Annual Conference

The 2020 Annual Conference will be in Liverpool, 20th -27th August


The 2019 Annual Conference was at the Bridgwater & Taunton College in Somerset from 9th to 14th August 2019

The weekend commenced with a seminar on the Friday organised by the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society in conjunction with AIA Chairman Mike Nevell: ‘Tourism and Industrial Archaeology and Heritage’

The Seminar programme included a welcome and introduction from:

  • Professor Marilyn Palmer MBE, AIA President
  • Dr Michael Nevell, AIA Chairman
  • Mary Miles, Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society Chair

Amongst the speakers were:

  • Shane Gould of Historic England who will speak on : Developing Historic England’s Industrial Heritage Strategy
  • Joanna Turska the Industrial Heritage Support Officer on: Industrial Heritage Networks
  • A speaker from Living Options Devon on: Heritage Ability
  • Spencer Smith of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust on: Industrial Tourism in the shadow of an icon
  • Juan Sanchiz from the University of Science and Technology, Beijing on: Chinese Railway Museums
  • Jim Parry of the National Trust

The formal conference began on the Friday evening, with a lecture:

  • Puttees to pantiles, horsehair to helicopters, billhooks to Babycham, twine to tar boilers – an introduction to the Industrial Archaeology of Somerset by Peter Daniel

Saturday began with four lectures on local IA in the morning :

  • The Somerset Coalfield by Shane Gould
  • Coker Canvas – Sailcloth bucked in the yarn not the piece by Richard Sims
  • I K Brunel in Somerset by David Greenfield
  • The Grand Western Canal and its part in the development of early canal lifts by Denis Dodd

After lunch there were presentations of and to the Association’s award winners. Saturday concluded with the Conference Dinner.

On Sunday morning the AGM was followed by the annual Rolt Lecture :

  • Landscapes without machines, remembering the little things by Dr Peter Stanier

On Sunday afternoon, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there was a series of coach trips to visit sites of IA interest including:

  • A demonstration of tile-making
  • A ride on the West Somerset Railway & Workshop visit
  • The largest integrated woollen mill in the west of England
  • Pumping stations on the Somerset Levels
  • Rural Somerset industries
  • Iron making in the Brendon Hills
  • A flax works, gloving and engineering in Yeovil
  • Quarrying in the Mendips
  • Shoes, beer and horsehair

There were evening talks after dinner :

  • Sunday: Rhynes, clyses and gurt big pumps – the history of Land drainage in Somerset by Iain Miles
  • Monday: Under the Skin – surviving industrial archaeological evidence of Yeovil’s Gloving Industry by Joseph Lewis

Patrick Nott fund – Free student places at Conference

If you are a student the Patrick Nott fund allows us to offer you a FREE place at the Friday Seminar and the weekend of the Conference, but excluding study visits. Your free place will include coffee, lunch and tea on each day. However, the cost of dinner and accommodation, plus any study visits, remains up to you.

How to claim a free place:

  • Download and print out Page 1 and Page 2 of the booking form (when available)
  • Complete the forms and next to where it says “Personal Details” on Page 1 add the words “FREE STUDENT PLACE” and enclose with your form a photocopy of your current student card.
  • Post it to Stephen Miles, Rose Cottage, Lower Durston, Taunton, Somerset TA3 5AH.

The Tour Notes and Gazetteers for earlier Conferences are available through the Past Conferences page.