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Council update – June 2019

The second meeting of Council for 2019, was held in London on 8th June.

The chairman, Mike Nevell, noted with regret the deaths of Ray Riley, Richard Hills, Joan Day and Owen Ward. Obituaries will be published in IA News.

Chairman’s report:

  • National Lottery Heritage Fund: Tony Crosby, our representative on the Industrial, Maritime & Transport Group, noted the possible threat to the future of the Group. In a current NLHF reorganisation, a post of ‘Head of Built Heritage & Regeneration policy’ has been advertised, and that specifically mentions industrial heritage. Also noted was the fact that Historic England is also undergoing a review. Some changes are already apparent, such as the closure of its publications section.
  • All Party Parliamentary Group, Industrial Heritage: this group has not met so far this year due to Parliamentary business being dominated by other matters! However, a ‘Summit’ meeting will be held on 11th July attended by several members of the Association. It was agreed that the ‘role of skills in industrial archaeology’ might be raised productively at the meeting.
  • Industrial Heritage Support Officer Network meeting: the Chairman attended the NW Regional meeting at Ellesmere Port; a noticeable absence was a representative from the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, part of the Science Museum Group. The museum’s reserve collections are being transferred to the Science Museum’s Wroughton facility, near Swindon.
  • Lancashire Textile Mills: The National Trust and Lancashire County Council are shortly to announce a funding and joint management agreement for Helmshore and Queen Street Mills.
  • The Treasure Act: David Perrett attended a consultation meeting about proposed revisions to the Act and circulated comments to Council. It was noted that the draft proposes that archaeologists acting professionally would have to be licensed in future.

Treasurer’s Report: John Jones reported that the half-year operating surplus stood at £4,259, lower than the corresponding figure for last year. Subscription income is down, despite an increase in subscriptions, and IA Review Income is down even though Taylor & Francis had claimed an increase of 161% over the previous 12 months. An anomaly to be investigated.

Restoration Grants: Keith Falconer presented the report from the Grant Panel showing the proposed awards for 2019. The list of awards was approved by Council and will be published on the Association’s website after the winners have been informed. The considerable work involved in the receiving, checking, reviewing and managing the applications, let alone the considerable task facing the Panel, is huge. Some applications received are totally inappropriate and it was agreed that our published criteria should be reviewed. John Jones also reported that there was £129,282 currently available for future grants.

Secretary’s Report: David Perrett has agreed to fill the vacancy of Vice Chairman. The forthcoming vacancies for elected council members will be filled by Joanna Turska and Geoff Wallis. Tony Crosby will be co-opted in order to provide continuity in the Association’s involvement with the All Party Parliamentary Group, and with the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Industrial, Marine & Transport Group.

The Annual Report of the Trustees was circulated and it was resolved that they be approved and deposited with the Charities Commission and with Companies House.

Membership Report: this report by Bruce Hedge showed a membership of 470 as at the end of May, an increase of seven during the month. At the end of 2018 membership was 500. Members who have lapsed during the year will be chased, and Taylor & Francis will be asked about doing a membership promotion.

Council had been notified of the forthcoming closure of the Vale of White Horse IA Group and other groups were mentioned as being close to being wound up. While members happily attended talks there was little appetite to take up the essential officer roles. Perhaps the profile of such voluntary work could be raised and rewarded by nominating some Hon Secretaries and Hon Treasurers for inclusion on the Queen’s honours lists.

Conference Secretary’s Report:

  • Planning by the local team for the Liverpool conference in August 2020 is well advanced.
  • Four potential venues in Dublin were visited by John McGuinness for the 2021 conference. After discussion it was decided to choose Dublin City University for its newness, compactness, and closeness to the airport.
  • Preliminary discussions are underway with both York University and Askham Bryan College for a venue for the North Yorkshire 2022 conference.
  • For the Golden Anniversary conference in 2023, a West Midlands venue is under discussion.


  • The Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship has been awarded to John Barnatt for the Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England, Historic England. John is unable to collect his award at the conference and the award will be presented to him at the Peak District Lead Mining Museum in Matlock on 15th October.
  • The awards for Publications and Dissertations will be detailed on the Association’s website. There were joint winners of the Archaeology Report Award. These were: John Pickin, Penny Middleton and Kate Chapman, for Low Bonsor Dressing Mill: Archaeological Community Landscape & Building Survey, Northern Archaeological Associates, AND John Pickin, Penny Middleton and Kate Chapman, for Penny Rigg Copper Mill: Archaeological Community Landscape & Building Survey, Northern Archaeological Associates.
  • There were two Research Grants awards: one to Charlotte Goudge covering her travel costs to Gamble sugar plantation, Ellington, Florida, an award of £820. The second was to Karen Pollock to record historic graffiti, 1860’s to 1940’s, at Dinorwic Quarry Hospital, Llanberis, Wales, a grant of £680.

Planning Casework Report: Amber Patrick reported that five applications have been commented on since the last report. One that merits specific mention is the former North Gate House, Bradford, where we objected and the planning application was refused. The partnership between the Ancient Monument Society and ourselves whereby we use the AMS database was fully effective from the 1st June. Details of the planning applications commented on are to be found on the Association’s website.

Industrial Archaeology Review: Ian Miller reported the second issue for 2019 be a themed issue on iron manufacture and processing. Draft papers have been received which include new historical evidence for Coalbrookdale, and excavations of ironworks in Tyne & Wear and South Wales. Issue 41.2 is on track for publication in November.

Practical Weekend & Seminar: this year’s Welsh Slate event had to be cancelled due to poor take-up. It is now planned to stage this event in April 2020.

Field Visits: the final Country House Comfort & Convenience Tour for this year, ‘The North West’, led by Ian West, will take place at the beginning of October and is open for booking. It features Lyme Park, Quarry Bank Mill and the Greg family house, Tatton Park, and Dunham Massey. AIA members receive £10 booking discount.

This year’s Spring Tour, to Hungary in May, was well received and a full report by John Copping, with contributions from Malcolm Tucker will appear in IA News in due course. Bill Barksfield reported that possible venues for 2020 are the Baltic States or Poland.

Website Report: a new Sales Page will go live as soon as soon as stocktaking is complete and prices revised. In future all sales of the Association’s publications will be done electronically.

British Archaeology Awards: Bob Carr reported that the final agm of the BAA held in March, wound up the awards scheme as the possibility of obtaining further funding is remote. The Council for British Archaeology have agreed to establish a new set of awards and is looking for commercial funding.

Industrial Heritage Support Officer: Joanna Turska stated that the inaugural Industrial Heritage Network meeting in London went well and a post has been published about the day. The IHN for the North West met at the National Waterways Museum on 6th June, and an IHN South East meeting has been confirmed for 28th June at Amberley Museum. Meetings in the autumn so far planned for established networks are: IHN-SW 16th September, at the Westonzoyland Pumping Station; IHN-CD on the 18th September, hosted by the Steamship Freshspring Society. To be confirmed are meetings for the IHN-WM and IHN-. IHN-NE in October and IHN-L in November. The IHN’s website has been updated with news stories from network members.

Health & Safety Report: Copies of our H&S policy, together with some basic guidance on risk assessments, have been supplied to the organisers of both the 2019 and 2020 conferences.

B J Hedge, June 2019

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