Council Meeting Summary – October 2016

As is usually the case, the final Council meeting of the year was held at Coalbrookdale and the following are highlights of the discussions and decisions taken.

Electronic publication of the seminar proceedings Council considered that the proceedings of both the 2015 Brighton seminar and the 2016 Telford one were important enough to be published to a wider audience. Subject to permissions from the speakers, it is hoped that they can be disseminated electronically in due course.

Taylor & Francis negotiations The current contract with T&F expires at the end of 2018, and there needs to be careful thought regarding any future membership management. They are the only logical company for the publication of the IA Review because of the importance of the Routledge imprint. It was agreed that a personalised letter from the President to every ‘lost’ member, 87 in number, would be sent.

Membership Drive It was agreed that a good quality display should be available to show at relevant training courses, conferences and events around the country. Depending on the venue, local IA societies may be able to help man the stand.

Industrial Heritage Support Officer Ian Bapty left this post in July and Shane Kelleher has been appointed in his place. Shane has produced a development plan and an application for future funding will be made to Historic England. It was agreed in principal that the AIA should provide some financial support.

HLF Meetings Since our former Chairman, Tony Crosby, had retired from HLF the momentum has gone out of the industrial heritage group. The next HLF plan is due in the next twelve months and we need to be sure that industrial heritage views are taken on board.

Heritage Sites under threat It is comforting to have well respected IA people such as our President Marilyn Palmer, Chairman Keith Falconer, Vice-Chairman Mike Nevell and Sir Neil Cossons our Vice-President fighting our corner over the fate of preserved sites, museums, and the threats to the archaeology of historic industrial sites.

Treasurers’ Report Despite all our travails over lost members, the treasurer is pleased to be able to project better results for the current financial year compared to the previous year. However, NatWest Bank have written to advise that after November free banking will be withdrawn from charities with a turnover greater than £100,000. Ways of avoiding future banking charges have to be considered.

Conference Reports Thanks to the hard work of David de Haan, Ian West, Steve Dewhirst, Shane Kelleher, John Powell and John McGuinness, the Telford conference was a great success, and numbers attending exceeded those for at least the last ten years. Copies of Barrie Trinder’s book were distributed free to all attendees, and members who did not attend conference will receive a copy in the post.

Preparations are proceeding smoothly for the South-East Midlands conference at Moulton College, Northants, in August 2017. Caithness will be the venue for 2018’s June conference and AGM. There will be a one-day event, somewhere central, in August or September 2018 for holding a practical day and for the presentation of awards.

Bridgewater College has been identified as a suitable venue for the 2019 annual conference.

Gazetteers are an important part of the AIA’s charitable work and would continue to be produced whenever possible, but unfortunately, not for 2017.

It was noted that mobility was becoming a problem on post-conference tours, and organisers should consider providing some tours that catered for this.

Affiliated Societies It was agreed that an e-newsletter should be developed for communicating with affiliated societies, and that this, and other social media matters would become a standing agenda item.

Heritage of Industry tours

Spring Tour Holland 15th – 21st May 2017

As discussed at Conference the title of the Heritage of Industry spring tour may yet be changed to “The Randstad” instead of “Holland” as a visit to Utrecht, which is outside of the states of North & South Holland, may be included. The themes remain:

Living below sea level: Integral water management, the heritage of bulb cultivation, British technology heritage, urban regeneration and adaptive reuse of industrial buildings

The tour will visit sites which have not been visited before by the AIA (or Newcomen) or at least not for many years. The tour is planned to include some evening talks giving a background for visits on the following day. A half-day, joint Anglo-Dutch seminar will be held on the Friday afternoon on adaptive reuse of industrial buildings on the theme ‘The role of creative factories’ with speakers from BOEI, FIEN and Amber Patrick representing the AIA.

The tour will be popular so anyone interested in joining the tour should visit www.heritageofindustry.co.uk as soon as possible to register interest which also ensures your place in the queue when booking opens.

Four Country House Comfort & Convenience tours are planned for 2017, all repeats of previous tours. Details will be found on the Heritage of Industry website.

Restoration Grants At the beginning of 2016 there was a balance of £216k on the account, payments and commitments amount to £214k, leaving a small balance available of just under £2K.

All Party Parliament Group on Industrial Heritage The important task of convenor of this APPG is Council member Tony Crosby. Tony has produced a draft of a proposed Manifesto on the Values and Benefits of Industrial Heritage and also suggested some names of speakers for the proposed evidence sessions to be held by the APPG-IH Group.

Creative Re-use Awards There were three entries this year and the winner, King Edward Mine was announced at conference. They will receive a plaque, the other two entries, the Sack house in Wantage and Ryze Trampoline Park, Glasgow were sufficiently good to receive certificates. Criteria for the award have been agreed and will be put on the website. The closing date will remain 31 May at least for 2017. So far, only one entry has been received for next year.

Publication Award An application for a Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship has been received for The Technology of the Country House, authors Marilyn Palmer and Ian West. This means that two neutral judges will be required!

British Archaeological Awards The awards ceremony was held at the British Museum in July. It was good news for industrial archaeology this year, David Gwyn, former editor of IA Review, won the best archaeological book award with Welsh Slate, whilst our Vice-Chairman, Mike Nevell and his team from the University of Salford were short listed for the Best Community Engagement Project – Dig Greater Manchester.

Endangered Sites Report Since the last report presented to Council there has been 796 cases on the CBA’s data base plus several referrals from other sources. Approximately 47 of these were potential industrial sites and comments have been made by the AIA on 16 of those cases. It was proposed that Keith Falconer should remind Historic England about works relating to Scheduled Ancient Monuments, these proposed works do not come up on the CBA website.

Industrial Archaeology Review Issue 38.1 appeared in June, and by mistake T&F printed it all in colour (but at no extra cost to the Association). This resulted in favourable comments both on the content and image quality. Our current contract gives us 16 pages in colour over the two issues, it was agreed to increase the number to 32 over the two issues.

Mike Nevell will succeed to the chair of the Association at next years’ agm and, as a result, will stand down as co-editor of IAR; potential candidates for a new co-editor are being sought.

A note for your diaries The subject of next years’ AIA Practical Day on 8 April will be The Iron Industry. It will take place at the Ironbridge Institute, Coalbrookdale and will provide introductory practical training and a broad understanding of the processes and buildings used in the historic iron industry. Further details and booking instructions will be provided on www.industrial-archaeology.org nearer the time.

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