NT Volunteer Opportunity at Dunham Massey Mill

The National Trust are currently recruiting volunteers at the Mill at Dunham Massey, Trafford, Greater Manchester. The 17th century water-powered saw mill is one of the oldest buildings on the estate, as well as being one of the few working watermills in the region.

The Mill volunteers play a vital role in bringing Dunham Massey to life and will help to: make visitors feel welcome and ensuring they have a memorable visit; deliver a daily programme of tours; familiarise themselves with the character and history of the mill; help to undertake simple practical work in maintaining the Mill (training provided); and assist with visitor queries.

Informal interview dates: 8 and 11 Feb 2023. Further details on how to apply can be found here:

Port Sunlight Village Seeking New Trustee

The Port Sunlight Village Trust are seeking a new voluntary trustee board member with expertise in global heritage conservation. This is following the announcing of their World Heritage ambitions for Port Sunlight.

Port Sunlight is the world’s finest planned working-class community, and was founded by ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever in 1888. The village was built to house Lever’s ‘Sunlight Soap’ factory workers.

The closing date for applications for this voluntary position is 12th September. For more details follow this link: https://www.portsunlightvillage.com/psvt-seeks-new-board-members/

Bath Stone Quarry Museum Trust Looking for Help

The Bath Stone Quarry Museum Trust is a charity set up by the David Pollard 30 years ago.  Until his untimely death in September 2017 he had collected a large number of items, documents and photos relating to the quarrying and transport of Bath Stone with the eventual intention of opening a museum.  The collection is safely housed in an industrial unit at Corsham – which was the centre of the quarrying business in later years. 

Last year the AIA part funded the restoration of the Trust’s Stothert and Pitt crane which is destined for display on the Riverside at Bath close to the site of the Stothert & Pitt works. The trustees recently commissioned Dr Peter Stanier to assess the importance of the collection.  He found that the collection was the most complete of its kind and not only of local, regional but also national importance.  The collection is unique in including tools that would have been recognised by Roman quarry men right through to massive machines in operation into the 21st Century.  One of the trustees has been carefully cataloguing the collection and David’s widow, Nina Roberts, is now looking for help with that work as well for additional trustees who could take forward the vision of a museum.

If you can help please contact Nina Roberts here: nina@ninarobertsart.co.uk

Further details about this important collection can be found by following this link: https://bathnewseum.com/2022/01/12/the-building-blocks-of-bath/

Volunteer Opportunity at Dunham Massey Watermill in 2022

The National Trust staff at Dunham Massey are looking for volunteers for their water-powered mill. Built in the early 17th century as an estate corn mill, it was converted to a sawmill in 1860. The waterwheel still drives machinery including a frame saw, band saw, circular saw, boring machine, and a lathe. The mill volunteers play a vital role in bringing Dunham Massey to life. Working as a close team, you will inspire visitors by sharing your passion and knowledge for the Mill, the oldest building on the estate.

Dunham Massey is a National Trust estate close to Altrincham, in Trafford Greater Manchester. It comprises a Georgian mansion house, deer park, and seasonal gardens. Their staff team is supported by over 400 volunteers across the property. At Dunham Massey the NT is making the volunteering opportunities more vibrant, accessible, and diverse, and they’d like volunteers to help to achieve this.

What’s in it for you?

  • Being part of a friendly, supportive, and dedicated team
  • Expanding your knowledge about a fascinating part of the Dunham Massey estate
  • Meeting people from all walks of life and making new friends
  • Building your confidence and improving your communication skills

Anyone interested should apply through the National Trust website – follow the link here:


The brick-built Watermill at Dunham Massey. Two millstones lean against the wall beside the entry door.

Heritage Digital Free Guidelines on Social Media & Volunteers

The latest free downloadable guidelines from Heritage Digital have been released to celebrate the end of Volunteers Week. Heritage Digital are also running an online webinar on 175th June on recruiting, retaining, and managing digital volunteers.

The first digital guide is ‘Working with volunteers’ and offers advice to when it comes to the rights of volunteers and the material they create. This can be downloaded from here: Charity Digital – Resources – Digital guide: Working with volunteers: Copyright consideration The second digital guide is a template that can be used as a starting point to ensure that your social media remains on brand and consistent. This can be downloaded from here: Charity Digital – Resources – Digital Template: Social Media Guidelines

Heritage Digital is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Digital Skills for Heritage funding stream, and aims to increase the amount of free digital skills training and support available to heritage organisations. Booking for the free webinar on the 15th June can be made here: Charity Digital – Heritage Digital Events

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

Industrial Heritage Volunteer Working During the Pandemic: The North West IHN Meeting, November 2020

The second online Industrial Heritage Network meeting was held on 20th November 2020 by the North West IHN group.  15 people joined that meeting. Shane Gould of Historic England talked about current developments relating to Industrial Heritage. The current IHSO, Mike Nevell, then brought everyone up-to-date with the project and some of the impacts of COVID-19.

Mike noted that in October, 10 industrial heritage organisations in North West England received £1.21 million from the Cultural Recovery Fund. This was split into £0.41m from Arts Council England and £0.8m from Historic England. The grants were to support a variety of industrial heritage sites including the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Catalyst, Leigh Building Preservation Trust, and the Ribble Steam Railway.

Members then discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has  impacted their work from volunteering to maintenance and visitor numbers. Only 50% of protected industrial heritage sites in England open to the public were able to re-open their doors after the first pandemic. More than 50 sites decided in July and August not to open at all during 2020. Most of these were smaller, largely volunteer-run, industrial heritage sites.

In general IHN NW members recorded no drop-off in volunteer numbers and enthusiasm, despite the first lockdown and continuing restrictions across much of the North West. Tim Kirker of the Calderdale Industrial Museum noted that although the museum was closed in the first lockdown, volunteers were keen to return once it re-opened. Anthony Pilling of the Heritage Trust for the North West also noted a strong desire by volunteers to continue to help, even during lockdown and even though some of their sites remained closed after July. Tony Nixon of Bancroft Mills also observed that whilst they were unable to open to the public after the first lockdown the entirely volunteer-run museum has continued to function with strong volunteer support. Andrew Fielding of ECOSAL commented that virtual meetings were a very useful way of staying in contact with volunteers and that such meetings were not only financially beneficial, but also reached a wider audience.

Finally, Mike Nevell noted that during the first lockdown the UK Government had issued guidelines for safe COVID-19 working by volunteers and that Historic England had issued specific guidance on adapting heritage sites for safe COVID-19 working. There is a link to the latter on the IHSO website site.

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.

Invitation to Take Part in the DCMS Volunteers Survey

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are running an online survey to help them develop guidance for volunteer-involving organisations, groups, and bodies based in England. This is so that volunteering can be done safely and effectively during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this guidance development, DCMS are inviting employees and volunteers from volunteer-involving organisations, groups, and bodies to complete a short survey, the results of which will be used to help ensure this guidance effectively meets the needs of its users.  The deadline for completing the survey is 5pm on Monday 12 October. Responses are restricted to individuals and organisations in England.

A link to the survey can be found here: