By David de Haan, Hon Secretary
Changes on Council
Zoe Arthurs became Vice-Chair at the AGM. Three new Council members, Otis Gilbert, Spencer Smith and Richard Vernon, were also elected and were present at the October Council meeting.
Otis Gilbert is Historic England Business Officer for Oxfordshire, answering the public’s queries about designated heritage assets (Listed buildings, Scheduled monuments, etc.), logging and presenting planning casework to the Inspectors of Historic Buildings & Monuments, and processing grant applications for Heritage At Risk. He is Vice-Chair of the Young Members Board of the Association.
Spencer Gavin Smith has been an archaeologist and surveyor for over 20 years. He has run his own archaeological consultancy since 2020, alongside full time employment as a Voids Surveyor for Wrexham County Borough Council. From 2017-20 he worked as the Archaeology & Monuments Officer for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, undertaking contract work on ‘The Iron Bridge Conservation Project’ and the conservation of the Charlcotte Furnace, Shropshire, in addition to managing the care of the Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings owned by the museum.
Richard Vernon has been involved in the energy industry for most of his working life, as a financial analyst, a consultant, a senior executive for a large oil and gas company, and more recently as both a project and interim manager. He has had a longstanding interest in industrial heritage and is a committee member of the Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society. His main day to day occupation is with Amberley Museum, where he has been involved since 2017 and Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2020.
Amber Patrick has left Council on completing a second 3-year term, but has moved to the category of ‘Assisting member’ and has agreed to continue with her previous roles of Planning Casework Officer, coordinator of the Adaptive Re-use awards, a Peter Neaverson Travel Bursary judge and an Archaeological Report judge.
From January 2023 there will be an increase of £4 to all membership categories except Young Members.
Currently the total provided for these grants stands at £1,286,250. Recently there has been some pleasing progress with past projects including the Rolle Canal, Sudbury gasworks, the National Coal Mining Museum’s excavator, Ipswich Museum’s coal lorry and Gradbach Limekilns. Reports will appear in IA News. However, due to the long-term effects of the pandemic there have been understandable delays to several projects, including the chimney at Hereford Waterworks, the steamship ‘Freshwater’ and the re-erection of the stone quarry crane in Bath.
Young Members Board
Zoe Arthurs reported that there are currently seven YMB board members, and that the Triumvirate members had outlived their original function. There is no intention at present to recruit to expand the Board, but there is a desire to improve outreach and to increase the number of new members in the young members category in general, and to improve communication with this group by expanding the digital methods of support (using WhatsApp and WeChat), particularly for members outside of the UK.
Merseyside weekend of visits, June 2022
About 40 came on the visits and Richard Vernon – who was one of them – said how enjoyable it was and how well organised. Marilyn Palmer congratulated John McGuinness and the Merseyside Industrial History Society. The weekend made a small loss.
2023 Annual Conference
The usual format of a Friday seminar, the weekend conference and three days of visits was confirmed, but virtual attendance will also be available. The AGM and a celebration of Angus and Brenda Buchanan on Sunday morning will be free to all. Lecture room sessions will also be available through Zoom, though there will be a charge of £10 to members for virtual attendance from Friday to Saturday, and £20 for non-members. The Zoom log-in code for Sunday would be different from that for the previous two days.
It was agreed to apply the Patrick Nott legacy of £15,000 to subsidise places at the 2023 annual conference. The details are yet to be finalised but will be in the booking papers.
David and Olwen Perrett announced a gift aided donation of £1,000 towards a reception at this 50th anniversary conference. Marilyn Palmer offered to fund an element of the conference in a similar manner. Both David and Marilyn would be stepping down at the conference and their generosity was highly appreciated.
Two Peter Neaverson Awards for Outstanding Scholarship will be made for applications received in 2022: The Built Environment Transformed – textile Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution, by Geoffrey Timmins; and Digging Bath Stone – a quarry and transport history, by David Pollard. David died before his book was published, but the publisher has notified his widow of the award.
Publication Editors’ reports
Industrial Archaeology Review
In total, we have published 11 articles in Volume 44 (2022) which, with the editorials, book reviews, shorter notices and abstracts, is amounts to around 165 pages of content. Issue 44.2 should arrive with members before the end of November. It contains six articles: 2020 Rolt Lecture (‘Tools of Empire’); Algerian Grain Silos; Greek Ironworks; Millstone production in Northern England; The Stott Linotype Works Part II – the Housing Estate; WWII POW Camp at Weston, Cheshire.
Much of the material for issue 45.1 in 2023 is well-advanced, and this issue is expected to include articles on: A railway depot in Greece; Country house bells and telephones; Zinc smelting in China; The slate landscape of North Wales; An early oil refinery in South Carolina.
Mike Nevell is able to do only another two or three issues so an advertisement for a new editor will be placed in IA News and in the www.charityjobs.com website. There is also the need for an assistant editor, especially to build links with local societies and groups.
Communications and Social Media
Four issues of the e-News are published during the year in the gaps between mailings of IA News. We now have 1,140 individual and 123 ‘organisational’ subscribers, both figures up around 10% from this time last year.
The AIA Facebook page currently has 3,042 members and is attracting an average of 5.7 posts and comments and 636 page views per day.
The AIA Twitter feed currently has almost 3,600 followers and an average of around 20 profile visits a day.
Since May Amber Patrick, our Casework Officer, has commented on six cases. Three of these cases were local referrals and two of the three were re-referrals or further comments. Of them all the most important was probably the Corah Factory Site, Burleys Way, Leicester. We objected, along with other amenity societies. The application was for the demolition of all buildings on site with the exception of the two chimneys and the façade of the 1865 Old Textile Building but with alterations to it. There would be substantial new build for residences and commercial premises. The site is in poor condition and in a derelict state but as a whole forms an important part of Leicester’s textile industry history. Unfortunately, none of the buildings are listed – they are non-designated heritage assets. Of particular importance are the Old Textile Building, and the Shipping & Printing Department building, in an Art Deco style. Other buildings contribute to the value of this site including the Horseshoe-shaped building which has Art Deco features and forms a framework to the whole site.
Spring Tour – Portugal, May 2023
Bill Barksfield is arranging a tour in Portugal for 8th – 14th May 2023, working with José Manuel Lopes Cordeiro (a co-editor of IA Review) to set up visits principally in Porto and Lisbon. The itinerary is in progress with a view to opening booking in January 2023. There is an outline of some sites they hope to include at https://industrial-archaeology.org/conferences/service005/ with a link to the Heritage of Industry website where you can register interest in joining the tour.
Heritage of Industry is organising City Safaris to South Wales in April and to Amsterdam in September 2023. More details will be published on the Heritage of Industry website in due course.
TICCIH is evolving. It is to become more worldwide in its remit. Separate groups are to be set up for parts of the world where people would prefer to use a language other than English. There is already a Spanish-speaking group dealing in particular with South and Central America. They will shortly be having a conference in Spanish, in Monterey, California. It is intended that there will be a group for Africa and the Middle East based in Alexandria; the language here is likely to be Arabic. Similar groups are in the process of being set up for India and China. At a meeting in Rome it has been agreed to form TICCIH Europe. For people that would prefer English a conference in Sweden is planned.
TICCH is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, but in June, ahead of the AIA’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
The project has received further funding so will run for at least three more years. The slightly revised aims for the project covering the years 2022-25 are as follows:
1. Support and promote best practice through face-to-face support and digital media
2. Supporting the Industrial Heritage Support Networks
3. Helping to develop strategic leadership and partnerships in the sector
4. Gathering data on the state/condition/resilience of the industrial sites & project impact
5. Working on securing funding to extend the project beyond 2025.