Abstracts of Volume XXIV 2002

Issue No 1, Spring 2002

The Industrial Archaeology of Spitsbergen
by Ken Catford

This paper describes a hundred years of coal-mining on the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen, only some 1,200km from the North Pole. The story of the early pioneers is told, followed by an account of each of the mining locations, including the extensive system of rope-ways which solved the problem of transporting the coal from mine to quay in a land of snow and ice. The unique juxtaposition of both western and Russian mining communities enables the two contrasting cultures to be compared. The poor living conditions and serious accident record of the mines, neither of which can be blamed entirely on the climate, are described. The surviving industrial archaeological remains are identified, with the conclusion that the current official policy of preservation must be strongly supported if predictable pressure from the tourism industry to remove the industrial ‘eye-sores’ is to be successfully resisted.

Remnants of a Revolution: Mumford’s Flour Mill, Greenwich
by Jonathan Clarke

‘In the twenty-five years between 1875 and 1900, the British grain milling industry underwent radical changes in technology, work organisation, and location’. The changeover from traditional stone milling to roller milling, in which steam-powered metal rollers supplanted horizontal millstones for the processing of wheat to flour, was nothing short of revolutionary, yet it remains one of the most poorly documented episodes of our industrial past. Mumford’s Mill, Greenwich, representing over two centuries of complex, accretive development, was one of many thousands of mills that arose or adapted both technologically and architecturally during this turbulent and consequential period. Using documentary and building evidence, this article examines the development of this particular surviving mill complex, emphasising the relationships between form and function, process and structure, and how these related to a changing technological milieu.

The Rolt Memorial Lecture 2001: The Development of Industrial Museums Within Landscapes
by Stuart B. Smith

‘A Dialogue I’ll Tell You as True as mee Life . . .’: Vernacular Song and Industrial Archaeology in Northern England
by Robert Young

This paper argues for a social context for the study of industrial society through the examination of the texture of working people’s lives as revealed in sources traditionally ignored by the empirical study of monument types. It suggests that this should include vernacular song, and considers in detail three such songs from the north-east of England coalfield.

Issue 2 Autumn 2002

Friedrich Edouard Hoffmann and the Invention of Continuous Kiln Technology: The archaeology of the Hoffmann kiln and 19th-century industrial development (Part 1)
by David Johnson

Despite the widespread use of Hoffmann technology for lime burning and brick manufacture in many parts of the world, its origins and development have not yet received the attention they deserve. This paper summarises the growth of continuous kiln technology, Hoffmann’s patents, and the structural characteristics of Hoffmann kilns.
A second part, to be published in Industrial Archaeology Review XXV: 1, considers their methods of operation and assesses the significance of the Hoffmann kiln. It includes a gazetteer of confirmed Hoffmann lime kilns in England and Wales.

King’s Standing Transmitter Station, Crowborough
by Ron Martin

This article examines the archaeology of a Second World War transmitter station at Crowborough on the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex in the parish of Maresfield (map reference TQ 4730 2913). As a study of the archaeology of broadcasting and communication, it examines a site-type little considered by industrial archaeologists. The buildings were visited and surveyed during 1999 and 2000. They remain virtually unoccupied and it is anticipated that they may not survive for much longer. It was felt that this interesting wartime and post-war endeavour should be properly recorded.

The Fenny Compton Tunnel, Oxford Canal
by John Selby

The Fenny Compton tunnel in Warwickshire on the Oxford Canal was built between 1775 and 1777. It no longer exists, although in name it appears to this day on all OS maps (THE TUNNEL SP 4352). The article describes its building in 1775-7, its demolition (‘falling’) in 1838-40 and 1866-9, and the construction and operation of a brickyard established to exploit the resulting clay spoil. A brick kiln was built in 1840-1, and continued production until 1917. The remains of the kiln are extant.

18th- and 19th-Century Market Town Industry: An analytical model
by Barrie Trinder

The paper argues that archaeological analyses of communities of recent centuries can be as rewarding a means of understanding the past as the examination of the development of particular technologies.