Welcome to the Industrial Heritage Network WEST MIDLANDS (IHNWM) page!
We had a great meeting at the Etruria Industrial Museum on 8th October and earlier in the year at the Coffin Works on the 8th April 2018. Take a look at the agenda here and read about social media discussions during the meeting here.
Our first online meeting was on 4th December 2020. Watch this space for more details.
The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) is the national organisation for Britain. The AIA encourages and promotes the public benefit of the study of, and research in, the archaeology of industry and the industrial period, and promotes education in the identification, recognition and conservation of the industrial heritage. The Association funds Restoration Grants; awards cash prizes for research and publications; sponsors new research; lobbies bodies concerned with legislation, planning and funding; unites individuals, local societies, academics and field professionals; represents industrial archaeology nationally and internationally; runs conferences and practical workshops; publishes a biannual academic journal, Industrial Archaeology Review, and a quarterly newsletter, Industrial Archaeology News.
Bewdley Museum is set within a collection of historic buildings including the 18th century Butchers’ Shambles and a Brass Foundry which was in operation from the early 18th century until the 1960’s. A variety of displays illustrate the town’s industrial past such as pewter making, tanning, rope making, hornware and capping. Visit our website for more details and information regarding our events and exhibition programme: http://www.bewdleymuseum.co.uk
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is a Grade II* listed building opened in 1885. It showcases a world-class collection and offers fascinating glimpses into Birmingham’s rich and vibrant past. Thinktank Science Museum features objects from our natural history collections, transport and more. Birmingham Museums’ other venues include Aston Hall – a Jacobean mansion, the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter – a preserved historic jewellery factory, Blakesley Hall – a timber-framed Tudor house, Sarehole Mill – the childhood haunt of J.R.R. Tolkien, Soho House – the Georgian home of Matthew Boulton, Weoley Castle – the ruins of a fortified manor house, and the Museum Collection Centre.
The Cider Museum’s scope is national, and portrays the development of cider through the centuries, from rural industry to industrial history. No other accredited museum holds a similar collection. It is an independent charity, set up in 1973. The museum building itself dates back to 1888 when Percy and Henry Bulmer set up their factory and experimented with apple varieties and yeasts, and famously developed sparkling cider using the French Champagne method. The Bulmer’s cider empire was born on this site, and two notable features of the building are the original wood-panelled Boardroom, and the atmospheric champagne cider cellars with 19th and early 20th century machines.
Claymills Pumping Station is a restored Victorian sewage pumping station on the north side of Burton upon Trent. It was designed by James Mansergh, built in 1885, and was used to pump the towns waste to the sewage farm at Egginton/Etwall. The main pumping plant consists of four large Woolf compound, rotative, beam pumping engines, together with five Lancashire boilers that were used to provide steam. The site is regularly opened and is operated by steam during event days by the volunteers. It is one of the most complete sites of its type surviving in the country and visitors can see nearly thirty original engines.
Coventry Transport Museum is part of the Culture Coventry Trust which also looks after the Herbert Museum & Art Gallery, Old Grammar School and The Lunt Roman fort. It houses one of the largest publicly owned collection of British vehicles in the world and tells the story of Coventry through the rise and fall of its biggest industry. The collection includes the record-breaking Thrust2 and ThrustSSC; the oldest Coventry-built car, and many of the most innovative and memorable vehicles of the last 150 years. The museum does not only display objects from its extensive auto-mobilia collections, but also showcases future technology, immersive experiences, art installations, and so much more!
Located in the heart of Dudley the Trust engages its visitors with 428 million years of history by taking them on a guided boat tour deep underground. Our knowledgeable skippers tell the stories of the geological wonders that emerged here, pushed up through the earth from tropical sea beds leading to industrial limestone mining and latter 19th century canal and tunnel construction by Lord Ward. These innovations all went on to revolutionise the Black Country in terms of trade, industry and prosperity. Using commentary, sound and light shows and visitor engagement the importance of the area is brought alive for all to enjoy.
