IHN North West Member, Middlewich Heritage, is organising two open days on 18th & 19th September at the Murgatroyd Brine Pump. As a Scheduled Monument, Murgatroyd’s brine shaft is the last of its kind. Sunk in 1889 using traditional methods – hand dug and timber lined – it is now the only surviving wild brine extraction shaft in Cheshire.
After abandonment in the 1970s and following decades of neglect the brine pump has now been restored with monies from Historic England, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Association for Industrial Archaeology. It will be open to the public for the first time in September, so why not visit the last remnant of salt making in Middlewich.
The Berkshire Industrial Archaeology Group are holding a twitter conference on Tuesday 15 September 2020. This is part of the Heritage Open Day online events for 2020. This trail blazing event for local industrial archaeology groups, and HOD, starts at 4pm and runs to 7pm with seven papers on topics ranging from what is Industrial Archaeology to Berkshire’s Gas Industry. Our own Industrial Heritage Support Officer, Dr Mike Nevell, will be tweeting about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Industrial Heritage site. #BIAG20
The Programme is as follows:
16.00 – I like it – tell me more: Getting into Industrial Archaeology– Jo
16.15 – Saving a Revolution: Industrial Heritage and the Impact of COVID-19 – Mike
16.45 – Surviving the Wrecking Ball: Industrial Buildings in Berkshire – Jo
17.15 – Funiculars: The Ups and Downs of a leisure Transport Phenomenon – Victoria
17.45 – Berkshire’s Gas Industry – Jo
18.15 – Reading Cemetery: The Industrialisation of Death – John
18.45 – The Conservation of Industrial Written Heritage – Jo
Over the summer of 2020 Historic England ran two industrial heritage training webinars. If you missed the two industrial heritage webinars run by Historic England earlier in thee summer no need to fret! Both are now available to listen to online, along with a host of other subjects.
The first of webinar provided an initial overview of Historic England’s developing Industrial Heritage Strategy from Shane Gould (Head of Industrial Heritage Strategy, Historic England). Norman Redhead (Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service), described the work of a local authority archaeological officer in the identification, assessment and recording of industrial heritage sites through the planning process, as well as the assessment of public benefit regarding such sites. Finally, Dr Joanne O’Hara, (Somerset West and Taunton Council) considered the role of enforcement powers in tackling industrial listed buildings at risk drawing on a case study in Somerset.
In the second industrial heritage webinar Shane Gould considered in greater depth the topics and issues addressed by Historic England’s developing Industrial Heritage Strategy. These include planning & conservation, reuse, industrial sites as heritage attractions, knowledge & skills and research, whilst our own IHSO England officer, Dr Michael Nevell, provided an overview of the Industrial Heritage Support project.
Although the heritage sector faces very difficult times, the AIA’s has been able to continue its support for the restoration of industrial buildings and artefacts through their annual restoration grants. A total of over £144,000 has been awarded to 12 projects in 2020. This brings the total amount the AIA has awarded for the restoration of industrial buildings and artefacts to £750,000 since the scheme started in 2009. This is thanks to the generosity of its anonymous donors. Full details of the successful projects will be published in the next issue of Industrial Archaeology News.
The largest grant made this year was £20,000 given towards the restoration of the Grade II listed Great Western Railway Pattern Store in Swindon. Built in 1897 as a fire-proof depository for patterns for railway parts, it was a world-leading workshop for railway engineering. After facing an uncertain future for many years, the building has been bought by the Diocese of Bristol to create a pioneering ‘Resourcing Church’ to serve the town. The AIA grant will be used to complete the renovation of the north elevation and roof, with its historic water tank.
For more information about AIA’s restoration grant scheme, please visit the AIA website.
Many industrial museums, and local and regional industrial archaeology and heritage societies are now feeling the impact of the growing Coronovius (COVID-19) crisis. The Association of Independent Museums has issued some guidance that is relevant not just for independent museums but for all those individuals and groups involved with industrial archaeology and heritage sites: https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/
There are links to key websites on medical advice for individuals and workplaces; supporting your organisation; charity finances; and a business resilience check list.
As ever, the primary concern is to ensure the well-being of museum staff, local society members, volunteers, and visitors as the situation with Coronavirus or COVID-19 evolves, so for the very latest information, check the guidance available on the Public Health England and NHS websites here: