The Rolt Lectures

The Rolt Lecture was established in 1975 to honour the first President of the AIA, L T C Rolt, who had died the previous year. The first Lecture was delivered by Professor Alec Skempton at the Annual Conference of the Association, held in Durham in September 1975, and this was the first of an unbroken series of annual lectures that has continued to the present year. From the outset, the intention has been to commission a person of distinction in academic scholarship or professional experience to speak on a theme of their own choice, but with some industrial archaeological interest. Some of the Rolt Lecturers have been senior members of the Association, but others have been leaders in business or the professions, in museums or local government, frequently being chosen as people knowledgeable in the industrial archaeology of the area in which the Annual Conference is being held. In 2010 the normal lecture was replaced by a Rolt Symposium with a series of short personal recollections from people who knew Tom Rolt.

Listed below are the lecturers in each year and their subjects, together with the issue of Industrial Archaeology Review in which the lecture was published.

All editions of I A Review are now available to AIA Members and others with a subscription online at: T & F Online

1975 A W Skempton Engineers of Sunderland Harbour IAR 1.2
1976 Frank Nixon Aircraft Industry (Unnamed) (Not published)
1977 D S L Cardwell History of Technology: Now and in the Future IAR 3.2
1978 A R Griffin Sir Humphrey Davy: His Life and Work IAR 4.3
1979 Arthur Raistrick The Old Furnace at Coalbrookdale IAR 4.2
1980 Joe Bagley (Title unrecorded) (Not published)
1981 Bernard Kaucas Railway Buildings (Not published)
1982 Michael Robbins What must we keep? IAR 6.2
1983 M J T Lewis The Water Supply of Lincoln IAR7.1
1984 John Harris Industrial Espionage in the 18th Century IAR 7.1
1985 Douglas Hague The Artist as Witness IAR 7.2
1986 Neil Cossons Amateurs and Professionals (Not published)
1987 Angus Buchanan The Lives of the Engineers IAR 11.1
1988 John Butt Landscape with Machines (Not published)
1989 Kenneth Powell Re-use of Industrial Buildings (Not published)
1990 J Kenneth Major Wind Engines IAR 14.1
1991 W K V Gale Researching Iron and Steel: A Personal View IAR 15.1
1992 Barrie Trinder Archaeology of the Food Industry 1660-1960 IAR 15.2
1993 Marilyn Palmer Industrial Archaeology: Continuity and Change IAR 16.2
1994 Edwin Course Engineering Works in Rural Areas IAR 18.2
1995 David Crossley The Fairbanks of Sheffield IAR 19.1
1996 Peter White I.A. in Wales (Not published)
1997 Michael Stratton New materials for a New Age IAR 21.1
1998 Keith Falconer Swindon – Brunel’s Ugly Duckling IAR 22.1
1999 Alan Crocker Early water turbines in Britain IAR 22.2
2000 Ken Hudson/Shane Gould Retrospect & Prospect IAR 23.1
2001 Stuart Smith Industrial Museums in Landscapes IAR 24.1
2002 John Hume Technology as Culture IAR 25.1
2003 David de Haan New Research on the Iron Bridge IAR 26.1
2004 Denis Smith Landscape with Writers IAR 27.2
2005 Mike Nevell Recent Trends in I.A. Research IAR 28.1
2006 David Gwyn Industral Archaeology on the Periphery IAR 29.1
2007 Colin Rynne Technological Change as a ‘Colonial’ Discourse IAR 30.1
2008 Wayne Cocroft Dan Dare’s Lair; The I.A. of Britain’s Post-War Technological Renaissance IAR 31.1
2009 David Alderton Death of the Industrial Past? IAR 33.2
2010 Buchanan et al Remembering Rolt: A Symposium in Honour of the 100th Anniversary of L. T. C. Rolt’s Birth IAR 33.1
2011 Patrick M Malone Dams and Damages: Controversies Over Waterpower in Lowell IAR 34.1
2012 Shane Gould Industrial Heritage at Risk IAR 37.2
2013 Miles Oglethorpe The Public Benefit of Industrial Heritage; Taking a Positive View IAR 36.2
2014 Richard Newman Harbour developments as a precursor for industrialisation: Lancaster and Whitehaven
2015 John Minnis Tom Rolt’s interest in early motoring