Applications Open for Fully-Funded PhD Research Project Based at Ironbridge

Applications to take part in a unique fully-funded PhD research project to examine the links between art and industry in the West Midlands have opened this week with applications being welcomed from students across the world for the research project which will be based at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT) and Birmingham City University.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Midland4Cities Collaborative Doctoral Award, is a partnership between Birmingham City University and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. The project, entitled ‘Common printed things: intersections of art and industry, the Coalbrookdale Collection, 1850–1930’ will use the extensive Coalbrookdale Collection at IGMT to illustrate the development of industrial life in the Midlands and the role of print in the manufacture and sale of the ironware items that made the company a household name the world over.

Highlighting the integral role that the Ironbridge Gorge played in the development of the Industrial Revolution, the successful applicant will have unique access to hundreds of historic documents, artefacts and business ledgers still housed in the Trusts archive at the Coalbrookdale Company’s original headquarters in Coalbrookdale.

The project will merge methods used by both printing and social historians to study not only the materials themselves but processes required to produce them as well as the craftspeople who made them to better understand the relationship between the manufacturer, the artefacts, the catalogues and the consumer.

Working with experts at sites across the Ironbridge Gorge over the course of 4 years the successful applicant will study and audit 40 original printed catalogues, the physical ironware products advertised within them, as well as over 1,000 wood engravings used to print the promotional materials in order to build a clearer picture of how they were produced.

Project supervisor Nick Booth, Collections and Learning Director at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said: “Coalbrookdale and the extensive collection that is housed there offers a truly unique chance to delve into what is such an important part of our history, not only on a regional scale but a global one. The developments that happened within the Ironbridge Gorge and Coalbrookdale specifically were truly world changing and this research project offers the opportunity to unpick another integral piece of the puzzle to help us better understand the important role that print had in the wider industrial story.

“With ten sites across the Ironbridge Gorge, including Blists Hill Victorian Town which houses working facilities including our Victorian print shop, it means that as well as the academic side of the project, the researcher will be able to gain hands-on experience of the processes used during the period under realistic, historically accurate circumstances.”

The Award will be jointly supervised by Professor Caroline Archer-Parré, Co-Director of the Centre for Printing History and Culture (CPHC) at Birmingham City University who added: “This is a rare opportunity to research the materials and processes used to create the printed catalogues in the location in which they were originally manufactured, and to provide new insights into how the various industries involved in their creation interacted and collaborated.”

Prospective applicants can find out more information by visiting www.midlands4cities.ac.uk/find-a-project/

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/

Chance Conversations: The Future of Industrial Heritage – a series of free events

Taking place online from 26 July – 04 August 2022, Chance Conversations will explore some of the biggest current topics in industrial heritage, from the different ways it can revive communities, to how old industrial buildings can reveal the global foundations a town is built on. The talks are being hosted by Chance Heritage Trust and DigVentures as part of #MadeinSmethwick – a programme of public events inspired by stories from Chance Brothers glassworks in Smethwick, and the continuing mission to give this disused industrial building a new lease of life within its surrounding community.

Panellists include Simon Briercliffe (University of Birmingham), Lizey Thompson (Canal and River Trust), Graham Worton (Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark coordinator), Mary Lewis (Heritage Crafts Association), Malcolm Dick (University of Birmingham), Marianne Monro (Chance Heritage Trust), and many more. Each panel discussion will include a live Q&A.

You can see the whole series and join in the discussion by registering for FREE at:

Chance Conversations: The Future of Industrial Heritage
Hosted by Chance Heritage Trust and DigVentures as part of #MadeinSmethwick

26 July – 04 August 2022

Full programme: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/the-future-of-industrial-heritage-661909

Global Smethwick: The history of a town in 10 buildings

Tue 26 July 2022, 6pm BST (via Zoom, recording available)

Smethwick isn’t just any old town: from the Red Cow pub to Marshall Street’s Malcolm X plaque and Guru Nanak Gurudwara, it has been built by people from all over the world. Our panel will discuss how the buildings you walk past every day can reveal the foundations of a town, and the global history it is built on.

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/372178354477

Art of the Industrial Revolution and the Future of Heritage Crafts

Wed 27 July 2022, 6pm BST (via Zoom, recording available)

During the industrial revolution, artists created murals and paintings showing the skill and craft of its workers, like the dancer-like glassblowers painted by Mervyn Peake inside Chance Glassworks. What can we learn from images like this? And what’s being done to save the skills they depict today? Our panel will discuss the art of the industrial revolution, and introduce some of the people trying to save heritage crafts today.

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/372184111697

Revival to Reuse: Can industrial heritage save us?

Tue 02 August 2022, 6pm BST (via Zoom, recording available)

Why is industrial heritage so popular right now? And can its ruins be used to heal some of the wounds created by the human and environmental impact of industrialisation? From museums to canals and even geoparks, our panel will discuss how industrial heritage can encourage revival, reuse, and renewal within our communities, particularly in the Black Country.

