News & Information

The Beacon Tower, Burton Dassett. Sunset and a temperature of -4c in Warwickshire.
1st March 2018

Death of WIAS Member – Ray Clipson. I’m afraid I have to pass on the sad news that one of our members Ray Clipson has died following a heart attack. I met Ray on the croquet lawns of Kenilworth Croquet Club, where he was a very talented player and tireless worker for the Club. In conversations with him, I realised that WIAS meetings might be of interest to him, and persuaded him to come along. As a latecomer to WIAS he was probably not known to many, but he became a strong supporter of our meetings, with an interest in a wide range of subjects.  Our condolences go to his wife Patricia, and to their family.
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 26th February 2018

Earlswood Reservoirs. Following on from the recent WIAS talk on reservoirs, visitors may be interested to know that one of the two reservoirs at Earslwood has recently been drained.  It’s an interesting site that you don’t see very often and if you are in the area well worth a drive or walk along the top. 23rd February 2018

WIAS Visit. Full details of the next WIAS visit to to former Coventry Evening Telegraph premises are available on our Visits page. 6th February 2018 

AP/Lockheed Leamington Spa. WIAS member Stuart Robertson recently came across this wonderful hour long film about the Lockheed Company during the war. Many members will be familiar with the shots around Leamington Spa. Click here to visit the BFI Free site and watch. 4th February 2018

Kenilworth Railway Station – Update. A few shots from this week showing the very impressive looking new station. Sadly, still no rolling stock and drivers to enable it to be opened! 29th January 2018

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Funeral Arrangements – the Late Peter Chater. The funeral will take place at 12 noon on Friday 23rd February 2017 at the North Chapel, Oakley Wood Crematorium, Warwickshire. Family flowers only please. 27th January 2018

Death of WIAS Member – Peter Chater. I’m afraid I have to pass on the very sad news that Peter Chater died this morning. He was a founder member of WIAS and had remained an enthusiastic supporter of the Society over the past 28 years. He possessed an unrivaled knowledge of local industrial and transport history, always seeming able to add additional information to any topic under discussion. Over the years, he delivered many talks and led several walks for WIAS, all part of the process of passing on his knowledge to others. He shared his passions with a close group of friends with whom he embarked on many an exploratory trip to sites near and far. Peter was also a member of other local history groups, and his knowledge and enthusiasm will be sorely missed by all. I will pass on details of funeral arrangements when these are known.
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 12th January 2018

WIAS Meeting Thursday 11th January 2018 – Please be aware that owing to personal circumstances the speaker at tonight’s meeting on the Healey Archive has had to cancel at the last minute. The meeting will go ahead and an alternative programme will be in place. Please pass on to anyone you may know who is planning on attending specifically to hear about the Healey Archive. 11th Jan 2018

Death of WIAS Member – John Selby. I’m afraid that I have to pass on the very sad news that John Selby died on Boxing Day. Most of us will have known John for many years and he had been a stalwart of WIAS since its inception, and a strong supporter of AIA and its Annual Conferences. He was a lovely man and will be sorely missed.
John’s funeral service will be held at Dale Street Methodist Church, Dale Street, Leamington Spa CV32 5HL at 11 am on Thursday 18th January 2018.
Martin Green, WIAS Chairman. January 2018

WIAS Meeting December 14th 2017. Most of the weekends heavy snow has now gone from the school premises so our December meeting will go ahead as normal. December 2017

Kenilworth Station – Update. Although virtually finished the planned opening date of the 10th December 2018 has been moved back, yet again, to February 2018. The government department responsible and Warwickshire County Council are blaming each other for this new delay. The reason? There are no trains or drivers available until February 2018 presumably after London Midland ceases to exist and the new franchisee West Midlands Trains is up and running. Click here for more from the BBC. December 2017

WIAS November Meeting. Thanks to all those who were able to attend last night’s meeting. In the midst of all the ironwork material, I failed to mention that the evening raised £45 for the Poppy Appeal organised by Janet Coulls.  Thank you for your support.

