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

AIA Young Members Board Looking for Next Round of Recruits

In July 2020, the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) established a Young Members Board (YMB) as a sub-committee of the Association, composed of early or mid-career people with an interest in industrial archaeology and heritage. The AIA recognize that the current demographic of both the membership and Council needs refreshing, and believe that by engaging with younger and more diverse people the Association can together better deliver the aim of the AIA to ‘give our past a future’.

The YMB provides an exciting new opportunity for you to work with like-minded people to influence the direction of the Association and industrial archaeology generally, raise your own profile, develop your personal skills and knowledge, build your CV, network with interesting and knowledgeable people, and take on real responsibility. They are now seeking the next round of new members to join the Board and fill vacancies in the YMB. This is a great way to take the Association and Industrial Archaeology forward.

To apply, please submit your CV and a short description of why you would like to join to:

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.

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:

Further details about this important collection can be found by following this link:

Ironbridge to Receive £9.9 Million for Urgent Conservation & Repair Work

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has been awarded £9.9 million by the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) from the Cultural Assets Fund (CAF), a £20 million government funding stream to protect treasured heritage assets in England from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will allow the museum to carry out a backlog of urgent conservation and repair work to 49 historic buildings and structures across the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This includes five scheduled monuments and 30 listed buildings which are recognised individually and collectively for their architectural and historic significance.

The Cultural Assets Fund is funding specifically for conservation work identified as part of the IGMT Quinquennial Review, carried out in 2021. £5.5m of the fund has been allocated specifically for the repair and maintenance of the historical buildings and monuments. The grant also includes £4.5m endowment funding which will be invested to ensure income generation for continuing conservation maintenance and to help safeguard the future of the heritage assets.

Visitor figures to Ironbridge, which has recently experienced devastating floods, dropped by almost 75% in 2020 due to the pandemic, compared to 2019. With less visitor income, the organisation’s funds for vital conservation repair work have been significantly reduced. The pandemic also meant that volunteers were unable to offer their usual help with site maintenance, including flooding repair work. In contrast, 2019 saw over 400 individuals volunteering almost 25,000 hours of their time to support the site.

The funding will support vital repairs to some of Ironbridge’s most important structures, which reveal how its rural landscape was transformed and optimised in the 18th century to provide the transport links, raw materials, and natural resources required for industrial processes such as iron, brick making, and ceramics. The survival of this heritage in its original context is crucial for maintaining the integrity and authenticity of Ironbridge as a designated World Heritage Site, attracting visitors from across the world.

Bedlam Furnaces

Industrial Museums Receive £7 Million as Part of £50 Million CDF Support

Galleries, museums, libraries, and cultural venues across the country are to benefit from almost £50 million of funding which will improve people’s access to the arts, safeguard cultural assets for future generations, and power economic growth through culture. This support comes from the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) strand of the funding and £6,943,759 of this fund will be spent on seven industrial heritage museums in England.

Barnsley Museums have been awarded a grant of £3.93 million by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England. The significant funding will transform Elsecar Heritage Centre, creating new creative studios in derelict historic spaces, maker and museum galleries and stunning new indoor and outdoor areas for events and cultural activity. Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust received £1,064,348 for repairs from the MEND strand of the funding which will enable the Trust to carry out vital infrastructure and essential maintenance work at Blists Hill Victorian Town.

In addition, Leeds Industrial Museum received £653,000, Brooklands Museum Trust were granted £488,000, Bletchley Park received £468,393, the London Transport Museum was granted £277,093, and Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum was granted £62,925 to repair its historic fabric.

Pithead colliery gear, Blists Hill, Ironbridge

Heritage Open Days – Register Now!

Registration is now open for Heritage Open Days 2022, which this year runs from the 9th to the 18th September. Last year more than 100 industrial archaeology and heritage sites opened their doors for free to the public in England alone.

You can join the largest festival of history and culture in the UK as an organiser by simply submitting your event, thereby putting your local area on the map, enabling you to tell the stories of people, places, and events that really matter to your local area. This year’s theme is Astounding Inventions, which seems tailor-made for industrial sites. Potential organisers can download a resource pack full of inspiring materials and ideas for events and activities.

Follow this link for more details on Heritage Open Days website

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Friends Seek Volunteers Ahead of Site Opening

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will be opening to the public later in 2022. The Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings will manage the new interactive visitor experience, which will bring the past, present, and future of the site to life. They will also offer guided tours and run the shop.

The Flaxmill Maltings is recognised as the first iron-framed building in the world, and has undergone a £20.7 million renovation. The Friends are calling for additional volunteers ahead of the opening. From front of house to behind the scenes roles, the Friends need more people who have some time that they can give to this internationally important landmark.

As part of their recruitment drive they are holding a series of volunteer recruitment events. This will include manning a stall at the Shrewsbury Museum and Arts Gallery between 10am and 4pm on March 19, with further events planned to be held on April 8 and April 9 at the Flaxmill Maltings site. At these events you’ll be able to meet the Friends staff and some of their existing volunteers, and find out what’s involved in being a part of their friendly team. 

Further details here: