Historic England Free Industrial Heritage Webinar on Elsecar

Historic England’s next free lunchtime industrial heritage webinar takes place on 23 February, 1300 – 1400. This webinar will describe the work and findings from the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone which ran from 2017 – 2020.

The model industrial village of Elsecar was developed in the late 18th- and 19th-centuries by the Earls Fitzwilliam of Wentworth Woodhouse to exploit nearby abundant coal and iron reserves and much of the landscape comprising ironworks, collieries, housing and supporting infrastructure survives to this day.  The webinar will consider this nationally important landscape through the research programme, protection and management strategies, community outreach and engagement, how Barnsley Museums are building on this legacy with an ambitious programme and vision for the village, and potential lessons for elsewhere. It will be of interest to all those involved in the investigation, interpretation, management and presentation of our rich industrial heritage and how it can be at the forefront of place-shaping and regeneration.

Details of the event and how to register can be found here: https://events-emea5.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/1414989231/en/events/event/shared/default_template_simple/event_landing.html?sco-id=5413177798&_charset_=utf-8.

Salt Making at the Lion Salt Works: Fundraising Call

The Lion Salt Works Trust is seeking to raise £21,000 to help towards the long-term ambition of making salt again in the traditional manner. This includes the restoration of buildings at Lion Salt Works to allow the permanent on-site demonstration of the open salt making method that will help to preserve the traditional techniques of salt making.

The site is run by Cheshire West Museums, https://lionsaltworks.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk/, and this is the second phase of a project that will involve funding for equipment to enable demonstrations of open pan salt making to take place at a larger scale. It will also fund research into traditional techniques to be carried out on-site in permanent larger pans and other salt making equipment.

To read more about the salt making plans and to make a donation towards this work follow this link: http://cwac.co/IBXav

Major Canal Restoration Work Starts on Montgomery Canal

Restoration of an unnavigable stretch of the Montgomery Canal on the Shropshire/Wales border is due to start this spring. The work on a 7km (4.4 mile) stretch of canal between Llanymynech and Arddleen, that has not been navigable since the 1930s, aims to restore the channel so that navigation will eventually be possible.  Dredging is the first stage in a £14 million project that will see the rebuilding of two bridges to remove obstructions to the canal and the creation of three substantial off-line nature reserves, to protect the canal’s natural heritage as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.

The project is being led by the Canal & River Trust in partnership with Powys County Council, and is supported by the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust. The work is being financed under the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund. Michael Limbrey, chairman of the Montgomery Waterway Restoration Trust, said: “It is very exciting to see work start on the first major restoration of the canal in Wales for some years….Restoring the Montgomery Canal really is a project for everyone. The revived canal will bring recreation and well-being for local communities and their visitors and will protect and enhance the canal’s valuable built and natural heritage.”

Although this stage of the project will not see the Llanymynech section linked with the canal route at Maesbury Marsh in England to the north-east, the Canal and River Trust argue that restoration of this section is critical to ensure the sustainable long-term future of the whole canal, noting that “with increased economic and social purpose, the canal can be better managed and protected, saving it from falling into the disrepair that in turn would be harmful to the protected flora.”

For more details follow this link: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/wales-and-south-west/the-montgomery-canal-restoration-project

27th Naval Dockyards Sociey Conference, April 2023

The Naval Dockyards Society are holding their annual conference on 12th April 2023 in-person at National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The event will also be available on-line. The theme of this year’s conference is the ‘Economic and Social Impact of Dockyard & Shipyard Closures & Heritage Renewal: Lessons to be Learned‘.

Subjects to be covered include what are the social and economic effects of dockyard or shipyard closures on their communities – anywhere in the world? Are closure outcomes always negative, or can communities benefit from renewal? Speakers will analyse globally diverse post-closure routes.

Follow this link for booking details: https://navaldockyards.org/2023-conference/

NT Volunteer Opportunity at Dunham Massey Mill

The National Trust are currently recruiting volunteers at the Mill at Dunham Massey, Trafford, Greater Manchester. The 17th century water-powered saw mill is one of the oldest buildings on the estate, as well as being one of the few working watermills in the region.

The Mill volunteers play a vital role in bringing Dunham Massey to life and will help to: make visitors feel welcome and ensuring they have a memorable visit; deliver a daily programme of tours; familiarise themselves with the character and history of the mill; help to undertake simple practical work in maintaining the Mill (training provided); and assist with visitor queries.

Informal interview dates: 8 and 11 Feb 2023. Further details on how to apply can be found here:

Funding Opportunity: AIM Brighter Day Grant Scheme for 2023

The Association of Independent Museums’ Brighter Day Grant Scheme, funded by the Arts Scholars Trust, is now open for applications from AIM members. The priority for this round of funding is ensuring that museums at risk of closure, losing vital skills and knowledge, or unable to provide effective collections care, are supported to ensure future viability. The scheme has a special focus on small museums and others that have found it difficult to access support. This is particularly relevant to Industrial Heritage Sites who are members of AIM.

The fund will support education, training, curation, and exhibition projects that address collections care and sustainability of historic and decorative arts collections. Grants can be applied for at a minimum of £1,500 and maximum of £8,000. Museums can only apply for one grant per round. Match funding is not required.

The closing date is 9am Monday 6th February 2023. Further details can be found here: https://aim-museums.co.uk/for-aim-members/grants/aim-brighter-day-scheme/

Join Historic England & AIM’s Net Zero Roundtable

AIM and Historic England are hosting a roundtable discussion on Wednesday 25 Jan, 11-12.30 to understand what issues different orgs may be facing and what type of support they may need around working towards net zero.