Thanks also to Robert Caldicott for his display of the Milestones Project (photo above), and to Ian Colls for his Flavel material. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. November 2017

Help to Restore a Steam Roller! Full details of this project co-ordinated by Anthony Coulls is on our ‘can you help page?’ Click here. November 2017

WIAS Visits. On the 30th October 2017 several WIAS members visited the Birmingham Museum Collections Centre at Dollman Street, Nechells in Birmingham. This was a fascinating look at just what Birmingham Museums have in store and not on general display. Our chairman Martin Green is pictured below with our host for the visit, Paulette who describes the collection as ‘……..India Jones meets Ikea!’ . Click here to see photos of some of the exhibits that are in store. Keep an eye on the ‘Visits’ page in the main menu for future outings! November 2017

Kenilworth Station. Work continues apace at the site of the new station in Priory Road, Kenilworth. As the line currently remains single track it has been ‘slewed’ to right, when looking towards Leamington Spa, to align with the new platform face. The opening date has been set for the 10th December 2017 with an initial hourly service in each direction to Leamington Spa and Coventry operated by London Midland. The public footbridge between Priory Rd and Farmer Ward Rd has now re-opened after renovation and provides good views! Some photos from this week appear below. November 2017

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WIAS November 2017 Meeting. Don’t miss this one!

Photos. WIAS member Derek Billings has very kindly shared some more of his wonderful photo collection. The latest photos are of the steam boat ‘President’ in Warwick, Leamington and Birmingham in the 1970’s and 80’s. Click here to view. October 2017

WIAS Newsletter No. 61. The latest edition of the newsletter is now available on the website, click on the link in the main menu. This is an excellent edition, thanks to our editor Mike Hurn, with a wealth of detailed information documenting speakers presentations at WIAS meetings. October 2017

WIAS Photo Gallery. Our photo gallery currently contains over 1200 photos and videos and contributions are always welcome. If you haven’t visited it recently click on the gallery link in the main menu.  In addition there are another 360 plus photos in the WIAS database. October 2017

Rowington Records. At the latest WIAS meeting our guest speaker, Nick Holmes, mentioned that there were approximately 5000 photos on his website ‘Rowington Records’. To view the site click here. October 2017

Maps! Kenilworth Family History Society told me of this map website. These maps are national including Belgium Trench maps. Its the National Library of Scotland ordnance survey. The maps are viewable on line though they suggest you purchase them. See this one as an example of Warwick Members will already know of this one from Warwickshire County Council but this only covers Warwickshire.
Roger Cleal, October 2017

First Meeting of WIAS 2017/18 Season – Follow Up. It was good to start the WIAS programme and to see members and visitors at last night’s meeting. Thanks for the support. I did not quite finish my presentation and I attach some details that might be of interest.
Latest Barrie Trinder publication – link here.
Talks by the Nuneaton Local History Group – link here.
Hope they will be of interest.
Martin Green, Chairman WIAS, September 2017

First Meeting of WIAS 2017/18 Season. The first meeting on Thursday 14th September provides the ideal opportunity for the renewal of membership of WIAS! Subscription rates are unchanged – £16 for individual and £20 for joint membership. All income received is used to fund the running of the society and its monthly meetings, as well as contributing to the other aims of WIAS e.g. the support of local projects associated with the industrial heritage. I feel sure our membership secretary, Sue Hammon, would appreciate the exact money from each of us to speed the process of renewal and reduce the pressure on her to have the correct change available.
Many thanks.
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, September 2017

National Memorial Arboretum. We have an event coming up, that as a society or group interested in local history, we felt would be of interest. By receiving this email it does not mean you are on our mailing list. To sign up for this please see our website This September, the National Memorial Arboretum will hold a two-day symposium to coincide with our on-going World War I centenary events and activities. The diverse programme of seminars, interactive workshops and site tours, perfect for academics, students and historians, will examine the social changes wrought by the conflict, helping to create a greater understanding of how these changes came about. As well as examining the changing role of women during the conflict, – focussing on the care of the wounded on both the Western and Home fronts, themes will consider the Home Front at a more local level. Topics to be explored by a wealth of speakers include the female vote, food crises, attitudes towards conscientious objectors, the changing role of the country estate house as convalescent homes, and the development of female labour in traditionally male roles. The programme will also offer opportunities to explore our galleries and to participate in workshops and guided tours of the 150-acre Arboretum site. The Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance and home to over 300 symbolic memorials and around 30,000 trees. Centrally located, it is easily accessible from the M42, M1, M6 toll, A38 and A50. The site is well-noted for bringing to life the stories of military and civilian sacrifice in a meaningful and thought-provoking way, and its diverse range of WWI centenary events makes this the perfect venue to examine and discuss this fascinating subject.  Click here for more details. September 2017

