AIA presented seven awards for various achievements in the field of industrial archaeology and heritage at its conference in Nottingham in September 2018.
The Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Industrial Archaeology went to Richard Byrom for his superb biography, William Fairbairn, Experimental Engineer, published in 2017 by the Railway and Canal Historical Society.
A publication by the Trevithick Society won the Voluntary Societies Publications Award, Robert Waterhouse’s massive book, The Tavistock Canal; its History and Archaeology. The author, an archaeologist now working in Jersey, was unable to come in person but his presentation was given by Graham Thorne, who has masterminded so many of the Society’s publications as its Publications Secretary and Journal Editor.
Two dissertation awards were given this year, the first for the PhD dissertation by Stephen Walker of the University of Nottingham on The Early Industrial Revolution in the Leen Valley, Nottinghamshire, an account of archaeological and historical work carried out along this small river which nevertheless supported a remarkable variety of industries, including the cotton mill into which a Boulton and Watt rotary steam engine was first installed.
Thomas Pinner gained the second award for his dissertation for the MA in Conservation Studies at the University of York, At a Crossroads: Motoring Heritage Structures and the issue of conserving a 20th century building type in England. We all hope that some of his proposals may bear fruit in saving some of these often very striking but vulnerable buildings.
The Archaeological Report Award was shared between two entries, the first being Ric Tyler’s report on the Ironbridge Power Station: Historic Building Record, 2017 , a superb record of a power station which will be sadly missed by all of us who visit Ironbridge frequently when it is finally demolished.
Johnny Crawford’s report on Green Park Aberavon, Neath, Port Talbot Aberavon Tin Plate Works for Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust was a detailed account of work undertaken on a type of site now largely vanished from the landscape of South Wales.
The outstanding work put in by Bob Marshall, Tim Crump and Steve Pardue on Reconstructing Our Lost Industrial Past: The lead smelting site of Allen Smelt Mill and Allenheads Mine Yard, Northumberland was rewarded by the Peter Neaverson Award for Digital initiative and Innovation; their presentation gave us a detailed insight into the now largely derelict site.
All the prize-winners gave delegates to the AIA conference in Nottingham an interesting afternoon as well as the reassurance that industrial archaeology still figures in publications, archaeological reports and dissertations and in a variety of ways of presenting industrial heritage, whether digitally or on sites open to the public.
Thanks are due to the judges for these various awards and to those who provided the certificates, plaques etc.
We hope to have even more entries for next year which will be presented at our conference in Somerset in August 2019. See https://industrial-archaeology.org/aia-awards/ for the entry forms and rules.
Marilyn Palmer, President