STAFFORDSHIRE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY CHAIRMAN’S REPORT for 2017-2018
After the cold wet and showery spring it is time for my Annual Report.
The first lecture in September was given by Joe Thatcher on the “Clifton Suspension Bridge”. Although this iconic structure was designed by Isombard Kingdom Brunel, it was not completed until after his death. Joe Thatcher included the social background to the construction including the Bristol Riots of 1831.
The October talk was by Irene De Boo, a curator of the Black Country Museum, on “Steam Hammer. Move and Restoration.” This well received lecture explained the importance of the steam hammer in the forging of marine engines and the history of the move and reinstatement of the hammer in the museum.
Alan Hill gave the November lecture on “Water as a Mechanical Agent” with a comprehensive history of water wheel development. We hope to have another lecture from Alan in the future on the development of water turbines.
Unfortunately in December the Annual Christmas Buffet had to be cancelled due to heavy snow. This was the start of major disruption to the rest of our winter programme.
John Wilcock’s excellent lecture on the British Textile Industry had been brought forward from April due to his family commitments.
The programmed lecture by David Robbie was cancelled due to illness and was replaced by a presentation by Anne, Roger and I on the AIA Conference at Northampton.
The March lecture on the preservation of the Internal Combustion Engine by Tony Green also had to be changed due to illness. Instead Anne and I showed some slides from the Anson Museum of Internal Combustion Engines where Tony is a Trustee, and David Baddeley showed slides of the Brecon Railway.
The last talk of the season in April was by Anne and I on Chile, which had been moved from January. Unfortunately this evening was marred by two visitor’s cars being broken into on the carpark.
Our thanks to Roger Francis and David Baddeley for organising this varied lecture programme.
Our members were again invited to the annual Midland Mills Group outing, this year to some Mills in Herefordshire. This included three mills and the Waterworks Museum at Hereford.
David Baddeley kindly organised an evening visit to Mill Meece Pumping Station.
Those of us who attended the Association of Industrial Archaeology or AIA, Conference at Northampton had an excellent time in glorious summer weather. We also met up with one of our founder members there, Fred Brooks.
Anne and I recently attended an AIA weekend at Matlock Bath exploring the mining landscape of the area. The weekend was organised by our President, Professor Marilyn Palmer, with the expertise of John Barnatt, retired Senior Archaeologist for the Peak District National Park. The weekend included three underground visits to mines: Temple Mine, Masson and Great Rutland; two surface visits to Magpie and Mandale mines, a visit to the Peak District mining museum and lectures.
No journal was published this year as we are waiting for more articles to include.
I would like to thank all the Officers and Committee members of the Society for their hard work, support and friendship throughout the year.
Last but not least I would like to thank all our members for their continuing support and welcome the new members who have joined us during the year.
Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology Society