Birmingham Museum Collection Centre. The Museums Collection Centre is a 1.5 hectare site that holds 80 per cent of Birmingham Museums’ stored collections under one roof. Among the thousands of objects stored here are steam engines, sculptures, an entire collection of Austin, Rover and MG motor cars and even a red phone box. The centre, located in Nechells, has been described as ‘Indiana Jones meets Ikea!’ You will get the impression from the photo below! Many of the objects once on display at the B’ham Museum of Science and Industry in Newhall Street are now stored here including the steam road vehicles and much more. There are items of local interest from Willans, Guys Cliffe House, Warwick and GEC Rugby. For full details and information on how to visit the centre follow the link here. Some photos of the collection have been added to the WIAS photo gallery. Click here. September 2017

Broad Gauge in Warwick. Derek Billings has kindly supplied some photos from 1980 featuring old broad gauge railway coaches which were located off Myton Road, Warwick. As was often the case at that time nobody seemed very interested in them and they were destroyed. To see all the photos visit the Derek Billings page in the WIAS photo gallery by clicking here. September 2017

Cromwell & ‘Royal’ Leamington Spa! Not such a bad combination when it is  70013 Britannia Class ‘Oliver Cromwell’, the last steam loco to officially haul a train on British Railways. Thursday 31st August 2017, a glorious late summer morning with ‘Oliver Cromwell’ at Leamington Spa for a 30 mins signal check whilst heading south from Tyseley to Old Oak Common.  A few familiar WIAS faces were in attendance!  Short HD Video of departure on the right, best viewed in full screen. August 2017

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Bubbenhall Project. Hi, I’m Faye Irvine, Wildlife Engagement Officer at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. As you may be aware, the Trust purchased Bubbenhall Wood and what was part of Wood Farm, just outside the village of Bubbenhall. As part of a larger project to engage local people and open up the site to our members we are conducting an Oral History project to capture people’s memories and photos of the site and how it has changed in living memory. I wondered if anyone in your organisation may have knowledge of the wood, lived near the wood as a child, or have recent memories of the wood as it went through it’s quarrying phase. Likewise, do let me know if you have further questions. Click here to view the Information Sheet.

Kindest Regards,
Faye Irvine

WIAS 2017/2018. It will soon be time to start the brand new season and WIAS looks forward to welcoming everyone to its first meeting on Thursday September 14th, 7.30pm in the Pyne Room, Warwick School. As usual the evening commences with the AGM, (your chance to get more involved), followed by refreshments and then a series of short illustrated talks on local topics of interest. The ‘welcome letter’ from the Chairman, Martin Green, is available here on the the web site together with the brand new programme of speakers for 2017/2018 put together by the committee. Put the date in your diary now! August 2017

WIAS June 2017 – David Hulse. The final meeting of the 2016/2017 season was a talk by engineer David Hulse from Stone in Staffordshire. It was truly amazing and inspiring! If you were not able to get to the meeting, which opened with a 10 mins video about David, you can watch it here. Highly recommended viewing! Visit David’s excellent web site for much more information  – click hereJune 2017

WIAS Visit to GE Rugby. On Monday 12th April 2017 members visited GE, Rugby (current occupants of the BT-H site), followed by lunch at Brownsover Hall, former Wartime Headquarters of Power Jets Ltd., to commemorate the the 80th Anniversary of the world’s first operational run of a gas turbine turbojet engine by Frank Whittle at the British Thomson-Houston Works, Rugby. The society is grateful to Alain Foote for orgnising this event and to John Willock who prepared and excellent booklet detailing the event. This booklet is now available on the website – click here to view. June 2017

Stoneleigh Abbey, Stoneleigh. Each year, as funds become available, restoration work is being carried out mainly within the abbey grounds. Over the winter months there has been considerable work on the sluice gate mechanisms so they function properly on the flow of the river through the parkland. Most impressively, the derelict pump house together with all its equipment has been beautifully restored and hopefully the interior will be on full view to the public in the near future. The water wheel and all the ancillary equipment which was used to pump water from the river to Ashow village looks magnificent having been sent off to a specialist in Worcestershire for restoration. The building itself had no roof and large trees grew from the interior. It now boasts a new roof, restored stonework and a smart green entrance door. I am reliably informed that at some stage in the future there are plans to restore the ice house, which collapsed in on itself, to its former glory. April 2017