Etruria Industrial Museum is the home of Shirley’s Bone and Flint Mill which is the only remaining operational steam powered potters’ mill in the world. Built in 1857 and driven by a 1820’s Watt pattern beam engine with steam generated by a locally built hand stoked 1903 Cornish boiler, it provides the public, students, educationists and academics the opportunity to see and learn about raw material processing in the mid Victorian era. The mill is a scheduled monument with grade 2* listed buildings within a conservation area. It is open and in steam on five weekends year and at other times can be visited by appointment.
ERIH is a membership network and sites pay an annual fee which varies according to the category of membership. The benefits of membership include enhanced profile, including a presence on ERIH’s well-used website (which currently attracts over 4000 visits per day) and its active social media pages; participation in ERIH conferences, events and initiatives; participation in local and regional routes of industrial heritage; and not least, association with a European organisation that is now recognised by the European institutions as the principle network for the promotion of industrial heritage tourism in Europe. To find out more about ERIH, please contact the UK Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all. Follow us on Twitter @HE_WestMids
Established in 2002, we preserve and protect records of milling heritage, fostering the cultural and educational values of mills and the milling community. A Nationally Accredited Archive Service, we are the UK’s specialist archive on the history of milling: the national centre for mill-related research, recording, learning and understanding; the appropriate repository for milling records. We care for over 250 collections of more than 3,000,000 documents and images, recording the rich and diverse crafts, buildings, equipment and people involved with mills. Over 76,000 of these records are freely available online and some 20 volunteers work to make more publicly accessible.
The Museum of Cannock Chase is a great day out for all the family. Located on the site of the former Valley Colliery, the museum is the gateway to the Hednesford Hills Nature Reserve. Experience the fascinating story of coal mining in Cannock Chase and meet the people who worked in the pits in the Mining Memories Gallery.
Based in Kidderminster, the Museum of Carpet celebrates the innovation, design, entrepreneurial spirit and manufacturing prowess of the carpet industry. The museum galleries tell the story of the carpet industry from its roots in the 18th century to modern times while our skilled volunteers bring the production process to life with demonstrations on our Hand and Power looms. Behind the scenes the Museum holds a collection, including original art work by internationally significant designers from Glorget to Lucienne Day and original copies of the Kidderminster Shuttle from 1874 onwards.
The focus of the Northern Ceramic Society is on the products, history and heritage of the British ceramics industry from roughly 1600 to the present day. The NCS, a registered educational charity, is the leading specialist organisation in this field. UK and worldwide membership includes historians, collectors, researchers, academics, museum staff and curators, archaeologists, librarians and archivists who share the latest ceramic knowledge and research though our lecture programme, seminars (bursaries available), publications, exhibitions and website. The NCS has sponsored archaeological investigation, publications and exhibitions across a wide range of ceramics subjects and collaborates with other organisations with shared aims.
Described as “the most important building of the modern age”, the Grade I listed Main Mill, built in 1797, is the first iron framed building in the world and is considered to be the grandparent of the skyscraper. Run by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, the site’s Visitor Centre is housed in the renovated office and stables. It tells the story of this unique site, from its beginnings as Flax Mill, through conversion to Maltings, to its closure in 1987. The entry is free and please visit our website for the opening times.
The museum is home to over 90 buses. Midland Red, WMPTE blue and cream and the corporation fleets from Birmingham, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton are all represented, plus independent operators. The museum also has the largest collection of battery electric road vehicles, including over 30 electric milk floats and bread vans. There are event days on Bank Holiday weekends with a full schedule of running vehicles. On these days you can ride on the classic buses plus the miniature steam railway. Classic bus services also run on every Saturday and Wednesday during school holidays. The museum runs a very successful education programme and is open from March to October.
Winterbourne House and Garden was built for industrialist John Nettlefold and his growing family in 1903. The house hosts a range of exhibition rooms offering an insight into Edwardian life. The farm outbuildings are home to the Winterbourne Press, a working printing press with weekly demonstrations and the opportunity to enrol on letterpress courses that support the conservation of historic print skills and knowledge. More information can be found in the Winterbourne archive which offers researchers and students the opportunity to delve deeper into local social and industrial history including Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds, Kynochs and Bell & Nicolson.