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/372186579077

Working Class Life: From Industrial Revolution to the Future

Wed 03 August 2022, 6pm BST (via Zoom, recording available)

Working life has changed in so many ways over the last few hundred years, for men, women, children, and families – not just in the UK, but around the world. Our panel will discuss the history of work and working-class life, how it has changed (and how it hasn’t) from the industrial revolution to the present day, and even where we might possibly go from here…

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/372191433597

A future for Smethwick’s industrial past

Thu 04 Aug 2022, 4pm BST (Brasshouse Community Centre, Smethwick)

How do you bring an old industrial building back into use? And how do you make sure it contributes to community life? Our panel will discuss the journey, from the different options available and how to get started, to what can be learned along the way – all while hearing about Chance Heritage Trust’s ongoing plans to bring the former Chance Brothers Glassworks back into use in Smethwick.

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/372194252027

Barnsley Museum Launches 3D Fly-through of Elsecar Industrial Village

Barnsley Museum have launched a fly-through reconstruction of the 19th century Elsecar industrial village. The stunning fly-through is a digital rendering showing Elsecar and the surrounding area at its industrial peak around 1880 with ironworks, collieries, canals, railways and settlements all visible.

Prepared by Barnsley Museum and produced by digital creator Martin Moss of Dextra Digital, it is based on research carried out by Historic England as part of the Elsecar Heritage Action Zone, together with local volunteer historians and experts across the UK, which has transformed our understanding of the importance of Elsecar. It is also a legacy project of the Great Place Wentworth & Elsecar Programme, supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

To view the fly-through follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KYqMX5EfGs

A reconstruction of the Elsecar Ironworks around 1880. Image courtesy of Barnsley Museum

North Pennines AONB Partnership Looking For Historic Environment Project Manager

The North Pennines AONB Partnership is looking for an organised and experienced project manager with a background in management of the historic environment and in community engagement, to lead the development stage of its new lead mining heritage project – Land of Lead and Silver.

Land of Lead and Silver is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England. The project focuses on lead mining heritage of the North Pennines, and on the skills required to record, conserve, maintain and interpret this heritage for future generations. It starts with the stories associated with this heritage and aims to tell these stories in ways which connect with new audiences, building support for this heritage and recruiting volunteers for the future.

Subject to successfully securing funding from NLHF for the delivery stage of the project, the contract would be extended for a further four years.  Please follow this link for more information and to apply:

https://www.northeastjobs.org.uk/job/Project_Manager_Historic_Environment_Officer_/225940

Made in Smethwick Community Project Looking for Volunteers

DigVentures is working with Chance Heritage Trust to host ‘Made in Smethwick’ – a lively series of events and interactive projects taking place this summer that explore the industrial heritage of Smethwick and the surrounding area. The programme is free and open to anyone to join, and includes in person walks, talks, guided visits, workshops, as well as online events – and even an interactive online mapping project that everyone can contribute to!

See all upcoming events and register for free: https://chanceht.org/events/

Note – all events have multiple dates throughout May, June, and July.

Join the Interactive The Chance Lighthouse Map Project

Nearly 2,500 lighthouses around the world were fitted with a lens made at the Chance Brothers & Co glassworks in Smethwick. Where did they end up? And how did they shaped the modern world? Dig Ventures are working with the Chance Trust want your help to map their locations, and record the historical and technical detail that bring their stories to life.

Everyone who signs up will be given training, and have the option to join us for a weekly ‘Lighthouse Lesson’. Whether you’re already a lighthouse aficionado, or simply curious about a new aspect of industrial heritage, this is an opportunity to learn new skills and put them to good use.

Find out more about this interactive project, and how you can join in: https://digventures.com/product/the-chance-lighthouse-map/

EFAITH Free Industrial Heritage in Europe Seminars

Traditionally, EFAITH has organised an annual weekend in one of the European countries to bring together volunteers and volunteer associations. These were/are short weekend meetings, where volunteers and voluntary associations from different countries get together, meet, and forge relationships across borders, exchange experiences, and learn from each other.

However, as organising a physical meeting is still difficult for many organisations, EFAITH has decided to organise two online webinars before the summer holidays in May and June. In this way, information, knowledge and ideas can be exchanged. The first webinar took place on Saturday 14 May. A second webinar will take place on Saturday, 11 June. Participation is free, but prior registration is required. To receive the link and to log on complete the form and register for June’s webinar here.


Click here for further information 

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

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  

Industrial Archaeology Mini-Conference in Essex, April 2022

Essex County Council are holding are holding a mini-conference on Industrial Heritage on the 5th April 2022 at the East Anglian Railway Museum.  There will be a wide range of speakers plus a chance to look round the venue.

The day is aimed at anyone interested in industrial heritage and architecture, or those who are currently involved in the conservation or sustainable reuse of these kind of sites. The mini-conference will provide insight into a range of industrial typologies across Essex. 

The venue, at the East Anglian Railway Museum, was part of the branch line from Marks Tey to Sudbury which crosses the impressive Chappel viaduct. This site is now run as a museum, and is still a working railway station. It is well known for its open days and events, which reveal a rich history. There will be time within the day to explore this impressive site.

Talks will cover water, gas, electric industries, maltings, and breweries, daylight factories, and the challenges of recording and preserving 20th century industrial heritage. The speakers include: Wayne Cocroft of Historic England; Tony Crosby, Chairman of the Essex Industrial Archaeology Group; Tim Murphy, Historic Environment Manager at Place Services for Essex; Mike Tarbard of the Bata Heritage Centre and David Ridler manager of the former Bata factory site; and Elphin Watkin, presient of the Herts & Essex Architectural Society.

Booking and costs here: https://www.placeservices.co.uk/courses/conservation/industrial-heritage/