  • The pump house before restoration with trees!
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  • A glimpse of the restored water wheel inside the pump house.
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From Warwickshire Libraries. I would be grateful if you could pass the following information to your members about a recent purchase made by Warwickshire Library and Information Service of the on-line version of the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. This is really a very useful resource, particularly the comparison between the numbers of people with a surname on 1881 census and those with the same name today.  Hard copies of the 4 volume title are also available at Leamington, Nuneaton and Rugby (temporarily until Stratford re-opens in Henley Street). Accessing the on-line resource can be done at home if a library member. Go to the referenceandlearning  pages and scroll down to the local and family history heading and click on the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. Members will be asked for a library card number, please type WARKS before this as in the example WARKS12345678. If any of your members live or work in Warwickshire (or an adjoining county) and are not library members they may join the library by completing the form on-line join and a membership card will be posted out to them or they can visit any Warwickshire County Council library with ID (name and address) and join. Members may also be interested to see the other on-line resources we have including Which? Groves Music, Times Digital Archive etc by looking at the other headings on the referenceandlearning pages. An overview of local and family history material held in libraries can be found at library local studies web pages Our library catalogue can be found at librarycatalogue  (Narrow the search to local studies material on the catalogue, by clicking on the collections arrow, just above the general search box and then click on local studies and family history). I hope your members will find the above information useful and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Kind regards
Louise Essex, Senior Librarian, Local Studies, Warwickshire Library and Information Service,
Resources Group, Nuneaton Library, Church Street, Nuneaton, CV11 4DR. April 2017

Next Meeting – 13th April 2017

From the Chairman. Dear all, Arthur Astrop was a stalwart of WIAS for many years, producing an important Occasional Paper on the Machine Tool Industry of Coventry, acting as recorder of meetings for the WIAS Newsletter for a long period, and continuing in the role of proof reader right through to the latest edition. He was a delightful man – cultured, charming, erudite – and he will be sorely missed. It was John Berkeley who passed on the news of Arthur’s death to me and he summed up Arthur perfectly – “one of life’s real gentlemen”. Arthur’s humanist funeral will take place at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, CV33 9QP on Wednesday April 5th. at 11.30 am. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, March 2017

WIAS member Arthur Astrop. Our good friend Arthur Astrop passed away peacefully at lunchtime on Friday 17th March. He had tuned his radio to listen to the one o’clock news, adjusted his headphones, the pips had sounded and the broadcast begun…and he slipped away. I cannot imagine a more dignified way to go for one of life’s real gentlemen, exactly as he would have wished, in his own home, with family members present.  I am sure many members of the Society would wish to pay their respects, remembering him with great affection and I’ll pass on details as soon as the funeral arrangements are known. John Berkeley, March 2017

Packington Hall Gardens Open.  Sunday 7th May (2.30 – 5pm). Admission £5.50, children free. Home-made teas. Refreshments in aid of St James’, Great Packington & the local WI. Packington is the setting for an elegant Capability Brown landscape. Designed from 1750 in 100 acres of parkland which sweeps down to a lake incl 1762 Japanese bridge. Delicious WI teas on the terrace or in The Pompeiian Room if wet. If you missed the opportunity to visit this fabulous location in September 2016 the gardens are once again open by kind permission of Lord & Lady Aylesford as part of the National Garden Open Scheme.  There is a considerable amount of Industrial Archaeology in the park including the lakes and their system of dams and spillways, the remains of a mill, bridges and water features. Full details on the NGS/Packington Park web site – click here. Photos from the 2016 opening. March 2017

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Cast Iron Mile Posts in South Warwickshire. I think you know about our project to restore the six (known) survivors of the nationally unique set of cast iron mileposts along the former Stratford on Avon to Long Compton Turnpike. Thanks to a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund we have made a start, and the posts are being extracted and collected for restoration by a specialist company Leander Architectural. I will keep you informed of further progress as it takes place.

A synopsis of this interesting project to date is now available – to read the full story click here.

