Vale of White Horse Industrial Archaeology Group

The VWHIAG is based in South Oxfordshire near Wantage.

It is a member of the Council for British Archaeology – South Midlands Group

and the Oxfordshire Local History Association

Diary dates for 2019

Wednesday 17 April – AGM

Followed by:  Recent and Past work on the Ironbridge, Shropshire, and developments at nearby Coalbrookdale – Bruce Hedge. 

Last year multi-million pound works were carried on the Ironbridge, partly financed by the Germans, that makes twice that they have helped save that iconic structure for our nation. If there is time, a look at other developments in the area.

Wednesday 22 May – Kingerlee: the family and the building firm – Liz Woolley

When Thomas Henry Kingerlee moved his building firm from Banbury to Oxford in 1883 the city was expanding rapidly and undergoing enormous social, political and economic upheaval. Kingerlee was soon to become one of the key figures in those changes, rapidly becoming Oxford’s largest builder and landlord, and one of its biggest employers, with several hundred workers at any one time. Thomas Henry was a leading Non-Conformist, a Liberal Councillor, and twice Mayor of Oxford. This talk will examine how the family and the firm influenced Oxford’s development in the Victorian and Edwardian periods and highlight some of the hundreds of private and public buildings which Kingerlee have built, renovated and repaired in the city and elsewhere. The company is still going strong and is now run by two of Thomas Henry’s great great grandsons, David Kingerlee and Richard.

Wednesday 19 June – R101 Disaster and the Broken Elevator CableBryan Lawton

HMA R101 came down and was destroyed by fire near to Beauvais, France, with only six survivors, and the disaster ended British involvement in the development of large airships. The conclusions reached by the subsequent Court of Inquiry left some doubt regarding the cause of the crash, and consequently several alternative theories have, from time to time been published. None have discussed the possible role of the broken elevator cable, largely because the Court of Inquiry concluded that it was irrelevant. The possibility that the broken cable may have been responsible for the disaster is examined here and it is shown that it fits rather well with the physical evidence from the wreck, and computer modelling of the crash confirms that it gives a simpler and more plausible explanation of the disaster. The reasons why the Court of Inquiry rejected it, believing that the cable broke after the crash, are discussed.

Wednesday 17 July – London Underground by Design – Paul Joyce

This talk looks at the Underground’s built estate in the streets of London. It starts with the first station at Praed Street, Paddington, and the disruption it caused to everyday life (echoed today by the building of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail)) moving on to the south where LSWR and Southern Railway architectural influence was in evidence. Other areas of the underground railway network are covered including the headquarters of London Transport at 55 Broadway and the development of signage, typefaces and the LT roundel logo.

Further talks for 2019 – tbc

All events except the Annual Dinner take place at Denchworth Village Hall, Barn Close, Denchworth, Wantage, Oxfordshire OX12 0EZ starting at 19:30

Any requests for particular subjects or offers of a presentation for future meetings would be welcomed.

Membership is only £15 for single and £25 for double.

If you would like to come as a guest to any of these meetings (requested donation £3) you will be most welcome.

More details of the events may be found in the Events Diary


Chairman: Bruce Hedge

Secretary: Martin Buckland

[ This page is hosted by the Association for Industrial Archaeology as a service to the VWHIAG which is an affiliated society ]