Practical Days

Normally held around April each year, these are informal meetings looking at various topics relevant to those active in industrial archaeology. In the past these events were known as ‘Affiliated Societies Weekends’ and ‘Ironbridge Weekends’.

The most recent Practical Day was:

Speaking Up for Industrial Archaeology

April 23rd 2016, Ironbridge Institute, Coalbrookdale

In the current economic climate of heritage funding cuts and cuts to local authority archaeology and conservation services, historic industrial sites, buildings and collections are arguably more at risk than they have been since the 1970s. At the same time there is an increasing focus on local decision-making through local plans and new community powers.
The AIA therefore held a one day workshop at the Ironbridge Institute,  on April 23rd 2016 on the challenges and practicalities speaking up for industrial archaeology at a local scale.

This workshop explored why it is more important now than ever that local groups speak up for industrial archaeology, and what groups and societies can practically do to support and protect industrial archaeology in their local area.

The workshop included contributions from national organisations that support local advocacy, including the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), Civic Voice and the Industrial Heritage Support Programme, as well as a number of local case studies from voluntary groups who are working to protect a range of different industrial sites, including archaeological sites, industrial buildings and museums.

There were practical sessions, and a feedback and discussion session which looked at issues such as the challenges of speaking up for industrial archaeology and what support currently exists for groups who want to help to protect and raise awareness of industrial archaeology in their local area.

Read how the day played out on Twitter

Following from the workshop, Rob Lennox from the Council for British Archaeology  (CBA) has produced a resources sheet of useful advocacy resources/web links for community groups who want to speak up for industrial heritage in their local areas.

Download the resource sheet ( pdf 366kb )

Some other past meetings were:

2014 – Lime in Historic Landscapes and Buildings

2007 – Characteristics and Forms of Road Transport

2006 – The Brewing Industry

2005 – Railway Structures

2000 – What should we do with our records?