Robert Caldicott, Warwick
March 2017

Chance Glassworks Trust. The Trust needs your help! To read about the appeal to save this famous glass works site click on the picture below. February 2017

WIAS Newsletter No. 60 January 2017. At present this edition is only available on line, click here to view now. Paper copies will be freely available at the March 2017 meeting. February 2017

Heritage of Industry Ltd 2017 Tours. Full details available now on the Visits page. February 2017 

WIAS Meeting 9th February 2017. ‘The Lost Railway – Henley in Arden to Lapworth’ by Paul Baker. Everyone welcome!

WIAS Trip March 2017. Aattached is a booking form for the Visit on Sunday March 19th. 2017 to Kempton Great Engines and the London Museum of Steam and Water. Alain Foote, the organiser of the trip, will be collecting these forms at the meeting on Thursday 9th February 2017. Click here to go to the WIAS Trips & Visits page now for details and to download the booking form. Feburary 2017

Kenilworth Railway Station – Update. Work on the ‘new’ Kenilworth Railway Station, (on the site of the original station closed in the 1960’s and demolished in the 1970’s), is now well under way. Mostly preparation of the substructure and diversion of underground services at present but if you find yourself in Station Rd/Waverley Rd, Kenilworth you can see the construction from the nearby footbridge that leads to Farmer Ward Road. Unfortunately the planned opening date had been put back again and the completion date is now estimated as December 2017. Here are a few photos of the site on a cold and dark January afternoon. Trains are still passing through the site at normal speed. January 2017 

  • Kenilworth Station Jan 2017 (1)A lok at the site of the 'new' Kenilworth Railway Station - completion is now estimated as December 2017.
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WIAS 2017. The first WIAS meeting of 2017 will take place on Thursday January 12th. 2017 when Peter Crowley will describe his experiences of spending his working life at Alvis, and the continuation of that connection with his involvement with Red Triangle in Kenilworth. Choosing to remain on the shop-floor to maintain his hands-on experience, Peter has a unique story to tell of this once eminent company. The meeting will be held in the Pyne Room, Warwick School. All are welcome. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. January 2017

‘THE RED ROSE’ 11th February 2017. Have you seen 60163 Tornado on the West Coast Main Line? She will be hauling ‘The Red Rose’ on a London Victoria – Shrewsbury excursion on Saturday 11th February 2017. Timings to be confirmed, 60163 will pass through Coventry and then take the Nuneaton line before continuing on via Birmingham, to Shrewsbury. January 2017

60163 Tornado at Leamington Spa in 2011. Photo courtesy of Derek Billings.

AIA Spring Tour 2017. I am pleased to announce that we now have full details for the upcoming AIA Spring Tour “The Randstad – North & South Holland and Utrecht” 15th – 21st May 2017. This unique and exciting tour includes visits to sites in the Amsterdam area, Rotterdam and Utrecht most of which have not been visited by the AIA before, or at least not for over 20 years. Those few that are revisited are important enough to warrant a return visit and one of those at least has been returned to productive work from the dereliction that was seen before. We will be including evening talks which give a background to some of the visits and a half-day, joint Anglo-Dutch seminar with our friends in Dutch IA groups on the theme of adaptive re-use. The itinerary is generating a lot of interest. Booking has been open for only a week to those who had previously registered interest and already 23 places have been booked. Now is your chance and I recommend booking right away if you don’t wish to miss the opportunity.
Click here for full details:

Kind regards,
Bill Barksfield, Managing Director, Heritage of Industry Ltd
Exploring the Industrial Past for more than 25 years
The Gables, 20 Main Road, East Hagbourne, Oxon, OX11 9LN
Web: Email:
Phone/Fax: +44 1235 352275
Heritage of Industry sponsors – the index to Industrial Heritage

Atherstone. If you walk around looking at the ground it can be quite revealing! These three water box covers were recently spotted set into the ground in Atherstone Market Place. All look to be of considerable age and a guess suggests NEWWB stands for North East Warwicksire Water Board? December 2016

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WIAS Trip 2017. In recent times, WIAS has enjoyed talks on Kew Bridge and Great Kempton Steam and a tentative plan has been formed for a visit to both locations on Sunday March 19th. 2017. This is very dependent on numbers interested, so I am sending this e-mail to assess the level of support for such an idea. If you are interested, please would you let Alain Foote know the numbers, and he will explore costs of coach etc. His e-mail address is These are two wonderful examples of steam power and this provides an excellent opportunity to visit both sites, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. Please let Alain know if you are interested.