Historic England is undertaking a piece of work to find out what stage organisations are at on their journey towards carbon net zero, what issues they may be facing and what type of support they may need. And they want to hear from you. Join AIM and Dan Miles, project lead for Historic England for this online roundtable to dive a bit deeper into some of the issues that may be affecting different parts of the sector.

This roundtable is open to non-members as well as AIM members, and is ideal for those with operational decision making at your museum.

To book your place on the Roundtable on 11am Wednesday 25 January click here>>

Sector net zero survey

A survey is also running to capture your feedback on the issues affecting your journey to net zero. If you can’t make the roundtable, you may want to share your input here instead.

Click here to take the survey>> 

There’s more info here: https://aim-museums.co.uk/events/historic-england-net-zero-roundtable/

This is a great opportunity to for organisations to learn and chat with each other, as well as helping AIM and Historic England understand how industrial heritage sites can be better support them.

Anderton Boat Lift Awarded National Lottery Heritage Funding

The Canal & River Trust has been awarded a £574,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support the development of a major repair and refurbishment project and extensive community engagement plan for the Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich. The Scheduled Historic Monument, which each year carries around 3,000 boats between the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Weaver Navigation, needs a major upgrade to keep it operational. The whole iron structure requires blast cleaning, repairing and re-painting, the timber control cabin replacing, and IT operating system updating.

Daniel Greenhalgh, Canal & River Trust North West director, said: “We are grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for allowing us to take a first vital step in securing the future of this unique boat lift, one of the seven wonders of the waterways. Since the Anderton Boat Lift reopened as a major visitor attraction in 2002, it has become a firm favourite on the tourist trail, as well as bringing a significant boost for the local economy.”

This is the first stage in a major programme of restoration and includes plans to replace the large marquee, which is used to host school groups and events, with an alternative flexible building, including new toilets, plus updates to the visitor centre and grounds to improve the visitor experience, as well as the development of new learning, skills and outreach programmes. This will enable more visitors to enjoy the unique attraction and delve deeper into the site’s fascinating history.

“The essential repair and upgrade work is critically important to maintaining the lift as an operational structure. Constructed in 1875, it holds a unique place in waterway history as the world’s first commercially-operated boat lift and our mission is to ensure that it continues to delight and engage future generations.”

Over the next 14 months Canal & River Trust will be developing a comprehensive plan for ‘Engineering the Future’, with the intention of applying for a further grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards the entire £13.4 million project. If the bid is successful, the plan will be to start an 18-month programme of works at the end of the 2024 boating season.

As a foretaste of the urgent necessity for major repair work, the lift has been closed since early August due to the failure of a safety mechanism in one of the lift gates. An emergency £450,000 repair work package is now on course to be completed this winter to ensure Anderton Boat Lift reopens to boaters and the Trust’s Edwin Clark public trip boat in time for Easter 2023.

The work features two key projects. Two giant hydraulic ram cylinders, which each propel a caisson transporting boats up and down, are being given a much-needed overhaul. The large metal tank caissons will be detached from the rams and propped up about two metres above ground level to allow the 20-year-old cylinder seals to be replaced, the ceramic rams re-polished and re-set, and 12,000 litres of hydraulic oil to be changed.

Each of the lift’s ten sets of gates will also have two new ‘fall and arrest’ safety systems installed, which act like a giant seat belt in an emergency. Following the identification of the safety issue in the summer, new designs have been engineered, approved by Historic England and manufactured. Once the repairs have been carried out, the lift will have a short recommissioning period of about two to four weeks before it is once again available to carry boats.

The Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre will continue to welcome visitors throughout the winter at weekends – Saturdays and Sundays, 9.30am – 4.30pm. For more information, see the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/anderton-boat-lift-visitor-centre or call 01606 786777.

‘The Built Environment Transformed: Textile Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution’ Book wins AIA Award

Geoffrey Timmins’ recent Historic England / Liverpool University Press publication ‘The Built Environment Transformed: Textile Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution’ has been announced as the 2022 joint winner of the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s prestigious Peter Neaverson Award for outstanding scholarship in industrial archaeology. 

Focussing on Lancashire’s textile district during c.1780 – c.1850, the book adopts a case-study based approach with chapters on the mill remains in the Cheesden Valley near Rochdale; Barrow Bridge factory village near Bolton; the former handloom weavers’ colony at Club Houses, Horwich; Preston’s Winckley Square; Eanam Wharf at Blackburn; and the road between Bromley Cross and Edgworth to the north of Bolton. It will be of interest to all those with an interest in England’s industrial heritage and how the resulting changes impacted on the historic environment. Further details can be found here – https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/book/10.3828/9781800856530

CIfA Community Archaeology Toolkit – Survey

CIfA is working with DigVentures to develop guidance which supports and enables public benefit from archaeological projects, as part of a project funded by Historic England. This project aims to embed public participation and engagement firmly into sector practice, with an initial emphasis on archaeology projects delivered within the context of the planning system. The main target audience for the guidance is those who commission, facilitate, or deliver archaeology projects primarily driven by development led activities, but this also includes industrial archaeology and heritage sites.

This short survey forms part of a sector-wide consultation undertaken collaboratively with CIfA. Our aim is to understand the opportunities and challenges in implementing public benefit within development-led archaeology. The two surveys are aimed at two different audience groups; one for those who commission archaeology, including those who prepare project briefs, and the other directed towards project delivery teams.

If you a commissioner or if you facilitate archaeological projects, please take this survey.

If you are a practitioner involved in the delivery of archaeological projects, please take this survey.

The survey will be live until the end of January 2023. In the meantime, get in touch with the project team directly if you are interested in hearing more about the project.

Please get in touch with Harriet Tatton (DigVentures – harriet@digventures.com) if you have questions about the survey or have any technical difficulties. Please get in touch with Cara Jones (CIfA – cara.jones@archaeologists.net) if you have questions about the scope of the project