EERIAC 31 Conference June 2022

There’s still time to book for the East England Regional Industrial archaeology Conference on Saturday 11th June. Organised by Suffolk Industrial Archaeology Society, the conference programme is as follows:

9.30am            Registration, tea, coffee, view displays

10.00am          ‘The History of Radar at Bawdsey’ – Graham Murchie, Trustee, Bawdsey Radar, who run the Transmitter Block Museum at the very first radar station in the country.      

11.15am          ‘RAF Martlesham Heath’ – a speaker from the Martlesham Heath Aviation Society.

12.00noon       EERIAC AGM.

12.15pm          Lunch break.  

1.45pm            Re-assemble.  We will be divided into groups, so the order in which the following are taken will vary according to the group:

a)         Guided tour of the Saxon Ship Longshed, Tide Mill Way. The Sutton Hoo Ship’s Company are building a replica of the Saxon burial ship using archaeological evidence from the Sutton Hoo site on the opposite shore of the River Deben. 

b)         Guided tour of the Tide Mill, Tide Mill Way.  One of the few surviving tide mills.   

4.00pm approximately            Close of conference. 

Venue: Hutchinson Room, Woodbridge Community Hall, Station Road, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU

Download the booking form here:

2nd Free Online East-West Workshop on Industrial Archaeology, 21 May 2022

Following the success of the “1st East-West Workshop on Industrial Archaeology: introducing the archaeology of the industrial society” in 2021, the Institute for Cultural Heritage and History of Science & Technology (USTB, China), and the UK Association for Industrial Archaeology together with its Young Members Board are running a second online workshop focused on the work of young people in academic and professional industrial archaeology.

The East-West series of workshops aims to exchange ideas and knowledge among Western and Eastern colleagues to build a more international and diverse industrial archaeology. In order to broaden perspectives, this edition also includes Brazil and the Global South in the conversations.


Yuchen Wang (University of Science and Technology Beijing)
“Electronic industry heritage: the example of the Chinese display industry”

Otis Gilbert (Wessex Archaeology)
“Digging industrial Britain: two case studies from Sheffield and Normanton”

Mário Bruno Pastor (Portuguese Catholic University)
“The Millano’s woollen mills in Portugal: an archaeology of absence”

Tiago Silva Alves Muniz (Federal University of Pará)
“Rubber industrial complex and entanglements at Brazilian Amazon”

Zoom (online meeting).

Saturday, 21 May 2022
06.30-08.30 (Brasilia time) / 10.30-12.30 (London and Lisbon time) / 17.30-19.30 (Beijing time).

Registration is free. Click below or scan the QR code to register via Eventbrite and receive the Zoom link.

Job Opportunities: Two Heritage Posts Available at Wigan Council

Wigan Council have two heritage posts available at the Council, with closing dates for applications on the 8th May 2022 and 8th June 2022. Wigan has a long industrial history and the council has some extensive industrial heritage collections. Further details here:

Lead Officer Museums  – temporary until 1 March 2024 – closing date 8th May 23:59 View Vacancy Details

Assistant Business Partner Archives – permanent – closing date 8th June 23:59 View Vacancy Details

Rebuilding Heritage Free Online Resources

Rebuilding Heritage have been expanding their online library of free digital resources for heritage organisations. These resources condense advice from dozens of expert consultants and are all publicly accessible from their website in the form of articles, case studies, webinars, and podcasts.

They are aimed specifically at heritage organisations emerging from Covid and cover the following topics:

•    Business & Enterprise Planning
•    Fundraising
•    Leadership & Governance
•    Mission and Vision
•    Marketing & Communications
•    Equality, Diversity, Inclusion
•    Wellbeing at Work
•    Managing Change

The entire catalogue can be found here.

Industrial Heritage Network Meetings for Spring 2022

The next round of Industrial Heritage Network meetings begins at the end of April 2022. The IHN networks are a chance to meet, online, those working, volunteering, or researching in the industrial heritage sector. There are ten regional groups and they are free to join. Members will have access to the latest Industrial Heritage news through the IHN e-bulletin (by-monthly), and will have the chance to promote their work through the IHN website and social media feeds, highlight initiatives and requests for help, or link up with similar sites in their region. Details on how to sign up are below.

This latest round of regional IHN meetings will look at how the post-COVID lockdown recovery is impacting industrial heritage sites, large and small. Is it business ‘as usual’ or has the COVID pandemic led to permanent changes in the way sites and organisations deal with the public and staff? How is your site coping with any maintenance backlog, recruiting volunteers, and reaching out to schools? We are keen to hear from individuals and sites about their experiences over the last six months.

To sign up to a regional IHN group email Dr Mike Nevell (IHSO officer) on:

SPAB National Mills Weekend Back In-person for May 2022

This year’s National Mills Weekend, organised by SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings), will take place on 7th & 8th May 2022. The theme for the first in-person event since 2019 will be ‘New Life for Old Mills’, celebrating the repair of wind and watermills for future generations to enjoy.

The National Mills Weekend will take place at wind and watermills across the UK and online on YouTube and SPAB Mills Section social media channels. The SPAB Mills Section is inviting everyone to share images of their own mill repair project on their social media channels. Let SPAB know about recent and historic repairs to your mill that has helped to make it possible for people to see, appreciate, and enjoy today. Also let SPAB would like to know if your mill has been affected by recent storms or if you are planning to open your mill to the public during this year’s National Mills Weekend for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. 

For the first time this year SPAB Scotland and the Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust will be hosting a dedicated Mills Weekend in Scotland on 7th & 8th May 2022. The weekend will bring together the Scottish Milling Community and will include talks, lectures, and tours on all topics from re-use of textile mills to flour production and hydro-power.

For more information on how to take part in the SPAB National Mills Weekend you can find an information and support pack here and a poster that can be customized and displayed in your mill here.

AIA Liverpool Weekend Tours June 2022 – Booking Open

Last year the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) had to cancel or postpone most of its planned activities, including their annual conference, scheduled for Liverpool. However, AIA have announced a long weekend of tours in and around Liverpool from 17-19th June 2022, organised by the Merseyside Industrial Heritage Society. The event includes three days of tours and a Saturday evening dinner, at which AIA’s awards for the past two years will be presented.

The event costs £160 and includes the trips and dinner at the Liverpool Marriott Hotel, where delegates may book accommodation at a preferential rate; details will be provided at the time of booking. Alternatively, delegates may make their own accommodation arrangements. Places are limited so early booking is advised. The planned tours are as follows:

Friday 17th June – a day touring the dock area of Liverpool, including the Old Dock of 1716, Jesse Hartley’s magnificent Royal Albert Dock of 1846 and associated buildings, and many other historic docks and warehouses, including the Tate & Lyle reinforced concrete sugar silo of 1957.

Saturday 18th June – a day on transport, starting with a drive through the Mersey Tunnel to the Wirral Transport Museum for a tram ride to the Woodside Ferry terminal of 1861, moving on to the Hooton Park Trust with its Belfast Trusses and historic aircraft before returning via the 1938 terminal of Speke Aerodrome. That evening there will be a dinner at the Marriott Hotel, close to Lime Street Station.

Sunday 19th June – visiting Edge Hill on the way for evidence of the original 1830 Liverpool & Manchester Railway, its 1836 station, the cutting, and tunnels to the docks, the rest of the day will be spent at St Helens including parts of the Sankey Canal and the glassworks.

Click for more information and booking

Liverpool’s Albert Docks

Ironbridge Launch Online Appeal for Conservation Works on Blists Hill Steam Engines

The replica of the Trevithick Locomotive at Blists Hills, Ironbridge

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has launched an online appeal to raise funds for conservation and repair work that is vitally needed on three iconic steam engines at Blists Hill Victorian Town. They are seeking to protect the Trevithick locomotive replica, ‘Billy’ the Road Roller, and the portable engine and stone crusher in the stonemason’s yard. They would be grateful for any level of donation you could make to their appeal for help towards this significant heritage conservation project.

The Trevithick locomotive is a replica of the world’s first steam railway locomotive, which was designed by Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) and constructed by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1802-1803. Billy is a 3-ton steam roller constructed by Wallis and Steevens in Basingstoke in 1903. The Portable is a stationary engine located in the stonemason’s yard at Blists Hill Victorian Town, and is constructed from a variety of sources, including a 1920s locomotive boiler and an 1880s engine.

Read more about these engines, and donate, by following this link:

New Open-Access Article on Capturing Skills for Demonstrating Heritage Machinery

Written for the Science Museum Journal by Pippi Carty-Hornsby, ‘Preserving skills and knowledge in heritage machinery operations’, Science Museum Group Journal, Autumn 2021, Issue 16, details an approach to knowledge capture on a collection of working textile machinery at the Science and Industry Museum. The machinery collection dates between 1880 and 1955 and the knowledge capture process outlined in the case study was prompted by the retirement announcement of the last machine operator on staff with first-hand experience of the textile industry.

Heritage machinery demonstrations provide a unique opportunity for visitors to museums to experience the sights, smells and sounds of Britain’s industrial past. However, with many of the operating roles in the sector being staffed by an ageing population, heritage machinery demonstrations are at risk of substantial knowledge loss over the coming years. Without intervention, many of the tacit skills and knowledge that the operators hold will be lost, along with the opportunity for the public to learn from and experience the machinery first-hand.

The method outlined in this article includes a review of existing documentation, operation recording and interrogation of results, comparison and discussion with stakeholders, and production of documentation and resources. The results of this process included a set of documents that reflected both modern health and safety and conservation and collections care guidelines, as well as cross-media resources that can be used as a future training aid. Though the case study detailed here features textile machinery, it is applicable across many strands of heritage machinery and could provide a useful tool for similar ‘at-risk’ machinery operations in museums and other cultural institutions.

For free access to this article follow this link:

Textile gallery, Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

Heritage Railways and COVID-19: Getting Back on Track

A new report from Historic England (November 2021) reviews the impact of COVID-19 on heritage railways and some of the valuable lessons learned which are relevant to the rest of the heritage sector.

Heritage railways experienced wide-ranging challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. However, some have demonstrated notable resilience in face of these difficulties, benefiting from strategies that they have employed themselves or that have been implemented by the heritage railway sector at large.

The study draws upon primary evidence generated by interviews with seven representatives of heritage railways across England and a set of contextual secondary sources. The report highlights a selection of the approaches adopted during the pandemic in order to support individual railways and the sector as whole, from accessing public funds, fundraising through online donations, and philanthropy, to investment in IT infrastructure, outdoor opportunities and developing flexible revenue streams, effective crisis management, and engaging with supporters and volunteers.

Finally, the study discusses the wider applicability of these approaches across the heritage sector to support better resilience to known and unexpected challenges in the future.

The full report can be downloaded here: