IHN East Midlands Launched & Members Directory Now Live

The inaugural meeting of the Industrial Heritage Network East Midlands group took place online on the 30th July 2021. 18 people joined the meeting, representing 10 industrial heritage sites from across the region.

The current IHSO, Mike Nevell, introduced the project and talked about some of the impacts of COVID-19 since March 2020, and Shane Gould of Historic England discussed some of the wider recent strategic developments relating to Industrial Heritage. IHN East Midlands members then discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has  impacted their work from volunteering to maintenance and visitor numbers.  Several East Midlands industrial heritage sites have received Cultural Recovery Fund monies, whilst others have received financial support from several local authorities. Volunteer support amongst those attending the meeting had remained strong. However, it was noted that not all East Midlands industrial heritage sites had re-opened by the end of July 2021.

Other topics discussed included the continued restoration of several sites (such as Wingfield Station), and growing problems from climate change, Strutts Mill on the River Derwent, for instance, having been recently flooded.

The next IHN East Midlands meeting will be in early 2022, and at some stage in person. A dedicate members directory page for the IHN East Midlands is now live, elsewhere on this website. If you would like to join the IHN East Midlands, add details to the members directory page, or highlight forthcoming events, please email the IHSO.

Heritage Open Days 2021 – Register Now!

This year Heritage Open Days will run from 10-19 September 2021. The theme is Edible England, from forgotten recipes to food in the factory, why not hold an event to help audiences explore our culinary heritage?

Heritage Open Days is looking for ‘Edible England’ to encompass the broadest possible spectrum of events and stories, from revealing culinary tastes of the past to going behind-the-scenes of modern production methods. The theme will also explore the customs and quirks that have developed around what we eat and drink, as well as the fascinating history of some of our regional and national specialties.

You can get a range of extra resources by registering an event including marketing and evaluation materials to help inform future activity. For more details about how to get involved, visit the Heritage Open Days website.

New Industrial Heritage Networks for East Midlands & East of England

Do you help run or volunteer at an industrial site open to the public in the East Midlands or East of England? Then now is the time to get involved with two new Industrial Heritage Networks being setup by the IHSO project. The Industrial Heritage Networks (IHN) are part of the Industrial Heritage Support project run by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, funded by Historic England, and support by a range of partners including the Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Association of Independent Museums.

Since 2018, seven regional Industrial Heritage Networks have been established in England. These are voluntary groups, organised with the support of the IHSO project, which meet twice a year. This is an opportunity to discuss and share the experiences of running and presenting to the public some of the most important industrial sites in the country.

With the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 the network meetings went online, providing support to those running and volunteering at hundreds of sites, and gathering the experiences of dozens of staff and volunteers in adapting to the global pandemic. With many industrial heritage sites re-opening this month (June 2021) and more planning to re-open over the rest of the summer the IHSO project is looking to establish the next two regional IHNs. The new East Midlands and East of England networks will meet online initially, although as the pandemic conditions ease the intention is to mix online meetings and in-person meetings at industrial sites.

If you want to get involved with these two new networks, sharing knowledge and experience, and discussing the current challenges and opportunities in the industrial heritage sector, then contact the Industrial Heritage Support Officer, Dr Mike Nevell, at Ironbridge, on the following email: mike.nevell@ironbridge.org.uk

Registration Open for Archaeology Festival 17 July to 1 August 2021

The annual Festival of Archaeology, coordinated by the CBA in partnership with Historic England, showcases the very best of archaeology, with special events right across the UK. Many industrial heritage and industrial archaeology sites and groups take part each year. For 2021, the theme is Exploring local places. Discover the archaeology that is all around you by exploring your local area and the stories of the people and communities who lived there.

Join the CBA for the 2021 Festival of Archaeology from 17 July – 1 August. CBA wants you to help them celebrate local sites, stories, and the people who lived and shaped our local places. Archaeology is a great tool to help you do this and to find out more about places through time such as:

  • How have they changed and how do we use them today?
  • Who lived and worked there in the past and do we use them in the same way today?
  • What can you see today that would have been in the landscape 10, 100 or even a 1,000 years ago?

Follow this link to register your event: Welcome | Festival of Archaeology (archaeologyuk.org)

How to Publish Your Industrial Archaeology and Heritage Research – Free AIA Event

Want to know how to get your industrial archaeology and heritage work published and make an impact with your research? The Association for Industrial Archaeology Young Members Board are hosting a one hour seminar with speakers from Publishers Taylor & Francis alongside the Editors of the Industrial Archaeology Review on 23rd April 2021. This will be followed by a 30 minute Q & A where you get to ask the experts!

This free event is aimed at students and early-career professionals in the fields of history, heritage, archaeology, and engineering, but it will also be a great event for anyone, especially industrial archaeology and heritage volunteers, who wants to brush up on academic publishing best practice.

The event is free, but you will need to register. A link to the booking page can be found here: How to get Published and Make an Impact Tickets, Fri 23 Apr 2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Land Transport Archives Network

The Land Transport Archives Network (LTAN) was formed in 2020 as an informal mutual-support group for the creators, custodians, and users of archives relating to any aspect of any form of land transport. Historic objects relating to transport are covered by a number of Sector Support Organisations in the museums sector, but there is a noticeable gap in the support available for the related Archive collections. LTAN, alongside the Aviation, and Aerospace Archives Initiative (AAAI), aims to help address this gap.

To date, two virtual meetings have been held, with the next due in late February. The network is still in the early stages of its development, but has already decided on a series of aims moving forwards, including expanding on the work of the former TRAP project to map the location and extent of land transport collections.

A website for the network was launched in mid-January and can be viewed at https://ltan.info . This includes guidance for custodians of archives, which is aimed at non-professionals caring for the records of their own organisation and/or more general heritage material, so could be of great assistance to heritage railways, museums, and historical societies.

Adapting to New Communication Forms in the Age of COVID-19: London IHN meeting, October 2020

As announced in the summer of 2020, the Industrial Heritage Network meetings have gone online. The first online meeting was held on 25th October 2020 by the IHN London group.  18 people joined that meeting and the current IHSO, Michael Nevell, brought everyone up-to-date with the project and some of the impacts of COVID-19. Shane Gould of Historic England and Helen O’Hara of London Museum Development talked about current developments relating to Industrial Heritage and resources available to London-based groups.

Mike noted that in October, 18 industrial heritage organisations in London & the South East received £4.67 million from the Cultural Recovery Fund. This was split into £1.32m from Arts Council England and £3.35m from Historic England. The grants were to support a variety of industrial heritage sites including the Kent & East Sussex Railway, London Transport Museum, and Waltham Abbey. Members then discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has  impacted their work from volunteering to maintenance and visitor numbers. 

One of the themes to emerge from the two hour meeting was the role of new online communication and interaction, this being the first IHN to meet online via the ZOOM platform. As part of this discussion, Oliver Pearcy from the London Museum of Water and Steam noted that they had been using an online booking system for visitors post-lockdown. Martin Wicks from the Kempton Steam Museum reported that they had been using an Instagram account to reach out and engage with members of the public. And Mary Mills of the Greenwich Industrial Historical Group noted that they had used a variety of online forms of communication during lockdown which had produced a good response from members and non-members. There was also some debate about the value of online meetings versus in person, experiential, meetings, many people noting that the two serve slightly different purposes and audiences.

With that in mind, the next IHN London meeting, online, will be in 2021. Hopefully an in-person meeting with remote access, will follow later in 2021.

IHN Meetings Go Online

The Industrial Heritage Network meetings are going online. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic set to continue well into 2021 we have been experimenting with a shorter online version of our regional meetings. After a successful London trial last month (October) we are now developing a programme of meetings for delivery over the winter and early spring. In the longer term we hope to adopt a blended delivery for IHN meetings, alternating online meetings with in-person site visits.

The online meetings are shorter than our normal networking days, at just two hours. In the first part there will be several short presentations, followed in the second part of the meeting by a round-table (or should that be screen) discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on our members. The dates for the next two Industrial Heritage Network meetings are as follows:

Friday 20th November – IHN North West

Friday 4th December – IHN West Midlands

Regional members will receive an email invitation with details of how to log into the meeting. Further dates for IHN meetings will be published at the end of the year. Any queries please contact the IHSO on: mike.nevell@ironbridge.org.uk

Creative & Cultural Skills Recruitment Trends Survey

Creative & Cultural Skills, supported by the National Skills Academy and Arts Council England, supports the UK cultural sector by shaping skills, education and employment best practice. Creative & Cultural Skills aims to provoke action and enable learning opportunities that drive change and help to build an inclusive skilled sector (https://www.ccskills.org.uk/).

As part of their COVID-19 work they are running an online survey about skills recruitment trends, closing Wednesday 11 November. With the introduction of youth employment support mechanisms throughout the UK, Creative & Cultural Skills wishes to better understand the sector’s recruitment culture in order to help it recover and build back, better. This survey therefore seeks to collect data on the entry routes for new recruits currently supported by organisations in the cultural sector and the development of the talent pipeline through options such as apprenticeships, internships and work experience. The information you provide will be used by Creative & Cultural Skills and relevant partners to inform programmes of support for the sector, and relevant collated findings will be published.

Contribute to the survey via this link:


The Heritage Alliance Launches the ‘Rebuilding Heritage’ Support Programme

The Heritage Alliance has launched, this September, a ‘Rebuilding Heritage’ support network. This is a free programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and will provide support to heritage individuals and organisations to enable them to respond and adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will draw on expertise from the Clore Leadership, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Creative United, and Media Trust, to offer a programme of tailored support that will respond to sector feedback and changing circumstances.

The first round of support is themed ‘Ways Out Of Crisis’ and the details of the free webinars and support sessions will be announced at the end of September and available in October via the website at www.rebuildingheritage.org.uk. If you would like to receive updates on the programme development please sign up to the Rebuilding Heritage mailing list here.