Council Meeting Summary – June 2016
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The second Council meeting of 2016 was held in London on 18th June.
Two issues featured prominently at the meeting. The first was the threat to industrial sites in the UK, whilst the second was the more parochial one of the possible erosion of the AIA’s membership base
Concern was expressed over the problems with Taylor & Francis (T&F) and the confusion caused by the membership renewals. At the time of the meeting there were over 100 former members who had not renewed. Many had tried to but failed, many were confused by multiple demands and demands for the incorrect subscription. Clearly, T&F were unprepared for the task of taking over the several titles they acquired from Maney Publishing.
Alternative membership management handing methods are under discussion, but for the moment the Association is working closely with T&F to resolve the immediate problems.
The idea of moving the publishing element away from T&F was rejected because of the advantages of the Routledge imprint and their considerable business in selling the journal by electronic access to libraries and universities.
South East Midlands August 2017: Contractual arrangements have been agreed with Moulton College, near Northampton, a number of themes have been identified, including, transport infrastructure, the boot and shoe industry, ironstone industry, workers housing. Also there are a number of unique sites in the region such as the Cardington Airship hangers. Full details, booking forms, etc. will be issued early next year.
Caithness June 2018: The conference will be organised by Mark Watson. It was Mark who organised the highly successful Dundee conference in 2013. However the Association’s AGM will be held during a short two day event in Sheffield during September. Along with the AGM there will be the presentation of awards to the various winners, study visits and a presentation by an eminent speaker.
The production of gazetteers is an important part of the Association’s work, unfortunately there will not be one for the South Midlands conference. John Stengelhofen has produced these for many years, but with his retirement Council is investigating how future ones are to be produced.
Contact with our affiliated societies is not always easy, but it is vital, and so it was agreed that a brief article should be sent to each Society newsletter editor to raise awareness of the Association’s work.
Ironbridge Practical Day
After the event on 23 April we set up a Survey Monkey (online survey) and sent it out to all the participants. Twenty-two of the 24 replied. Apart from a complaint about the room temperature and there being no refreshments on arrival, the conference was well received, ‘informative and inspiring’ was typical comment.
Six Restoration Grants, totalling £84,400 were approved; thanks to our anonymous donor for his continuing support.
Concern was expressed by our Endangered Sites Officer, Amber Patrick, over the imminent leaving of our contact at the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). We act as agents for the CBA and they notify us of threatened sites. In the past four months we were advised of 29 potential industrial sites, comments were made on eight cases.
Industrial Archaeology Review
It was reported that T&F’s turnaround for the publication has been quicker than Maney’s. From now on articles will be available online immediately they are ready, even if the printed version does not come out for twelve or more months.
Bill Barksfield reported on the proposed AIA/Heritage of Industry tour of Holland 15 – 21 May 2017. The Friday afternoon of that tour will see a joint Anglo-Dutch seminar, due to the importance of this event it was agreed that a senior member of the Council (President or Chairman) would attend.
Industrial Archaeology Panel
Historic England’s Industrial Archaeology Panel no longer exists and has been replaced by an annual meeting, the first of which was held in April, but email communications continues with an expert advisory group.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Industrial Heritage
The Chair (Nick Thomas-Symonds, Lab.) hopes to have in October/November a meeting, set up as Enquiry, which would ultimately result in the publication of a report for Government on the values and benefits of the industrial heritage. The AIA urges all members to lobby their respective MPs to attend future meetings.
The next Council meeting is on 8 October at Coalbrookdale.
Bruce Hedge, July 2016