Can I also take this opportunity to thank you all for your support for WIAS in 2016, to offer best wishes for Christmas, and to look forward to more investigation of the industrial heritage, both local and beyond, in 2017.

Martin Green,Chairman, WIAS, December 2016

WIAS Meeting – December 8th 2016. Learn more about THE GREAT KEMPTON ENGINES at the next meeting of the Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society. Thursday December 8th. at 7.30 pm in the Pyne Room, Warwick School. Alain Foote – a renowned expert on steam power – will describe the workings of the world’s largest triple-expansion steam engines. These engines worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, pumping millions of gallons of water to North London between 1927 and 1980. All are welcome to attend the meeting and discover more about these magnificent examples of steam power and engineering. December 2016

WIAS Newsletter. No 59 October 2016 issue is now available to read on line. Click here. December 2016

Council for British Archaeology (West Midlands). The latest newsletter, Autumn 2016, is now available to read online. Click here. October 2016

WIAS Database. The latest batch of submissions to the database has now been processed and is available to view on line. The total number of entries is now and impressive 361. Click here to learn more about the project. October 2016

WIAS Newsletters. After a slight delay, Newsletters No 56 to No 58 are now available to read on line. Sept 2016

Dear all, I write with a final reminder of the meeting on Thursday September 8th. in the Pyne Room, Warwick School at 7.30 pm. This will start with a (very brief) AGM and the main part of the evening will be a talk by Tim Clark on the fascinating story of the Parkes, Brookhouse and Crompton Worsted Mill that used to stand in an area now occupied by the Sainsbury’s car park in Saltisford, Warwick.  Remains of the buildings still stood in the 1970s and Tim has pieced together the history of the Mill since its construction in the late 18th. century. It will also be a chance to catch up with news from members, to browse the bookstall and the collection of industrial heritage journals that will be available to buy, and to look at our display boards. One added ingredient will be a running slide-show (without commentary) from 7.10 pm which I hope will be of interest to those who arrive early.

Talking of arriving early, the new system of subscriptions begins this month and joining on the first meeting as members obviously gives the greatest free access to all meetings for the season. We hope the membership table will be busy, and it would help Sue Hammon enormously if those joining could bring the correct £16 in cash (although cheques are, of course, entirely acceptable). The fee for joint members is £20.

Many thanks to you all for your continued support of the society and of our industrial heritage. See you on Thursday!!

Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS

From The Chairman:
Martin Green, Argyll House, 2(B) Union Road, Leamington Spa CV32 5LT
August 2016

Dear member/former member/industrial heritage enthusiast,

I am writing to remind you all of the start of the new series of WIAS meetings beginning on Thursday September 8th 2016, and to enclose the programme for 2016-2017. (Click here to see the programme).

This information is sent to you by e-mail and not post to save unnecessary postage costs.

Please may I also remind everyone that in order to take advantage of our Society’s Gift Aid status, our membership subscription rates change from this September to £16 (individual) and £20 (joint) for the 2016-­‐2017 year. Please renew your membership subscription with Sue Hammon in the usual way. Under these new arrangements, membership will give members free entry to all WIAS monthly meetings.

In the past we have used the signing-­‐in book as a record of the cash received at each meeting. Although we shall now not need this financial record of payments by our members, it is important for both the school’s safety and security arrangements and our own record keeping that we note who is present at each meeting. To simplify matters we shall have a pre-­‐printed list of members’ names in alphabetical surname order to tick on arrival. Your help with this will be greatly appreciated. There will be a signing-­‐in sheet for non-­‐members.

The majority of our members have now completed Gift Aid declaration forms. If you have not done so, and are a UK taxpayer, please complete a Gift Aid declaration form which will be available on entry to the September meeting. HMRC have amended the wording they require on such declarations and this is reflected in the forms that are now available. Please also note that we shall continue to invite visitors to our meetings to contribute £2.50 on entry, although we must emphasise that this is a voluntary ‘free will’ gift and is not an entry fee for attendance.

