Council Meeting Summary – February 2018

40 years of IA Review. This year marks the 40th year of publication of the Industrial Archaeology Review. A 40th anniversary issue in the autumn will mark the occasion with a special colour cover and a retrospective article by Professor Marilyn Palmer.

As usual a number of reports were presented to Council at this their first meeting of the year:

Conference Report – John McGuinness. Although the Association had felt the need to withdraw its direct involvement in the Wick conference it will still go ahead with some financial support from the Association and with different sponsors: Historic Environment Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society and the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group. Our financial support will make available to us copies of the gazetteer for posting to all AIA members with the autumn issue of IA News.

As has been advertised on our website and in IA News, the 2018 Annual Conference will take place in Nottingham on 31 August to 4 September. Marilyn Palmer was congratulated on expanding what was originally conceived as a two day event into the usual full five day conference event. The other main organisers, John McGuinness and Stephen Miles also deserve our thanks.

The 2019 Conference, 9 to 14 August 2019, will be based at new facilities at Bridgwater and Taunton College. The local organisers have developed an impressive list of venues to be visited together with possible speakers. Their 1996 gazetteer will be updated and issued to attendees and all AIA members.
The possibility of conferences for 2020 and 2021 in Merseyside and North Yorkshire and Teesside are being pursued.

Chairman’s Report – Mike Nevell. The Chairman has asked Ian West to form a working party to update the Association’s Forward Plan and bring to Council for further discussion and approval.
An interview for Shane Kelleher’s replacement in the Industrial Heritage Support Officer role resulted in no appointment being made and it will be re-advertised. Mike has now joined the Steering Group for this appointment.

The Chairman drew attention to the existence of a series of Apprenticeship Boards, three of which are relevant to our sector: Archaeology, Conservation and Museums and Curatorial.
Under this heading Tony Crosby reported on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Industrial Heritage meeting. This Group has been reconstituted after the General Election last year and met for the first time under the Chairmanship of Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour MP for Torfaen. There were a good number of MPs and Peers in attendance. The Chairman reiterated his desire for Evidence Sessions to take place in October, and they subsequently took place on the 11 & 12 of October. As regards the speakers at these Sessions, all four UK countries were represented, including Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland and RCAHMW. The Canal & Rivers Trust and Heritage Railway Association were also represented, as were a number of industrial museums such as Chatham Historic Dockyard, Big Pit, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, and Sheffield Industrial Museums. Funders represented were HLF and the Architectural Heritage Fund. The AIA was represented by its President, Marilyn Palmer, Chairman, Mike Nevell, and immediate past-Chair Keith Falconer.

Over the winter a report will be drafted by the Chair and his staff, and in the spring of this year an illustrated report will be launched.

On the 7 December Tony Crosby attended the latest of HLF’s bi-annual Industrial, Maritime & Transport Heritage Group. The HLF have now agreed a process for consultation on their new Strategic Funding Framework to be published early in 2019. The HLF’s financial year 2018/19 will be a transitional year, with a focus on consultation, trialling new ways of working and types of funding. Two immediate impacts are the reduction in the Grant Budget in 2018 to £190m, a lower amount than in recent years, and the decision that they will not be funding ‘major grants’, that is over £5m, in 2019.

Treasurer’s Report – John Jones. The provisional, unaudited accounts for 2017 show an overall deficit of £6822, made up of £1258 conference deficit, and £5564 on operating costs. An increase in membership subscriptions will be considered at the June Council Meeting. So far four applications for Restoration Grants have been received for the 2018 round.

Secretary’s Report – David DeHaan. Council were reminded of the need to identify candidates for the positions of Vice Chairperson, Publicity Manager, and Affiliated Societies Officer.

The new General Data Protection Regulation will come into force on 25 May 2018. The secretary is reviewing its effect on how we handle membership data.

The Secretary circulated the House of Lord’s recommendations on Charity Trustees to Council.

