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 AIA Practical Day in 2018 was a whole weekend!

The AIA Council decided to give Ironbridge a rest for the Practical Day in 2018 and instead organised a whole weekend devoted to the study of mining landscapes based in Matlock Bath in Derbyshire, an aspect of industrial archaeology about which we have not done very much lately.

The event was part of the programme of the industrial heritage theme month on mining and metals (April) of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

We were very fortunate to secure the services of John Barnatt, just retired from his role as Senior Archaeologist with the Peak District National Park and former winner of Britain’s premier archaeology award, the Silver Trowel Award, for his work on the remains of the lead industry.

The weekend included a visit to the splendid Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath and its adjacent Temple Mine; the surface remains of Magpie Mine, run by the Peak District Mines Historical Society; and an exploration of other mining landscapes in the area, with an underground visit to one of the local caverns which were exploited for minerals including the famous Blue John.

Watch out for news of next year’s Practical Day (or weekend)

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Some past meetings were:

2017 – The Iron industry

This one-day workshop provided introductory practical training and a broad understanding of the processes used and the buildings utilised in the historic iron industry around Ironbridge

2016 – Speaking up for Industrial Archaeology – the challenges and practicalities of speaking up for industrial archaeology at a local scale

The 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.

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 )

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?