‘The Built Environment Transformed: Textile Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution’ Book wins AIA Award

Geoffrey Timmins’ recent Historic England / Liverpool University Press publication ‘The Built Environment Transformed: Textile Lancashire during the Industrial Revolution’ has been announced as the 2022 joint winner of the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s prestigious Peter Neaverson Award for outstanding scholarship in industrial archaeology. 

Focussing on Lancashire’s textile district during c.1780 – c.1850, the book adopts a case-study based approach with chapters on the mill remains in the Cheesden Valley near Rochdale; Barrow Bridge factory village near Bolton; the former handloom weavers’ colony at Club Houses, Horwich; Preston’s Winckley Square; Eanam Wharf at Blackburn; and the road between Bromley Cross and Edgworth to the north of Bolton. It will be of interest to all those with an interest in England’s industrial heritage and how the resulting changes impacted on the historic environment. Further details can be found here – https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/book/10.3828/9781800856530

Reading Civic Society’s ‘Look Draw Build@Reading Station’ Commended in National Awards

The Thornton Education Trust has commended the ‘Look Draw Build@Reading Station’ schools project, a Reading Civic Society project to engage children in architecture, engineering, and railways, in their Inspire Future Generations Awards 2022. In May 2022, the project, which was aimed at children in Reading Primary Schools, reached approximately 450 children.

The Society worked with Gemma Solanellas, an architect and member of the Civic Society, to help with the project’s delivery, which was funded by the Great Western Railway Community Fund. Haslams Estate Agents were Gold Sponsors, and they, along with Stantec Engineers/Architects, Weston & Co Architects, and Reading Civic Society member Matt Andrews, all assisted the Civic Society in delivering project workshops to 15 classes of year 4-6 children from 9 schools, for a total of 450 children.

When the project was finished, the Civic Society decided to submit it to the Thornton Educational Trust for their “Inspire Future Generations Awards.” Thornton Education Trust (TET) is a charity dedicated to incorporating architecture and urban design into children’s education and providing young people with a voice in their community through youth-led design and community participation.

Shortlisting the award, Thornton Education Trust said: “The project helped the local Reading community allowing some 450 children to connect with architecture, engineering, and railway history. The broad approach of the project helped the children to think critically and creatively about their own communities and enhanced their learning journey outside the classroom. Additionally, the touring exhibition brought to a wider audience awareness of how children can learn through architecture and the public space which surrounds them and what they can achieve with simple materials”. The project was commended for its: ‘Excellent engagement with KS2 students, engaging with them through the means of a video to understand the history of the area and then model making. Students looked totally at ease and seem to enjoy the activity. The models were
of a very high creative standard’.

Further details about the Thornton Education Trust can be found here: https://www.thorntoneducationtrust.org/

Impact of Industrial Heritage & Archaeology: Discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live

Did you hear the fascinating discussion about Industrial Heritage and its impact on Britain during Colin Murray’s BBC Radio 5 Live ‘Late Night Conversations’ programme broadcast from 12 midnight to 1am Monday 18th October 2022? If not, don’t worry as you have 30 days to catch up on BBC Sounds. The hour-long discussion, inspired by a listener’s suggested topic, brought together enthusiasts and experts to review, briefly, the industrial heritage and archaeology of Britain and Ireland. Colin was accompanied in this discussion and tour of British and Irish industrilisation by the Industrial Heritage Support Officer for England, Mike Nevell.

Pete Waterman, popular music entrepeneur and steam train enthusiast and owner, began the discussion with the continuing impact of the railways. Zoe Arthur of the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust and Vice Chair of the Association for Industrial Archaeology, talked about some of the key industrial sites in Wales from copper and canals to reservoirs and slate and the, sometimes, negative impact of these industries. Colin Rynne, of University College Cork, highlighted the island of Ireland’s important role in industrialisation and some of the key sites to visit including gin distilleries and the linen mills of Belfast. Miles Oglethorpe, of Historic Environment Scotland and Chair of the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage, talked about coal, rail, and textiles in Scotland, and highlighted industrial heritage’s international links in terms of regenerating old buildings and improving local neighbourhoods, as well as helping to combat climate change by recycling old structures. Nigel Linge, professor of telecommunications at Salford University, looked at the importance of the railways in promoting the telegraph system during the mid-19th century, and the rise of the telephone box network during the early 20th century. He also pointed out how rapid technological change makes it very difficult to record the infrastructure of the mobile phone network.