Membership Report – Bruce Hedge. 2017 year-end membership numbers showed a total membership of 508, an increase of 26 on the previous year, but still 29 short of the 2015 number. We still have some way to go to recover from the glitch in membership renewals that occurred in 2016.

Planning Casework Report – Amber Patrick. Amber drew attention to the continuing inadequacies of the CBA data base, the source of most of her casework. The Chairman undertook to raise the matter with the CBA.

Comment has been made on nine cases since the last report: Victory Arch at Consett , County Durham; four malthouse applications; Stewartby Brickworks, Bedfordshire; Rutland Mills, Wakefield; the Oval Gasholders, Kennington; Maple Yard Canal Warehouse, Stockport.

Publications Editors Report. Aside from the 40th anniversary edition already mentioned, it was noted that the spring edition of IA News wold be the first printed and distributed by Taylor & Francis.

E-FAITH – Marilyn Palmer. Marilyn reported that both the Mining Weekend in Derbyshire and the annual conference in Nottingham have been registered with E-FAITH as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Field Visits – Bill Barksfield. The 2018 spring tour being organised by Bill Barksfield will be to Saxony in the former East Germany, during 14 to 20 May. There will also be a further series of Country House Comfort and Convenience Tours. Full details can be found be on either the AIA website, www.industrial-archaeology.org or on Heritage of Industry’s website, www.heritageofindustry.co.uk

Website Report – Bill Barksfield. Bill reported that of the 29 gazetteers accessible online only three are now failing to index, similarly, three of the 19 sets of available tour notes are failing to index. Bill is looking for solutions.

Top searches on our website relate to our grants, Bill is considering a change to the front page to highlight our awards and grants.

Online booking and paying for our annual conference is available via the Association’s website. Online booking for events is a growing trend worldwide and members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with this method and using our website is a good means of doing this.

Award Applications. Changes to the panel of judges were announced. Geoff Wallis has joined the Restoration Grants Panel in place of Mark Sissons, and Spencer Smith has joined the Peter Neaverson Digital Award panel.

Twelve applications for the various awards we offer have been received, in addition two applications for the Peter Neaverson Travel Bursary have been granted.

Three of the recent submissions for the Archaeological Report Award have been submitted in digital format, since such reports can be 100 pages plus, we have had to request hard copies as the judges for this award consider judging from a computer screen is well-nigh impossible.

Representations – Bob Carr. Bob has been attending meetings of Lea Valley Heritage Alliance; the good news is that it is proposed to extend the existing area further up the Lea into Essex. This will mean that the area will correspond closely to that covered in the AIA’s Hertfordshire Gazetteer published in 2004.
Bob has also attended meetings with the Enderby Group. The building in question is in a dreadful state despite Barretts the developers saying they have done the best they can. When the Royal Borough of Greenwich inspectors visited almost nothing had been done.

Bob has just been appointed the Newcomen book review editor, anyone wishing to review a recently published book on the history of engineering and technology should contact Bob by email, rjmcarr.london@googlemail.com you do not have to be a Newcomen member to do so.

Heritage Angel Awards 2017 are worth noting. The Award for the ‘Best Craftsperson or Apprentice’ on a heritage rescue or repair project went to Kenny Brunskill for his consolidation of the Corbridge bottle kilns in Northumberland. The ‘Best Rescue, Recording or Interpretation of a Historic Place’ award went to Nigel Ford for the repair, restoration and reinstatement of milestones in the County of Norfolk. The ‘Best Rescue of a Historic Building’ award went jointly to Claire Slattery and Rich and Marc Moore for the 1779 Piece Hall in Halifax, the last remaining cloth hall in the UK. The Piece Hall closed for redevelopment in January 2014 and reopened to the public in August last year. The ‘Overall Winner’ was Claire Slattery for the remarkable work she did at the Piece Hall.

The next Council meeting is in London on the 2 June.

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