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

1975A W SkemptonEngineers of Sunderland HarbourIAR 1.2
1976Frank NixonAircraft Industry (Unnamed)(Not published)
1977D S L CardwellHistory of Technology: Now and in the FutureIAR 3.2
1978A R GriffinSir Humphrey Davy: His Life and WorkIAR 4.3
1979Arthur RaistrickThe Old Furnace at CoalbrookdaleIAR 4.2
1980Joe Bagley(Title unrecorded)(Not published)
1981Bernard KaucasRailway Buildings(Not published)
1982Michael RobbinsWhat must we keep?IAR 6.2
1983M J T LewisThe Water Supply of LincolnIAR7.1
1984John HarrisIndustrial Espionage in the 18th CenturyIAR 7.1
1985Douglas HagueThe Artist as WitnessIAR 7.2
1986Neil CossonsAmateurs and Professionals(Not published)
1987Angus BuchananThe Lives of the EngineersIAR 11.1
1988John ButtLandscape with Machines(Not published)
1989Kenneth PowellRe-use of Industrial Buildings(Not published)
1990J Kenneth MajorWind EnginesIAR 14.1
1991W K V GaleResearching Iron and Steel: A Personal ViewIAR 15.1
1992Barrie TrinderArchaeology of the Food Industry 1660-1960IAR 15.2
1993Marilyn PalmerIndustrial Archaeology: Continuity and ChangeIAR 16.2
1994Edwin CourseEngineering Works in Rural AreasIAR 18.2
1995David CrossleyThe Fairbanks of SheffieldIAR 19.1
1996Peter WhiteI.A. in Wales(Not published)
1997Michael StrattonNew materials for a New AgeIAR 21.1
1998Keith FalconerSwindon – Brunel’s Ugly DucklingIAR 22.1
1999Alan CrockerEarly water turbines in BritainIAR 22.2
2000Ken Hudson/Shane GouldRetrospect & ProspectIAR 23.1
2001Stuart SmithIndustrial Museums in LandscapesIAR 24.1
2002John HumeTechnology as CultureIAR 25.1
2003David de HaanNew Research on the Iron BridgeIAR 26.1
2004Denis SmithLandscape with WritersIAR 27.2
2005Mike NevellRecent Trends in I.A. ResearchIAR 28.1
2006David GwynIndustrial Archaeology on the PeripheryIAR 29.1
2007Colin RynneTechnological Change as a ‘Colonial’ DiscourseIAR 30.1
2008Wayne CocroftDan Dare’s Lair; The I.A. of Britain’s Post-War Technological RenaissanceIAR 31.1
2009David AldertonDeath of the Industrial Past?IAR 33.2
2010Buchanan et alRemembering Rolt: A Symposium in honour of the 100th Anniversary of L. T. C. Rolt’s BirthIAR 33.1
2011Patrick M MaloneDams and Damages: Controversies Over Waterpower in LowellIAR 34.1
2012Shane GouldIndustrial Heritage at RiskIAR 37.2
2013Miles OglethorpeThe Public Benefit of Industrial Heritage; Taking a Positive ViewIAR 36.2
2014Richard NewmanHarbour developments as a precursor for industrialisation: Lancaster and Whitehaven(Not published)
2015John MinnisDefining the Vintage Car: L T C Rolt, the Vintage Sports Car Club and the rise of motoring heritageIAR 39.1
2016John YatesThe Three Ages of Ditherington Flax MillIAR 38.2
2017Nigel CroweConserving the Waterways HeritageIAR 40.2
2018Geoffrey StellScience and Engineering at War: Scapa Flow, 1939-45IAR 41.2
2019Peter StanierLandscapes Without machines: Remembering the little thingsIAR 42.1