluice gate to cut off the flow through the bypass channel alongside the waterwheel was the last component to be installed. The irony of this story is that the owners, Mr and Mrs Faulkner, who have financed the work and put up with all the disruption since 2002, sold the property and moved to Switzerland at the end of March without seeing the finished work.
Timsbury waterwheel and pump
Mr. & Mrs. Faulkner and Heavy Gang members watch the first demonstration of the wheel operating the pump.
An interesting aside about the property is that right
alongside the waterwheel and almost hidden under the overhanging trees is the
last surviving bridge over the former
John Christmas adjusting the pump.
Quayside Steam is an interesting new publication by local author Dave
Marden who started work for Southampton Harbour Board in 1963. The book is
dedicated to giving a fairly in-depth survey of steam locomotives that worked
the many quayside railways around and in the port area. The area covered
Quayside Steam by Dave Marden, published 2007 by Kestrel Railway Books at
The Environment Agency has made a £400,000 donation to
the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to spend on the Itchen
Navigation Heritage Trail Project, which will prevent further degradation of
the banks of the waterways and improve the quality of the rare chalk stream
habitat. Rod Murchie of the Environment Agency said that the Itchen Navigation
has international importance for aquatic plants and animals, and can be walked
Replica Cody Aircraft to be built
SR locomotive Lord Nelson … the continuing story (Angela Smith)
Steam locomotive No. 850, Lord Nelson, passed its loaded test run to gain its mainline
certificate on March 7th in
Lord Nelson at Minehead just prior to making its inaugural mainline run back to Eastleigh, March 31st , 2007.
This is just one small example of things that can go
wrong with running steam locomotives on the mainline. The support crew has a
never-ending task of keeping “Nellie” fit for service and, as it is now based
at the Old Oak Common depot in west
The locomotive’s first mainline run was on Saturday 31st
March when Nigel, myself and HIAS member Jeff Pain were passengers. A diesel
hauled us from the
“Thomas Telford 250”
Following the Brunel 2006 celebrations commemorating the
bicentenary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birth, this year sees the 250th
anniversary of the birth of another of Britain’s famed engineers, Thomas
Telford (9 August 1757). A Scottish shepherd’s son,
He was trained as a mason, but in his late thirties he
adopted cast iron as a structural material with a rare willingness to
innovation. Almost all of his major cast iron bridges survive.
(some information taken from New Civil Engineer)
English Heritage Car Project
Motor cars have been using the roads of
In an attempt to avoid duplicating research already done by others, English Heritage is asking that people and organisations which already have information that may be useful in this project to get in touch with them at — Research Department, English Heritage, 24 Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge, CB2 8BU, Phone 01223 582700. (This information is from an EH leaflet ‘The Car Project’).
Snippets — for those who missed them (
……… from the BBC
- Geevor tin mining museum in
- A Lottery
grant of £50 000 has been given towards renovating the old Crickheath limestone
wharf on the
- Bristol City Council approved plans for 140 flats and an educational centre near SS Great Britain, where the developers have pledged £4.4m to the ship’s Trust.
- A scheme by a
private company has been put forward to repair and reopen the pier at
- Draft plans
have been put forward to rebuild the water towers that once stood at either end
……… from the Department of Culture, Media & Sport press releases
- The remains of an, as yet unidentified, shipwreck off the coast of one of the Scilly Isles has been designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The ship’s cargo contains 19th century Cornish mining equipment, which presumably was being exported.
- It is 5 years
since many museums that formerly charged for entry were made free entry and the
Department has published a list of changes in visitor numbers over that time.
Of IA interest, The Museum of Science and Industry at
- The white
paper on proposed changes to the heritage protection legislation has been
published. The main proposals are a single system for designation of historic
places, replacing listing, scheduling and registering. English Heritage to be
responsible for designating (not DCMS). Greater public involvement in
designation. Introduction of ‘interim protection’ while consideration is being
given for designation. Create new appeals procedures against designation. Merge
listed building, scheduled monument and conservation area consents with
planning permission. Clarify and strengthen protections for World Heritage
Sites. Enhance protection for marine archaeological remains and those on
cultivated land. These are for
Southampton model on show again: A 10' x 6' model of old Southampton as it looked in 1620, which was constructed in 1980 by former SUIAG member, the late Ken Hellyar — a founder member of the city’s tourist guides — has been refurbished and put on display in the city’s God's House Tower Museum. It was formerly in the Bargate but was removed when the upper floor was taken over as an art gallery two years ago.
Beaulieu Tide Mill: Following the devastating fire at the tide mill a year ago, Beaulieu Estate has confirmed that work will be starting soon on a massive restoration scheme which is expected to take several years. English Heritage is being consulted about the best way to restore the 16th century building. Repairs will cost about half a million pounds. New oak structures will have to be sourced and will be difficult to install due to their size and weight. In a Southern Daily Echo article of March 16th, Beaulieu Estate’s agent gave a special mention to the Hampshire Mills Group saying that after the fire “Volunteers came down every weekend to sift through the ashes and help us salvage anything we could”.
MP calls for disused railway protection: Shadow transport secretary Chris Grayling said that disused railway lines, such as Lewes-Uckfield and Oxford-Milton Keynes, should be proected from development in case they have to re-open to relieve overcrowded roads. (from The Times, April 2007)
“A £500,000 traffic
survey commissioned by
New hangar at
Cosford air museum: In January a stunning new hangar was opened at RAF
Cosford air museum. The 135m long angular steel building will house the
National Cold War Exhibition. Its skeleton consts of a central braced frame
spine supported by steel truss rafters which must support the weight of a 9-ton
Dakota and a 13-ton Canberra aircraft. (New
delay (Vulcan to the Sky Trust): A plan to fly Vulcan XH 558 over the Mall
on June 17th for the 25th anniversary commemoration of the