Heritage Open Days 2022 Features Industrial Sites

Strutts North Mill, Belper, Derbyshire, which will be open for tours during Heritage Open Days 2022.

It has been confirmed that the 2022 version of Heritage Open Days will run as planned, from the 9th to the 18th of September, despite the Queen’s death on the 8th September. Hundreds of industrial heritage and archaeology sites run by local groups and communities feature on the list of venues open for free to the public.

The theme of ‘Astounding Inventions’ has helped to more than double the number of industrial heritage sites accessible this year, up from 113 in 2021 to 239 in 2022. There were no in-person events in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. The largest group of industrial sites opening relate to transport, with 70 historic aircraft, canal, railway, and road sites available to explore. This includes small scale sites such as the Union Bridge and Warmley Signal Box, as well as many Heritage Railways and transport museums such as Locomotion, in Durham and the Greater Manchester Transport Museum.

The largest category of industrial sites to open their doors remains wind and watermills, as it was in 2021, with 51 sites. Larger industrial museums with entry charges are also offering free events, from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust to the National Trust properties such as Quarry Bank Textile Mill. There are also private working or small heritage sites accessible, that are seldom open to the public, such as G H Hurt & Son’s Shawl Factory in Nottingham, The Harveys Brewery in Lewes, Sussex, and the RDF radar tower at Harwich in Essex.

For details of where to find venues and their opening times during Britain’s biggest annual heritage festival follow this link: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

AIA Young Members Board Looking for Next Round of Recruits


In July 2020, the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) established a Young Members Board (YMB) as a sub-committee of the Association, composed of early or mid-career people with an interest in industrial archaeology and heritage. The AIA recognize that the current demographic of both the membership and Council needs refreshing, and believe that by engaging with younger and more diverse people the Association can together better deliver the aim of the AIA to ‘give our past a future’.

The YMB provides an exciting new opportunity for you to work with like-minded people to influence the direction of the Association and industrial archaeology generally, raise your own profile, develop your personal skills and knowledge, build your CV, network with interesting and knowledgeable people, and take on real responsibility. They are now seeking the next round of new members to join the Board and fill vacancies in the YMB. This is a great way to take the Association and Industrial Archaeology forward.

To apply, please submit your CV and a short description of why you would like to join to:

ymbcontact@industrial-archaeology.org

Ironbridge to Receive £9.9 Million for Urgent Conservation & Repair Work

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has been awarded £9.9 million by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) from the Cultural Assets Fund (CAF), a £20 million government funding stream to protect treasured heritage assets in England from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will allow the museum to carry out a backlog of urgent conservation and repair work to 49 historic buildings and structures across the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This includes five scheduled monuments and 30 listed buildings which are recognised individually and collectively for their architectural and historic significance.

The Cultural Assets Fund is funding specifically for conservation work identified as part of the IGMT Quinquennial Review, carried out in 2021. £5.5m of the fund has been allocated specifically for the repair and maintenance of the historical buildings and monuments. The grant also includes £4.5m endowment funding which will be invested to ensure income generation for continuing conservation maintenance and to help safeguard the future of the heritage assets.

Visitor figures to Ironbridge, which has recently experienced devastating floods, dropped by almost 75% in 2020 due to the pandemic, compared to 2019. With less visitor income, the organisation’s funds for vital conservation repair work have been significantly reduced. The pandemic also meant that volunteers were unable to offer their usual help with site maintenance, including flooding repair work. In contrast, 2019 saw over 400 individuals volunteering almost 25,000 hours of their time to support the site.

The funding will support vital repairs to some of Ironbridge’s most important structures, which reveal how its rural landscape was transformed and optimised in the 18th century to provide the transport links, raw materials, and natural resources required for industrial processes such as iron, brick making, and ceramics. The survival of this heritage in its original context is crucial for maintaining the integrity and authenticity of Ironbridge as a designated World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from across the world.

Bedlam Furnaces

Historic England Announce New Everyday Heritage Grants

Men working at a Stoke-on-Trent bottle kiln, 1965-68. Copyright Historic England.

Historic England’s new ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories’ will fund community-led and people-focused projects that aim to further the nation’s collective understanding of the past. These pilot grants will focus on heritage that links people to overlooked historic places, with a particular interest in recognising and celebrating working class histories.

From palaces to terraced houses, stately homes to barns, our towns and landscapes are filled with symbols of our past. But not everyone’s stories are told and not everyone’s history is remembered. The Everyday Heritage Grants Scheme aims to engage with the widest possible range of heritage and helps to further the nation’s collective understanding of England’s past. Historic England are inviting applications from community or heritage organisations/museums to apply for grants up to £25,000 to fund projects that will celebrate the built or historic environment near them.

Each project should enable people to creatively share overlooked or untold stories of the places where they live and encourage communities, groups and local people to examine and tell their own stories in their own ways.

Historic England is also looking for projects that provide innovative volunteering opportunities for young people or people facing loneliness or isolation, as well as contribute positively to participants’ wellbeing.

As a result of these funded projects, heritage and stories that have been previously overlooked will be recognised and revealed, with buildings or historic sites acting as the inspiration. People will be able to tell their own stories, in their own way, and be encouraged to connect with others in their local communities.

The Application window opens on the 23rd February 2022 and closes on 23rd May 2022. For more information about the project and how to apply, please visit the Historic England website here https://historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/news/grants-to-uncover-nations-hidden-working-class-heritage/ or email EverydayHeritage@HistoricEngland.org.uk  

Latest Heritage Grants Update for Industrial Sites, January 2022


Arts Council England

The application window for the Emergency Resource Support Fund, through the Culture Recovery Fund, has been extended. This is designed to support arts and heritage organisations through the impact of the Omicron variant this winter. A further £30 million has been made available by the UK Government. This fund aims to provide emergency funding awards to organisations that were financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.
Deadline extended to 18th January 2022 to submit a permission to apply

National Heritage Lottery

A variety of grant funding streams are now open through the National Heritage Lottery. These include the National Lottery Project Grants, which is an open access programme for arts, libraries, and museum projects. NLPG is a rolling programme, so applications can be made at any time. Decisions on applications for £30,000 or less take 8 weeks, decisions for over £30,000 take 12 weeks.

The Unlocking Collections grant stream is a time-limited priority fund within the National Lottery Project Grants portfolio aimed at enabling museums to develop their collections-based work and increase public engagement with, and use of, their collections. Applications accepted until November 2022.

The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund is designed to support voluntary and community organisations who want to deliver creative activity as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Deadline 28th February 2022.

Association for Industrial Archaeology

The AIA’s annual round of grants and awards is open. There are a variety of grants available (including community, research, and travel bursaries), as well as awards ranging from conservation and adaptive re-use, to publications: see here: https://industrial-archaeology.org/aia-awards/ The deadline for most is 31st January 2022. However, the Restoration Grants deadline is 31st March 2022.

Murgatroyd Brine Pump Open Days 18th & 19th September 2021

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.

More details on the site here: http://www.middlewich-heritage.org.uk

BIAG Industrial Archaeology Twitter Conference, 15 Sept 2020

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

Full details here:
http://biag.org.uk/heritage-open-day-biag-twitter-conference-15-sep/

Historic England Industrial Heritage Webinars Now Online

The Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, run by the Canal and River Trust.

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.

Follow this link to hear both webinars: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/online-training/webinars/

AIA Announces Restoration Grants for 2020

The former GWR Patter Store, Swindon (courtesy of the Diocese of Bristol).
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

AIM Guidance on Coronovirus (COVID-19)

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:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/