Mike finished the discussion with a brief review of why the Ironbridge Gorge, and the museum trust of that name, are internationally important, being one of nine industrial world heritage sites in Britain (along with Blaenavon, Cornish tin mining, Derwent Valley Mills, the Forth Railway Bridge, New Lanark Mills, the Pontcycsillte aqueduct and canal, Saltaire mills, and Welsh Slate). Throughout the discussions there was an emphasis on people, the impact of new technology on people’s working and domestic lives, and the lasting landscape legacy of these industries.

To hear the full discussion follow this programme link and start 2 hours in: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001d414

The Ironbridge at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and the first single arched cast-iron bridge in the world.

Heritage Volunteering Conference 2022 – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets for this year’s Heritage Volunteering Group Conference, #HeritageVolunteering22, on the 8th to 9th Novemberare now available. #HeritageVolunteering22 will explore how we make the most of our varied skills to build a new future for heritage volunteering.

The conference will open with a Keynote talk from Shaun Delaney, Head of Volunteering Strategy at DCMS. The rest of the conference will feature a combination of workshops, panel discussions, and the awarding of HVG’s Volunteer Leader of the Year Award. The full agenda is available on the Eventbrite page

General tickets are available at £25. Follow this link to buy your tickets: here.

New Resources from Historic England on the Industrial Heritage of the Gas Industry

Gas holders near Kings Cross, London. Image courtesy of Historic England.

A new Historic England web page provides links to a recently published detailed history of the manufactured gas industry with a comprehensive gazetteer, an Introduction to Heritage Assets document, and guidance on recording gas works and holders.

The works for the manufacture of town gas from coal were once widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries, and their distinctive gas holders are some of the most recognisable historic industrial structures in Britain. These manufacturing sites produced lighting and energy for industry, as well as providing domestic lighting, heating, and energy for cooking. Visually, gas works dominated the skylines of many villages, towns, and cities until the end of the 20th century.

To explore this extensive resource further follow this link:


#AskACurator Returns as #AskAMuseum in September 2022

The annual social media day #AskACurator, which began in 2010 as a way for the public to ask questions directly to museums, galleries and archives around the world, has been renamed #AskAMuseum. This is in order order to better represent all those working in museums.

The 2022 event will take place on Wednesday 14 September, coinciding with Heritage Open Days in the UK, across social media platforms. You can post your question on the day using the hashtag #AskAMusuem. You can also encourage people to send their questions as comments or replies. Answers will then be posted and insider knowledge shared!

AIM: Pilgrim Trust Collections Care and Conservation Grants

AIM (Association of Independent Museums) has a range of grants available for collections care and conservation for their members. AIM members care for a huge and significant range of historic objects and collections. They range from fine art collections to locomotives, textiles to ships, decorative art and social and industrial history collections.

Grants for Collection Care Audits are run in partnership with Icon and enable small museums to undertake a basic 3-day collections care audit by a fully accredited conservator. The Collections Care Scheme provides grants for museums to receive specialist advice, purchase equipment, and train staff and volunteers.  The Remedial Conservation Scheme provides grants for the conservation of objects from the museum’s permanent collection. Grants are £1,100 plus travel and VAT (if applicable) to cover the cost of a fully accredited conservator undertaking a three-day audit. These grants are a good starting point before making an application to the Collections Care or Remedial Conservation schemes if your museum has not previously had a professional conservation advice.

To be eligible for a collections care audit, your museum should:

  • Be an AIM member.
  • Be an Accredited Museum or awarded ‘Working Towards’ status.
  • Be a registered charity. An associated charity can receive the grant on the museum’s behalf if the museum itself is not a charity.
  • Have fewer than 20,000 visitors p.a. Please base your visitor figures on the visitors you have in an average year pre-2020 not those affected by Coronavirus and restrictions.
  • Application to this scheme does not prevent museums applying to the Pilgrim Trust for other, unrelated projects.

The full guidance and eligibility criteria is included on the application form. Click here for the collections care audit application form>>

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