Subscriptions can be handed in at the monthly meeting to the Membership Secretary, or
sent by post to:
Mrs. S. Hammon (WIAS Membership Secretary)
17 Knightcote Drive,
Leamington Spa,
CV32 5FA

We do hope you will be able to attend the first meeting of the new season to hear the various talks, to renew friendships and contacts -­‐ or to visit us for the first time. We very much look forward to seeing you all at our monthly meetings.

Yours sincerely

Martin Green
Chairman, WIAS

Strong Rooms. I have been approached by Sam Collenette from the County Record Office to see if any of us would be prepared to help with an initiative seeking to spread the word to the wider community about the value and importance of Archives through an innovative Arts project. I quote from her e-mail to me:
Warwickshire County Record Office are leading a project working with Hill St Youth Club in Rugby, artists and archives in Coventry, Dudley and Warwickshire which will culminate in an outdoor touring exhibition called Strong Rooms. There will be a member of staff at the site next to the Benn Hall in Rugby at all times but we could really also do with help from volunteers who would provide family history advice and explain to the public what archives are, handing out leaflets etc. Training on these issues would be provided for the volunteers. The exhibition opens to the public on 4th to the 11th July this year in Rugby and we’d need help between 10-4. We’re planning two shifts 10-1 1-4 with travel expenses paid.
Sam is organising a training session for volunteers on 27th June at the Record Office in Warwick, probably for a few hours between 10 and 3 with travel expenses paid and a light lunch. Please get in touch with her if you are interested
We often talk about the Society reaching a wider audience … perhaps this would be useful experience! Martin Green. June 2016

Death of WIAS Member. I’m afraid I have to deliver the very sad news that Alan Flint died last week. Alan had been connected to WIAS for a very long time, and greatly enjoyed exploring the industrial heritage of his local area, centred on Priors Marston. He was always a cheerful enthusiast, and although he has been a less regular visitor to meetings in recent years, (and some new members may not have known him), he was a stalwart of the Society in its early years. When I learn of funeral arrangements, I will pass them on to you. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. June 2016

STOP PRESS! Our next meeting of the Sydenham History Group is on Tuesday 31st May at 7.30pm at the SYDNI Centre, Cottage Square (off Marloes Walk) Sydenham CV31 1PT. Please note we have a change to the published programme.  The talk will now be ‘The Bonniksens of Harbury Lane Airfield’ by Allan Jennings. The story of Julius Bonniksen, Bahne Bonniksen and Gordon Evans, the three local enthusiasts whose interests encompassed flying, horology and art. We do hope you can join us. Sydenham History Group. May 2016

WIAS Outing! An extra visit for WIAS members has been arranged by Alain Foote on Friday 8th July to the “Cementing Relations with Southam” exhibition in Southam followed by a site visit to examine the remains uncovered during the excavations at Nelson’s Wharf, Stockton.  This will be followed by lunch at a nearby pub for those interested. The visit starts at 10:00 a.m at Southam Heritage Collection in Vivian House, Southam.  The visit will be led by John Frearson. Anyone interested in joining this visit should contact Alain Foote on  Please indicate whether or not you wish to join the party for lunch.  Numbers are limited to 15, so early application is advised.  There will be a fair bit of walking and a torch is advised too. May 2016

Electric Railway Museum, Baginton. I attach a leaflet about the Electric Railway Museum Baginton CV3 4FR. Saturday May 14th. is Open Day – with free entry – and visitors would be most welcome. The Museum holds the largest private collection of electric trains in the country, seeking to fill a gap in this country’s railway heritage. It is a Museum that deserves our support, and it could, of course, be combined with a visit to the Air Museum which is virtually next door. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS , May 2016




Steam Power – WIAS Meeting Thursday May 12th.
The Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society meets on Thursday May 12th. in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP at 7.30 pm when Anthony Coulls will speak on ‘The London Water and Steam Museum – formerly Kew Bridge Pumping Station’. Anthony has a passion for steam power, and is a trustee of the Water and Steam Museum and Chair of the Board’s Collections and Curatorial Committee, and it will be a pleasure to learn more about this landmark museum. ALL ARE WELCOME at the meeting. May 201613173953_1174670945910892_151208027677807059_n

Death of WIAS Member. I am very sorry to have to pass on to you the news that Brian Redknap died on April 2nd., aged 88. Brian was a regular attendee at WIAS meetings, and, of course, as Coventry City Engineer was able to give first-hand knowledge of the design and construction of The Coventry Inner Ring Road, opened in 1974. He spoke to the Society about this project, and we were fortunate to hear his reflections on the issues surrounding the re-building of Coventry. He was also author of the Historical Association booklet ‘Engineering The Development Of Coventry’. Martin Green, WIAS Chairman. April 2016

Funeral Arrangements. Friday 6th May at Canley Crematorium, Coventry (1.30pm). Donations if desired to The Myton Hospices, who looked after him so well. Details are: The Myton Hospices, Myton Lane, Warwick, CV34 6PX, Tel: 01926 492518 Cheques payable to: The Myton Hospices. A donation can be made to The Myton Hospices over the phone (01926 492518) or by post to the address below or indeed via website Those donating should state Brian’s name to ensure that they attribute all donations made in his memory to him. April 2016

WIAS 2016 Visits. Alain Foote has arranged the final WIAS organised visit of 2016 to Toye, Kenning & Spencer ( at Bedworth at 10:30 a.m. on Monday 12th September. Places are limited to 10, so early booking is recommended. The visit will last for around two hours. A reserve list will be made once the limit has been reached. Please email Alain Foote on to reserve your place or places. If you subsequently cannot make it, please let Alain know so that your place can be given to someone else. Further details will be sent nearer the time. Martin Green. March 2016

Photo Gallery. Three new albums just added, the first is look round the Jaguar Heritage Centre, Browns Lane, Coventry on the final day of opening to the public. The second is a collection of photos taken at the last open day held at the Aston Manor Transport Museum, Aston, Birmingham. There are some nice shots of Midland Red and Coventry Transport vehicles! The third is a miscellaneous collection of photos, many supplied by members, featuring various locations/events of interest inside and outside Warwickshire, the UK and Europe These are sorted into sub albums. Link. Photo submissions are always welcome, use the ‘contact‘ page. February 2016

Index of Proceedings WIAS. The index has now been updated to included the subjects & topics in the latest newsletter.  Click here to visit. February 2016

Parking at Warwick School for WIAS Meetings. Warwick School is a busy site, and there are evenings when there are several events taking place. This puts pressure on car parking space, worsened at present by the building works associated with the new Hall. Thursday evening was such an occasion and I apologise to those who found parking difficult. If the Junior School car park is full, please try the Bridge House Theatre car park at the western end of the site. It is only a marginally longer walk from there to the Pyne Room. I attach a map. Black routes indicate driving; red routes walking.
Martin Green, Chairman WIAS February 2016Warwick-School-parking-2

WIAS Visits 2016. Two more WIAS visits have been arranged.  The first is to Shrewsbury on Sunday 19th June to visit Ditherington Flaxmill ( see and Coleham Pumping Station (see .  It is intended that guided tours will be arranged at each location.  We will meet at Ditherington Flaxmill at 11:00 a.m. and then move to Coleham for around 2:00 p.m.  Transport will be by members’ cars and it is suggested that members take a packed lunch or arrange to have lunch in Shrewsbury.  Normal admission charges will apply at both sites.

The second visit is planned for Thursday 21st July when WIAS member Chris Barney will be leading a tour of the canal installation and buildings at Braunston.  This tour will involve a considerable amount of walking, probably around 1½ miles, so is only suitable for those who do not have mobility problems.  The plan is to meet at Braunston at 11:00 a.m. and stop for lunch at the Admiral Nelson pub by the canal at Braunston.  Numbers for this visit are limited to 16 or so, so it will be first come first served.

Further details will be provided nearer the time, but if you wish to join either, or both of these visits, please contact Alain Foote by email on or phone 01788 570786 to reserve your place/places. February 2016

Coventry Technical College – ‘The Tech’. Did you know the college or attend a course at the The Butts, Coventry? You may be interested to know that this splendid old building, (the front is grade II listed), is undergoing a £6 million pound refurbishment which will see it converted into a plush new complex for Premier Inn. The project has involved the replacement of 1250 panes of broken glass and the complete restoration of the centrepiece, which many will remember, the 1930 art deco lay light. To read more about this exciting development visit the page created by the glazing contractors Three Spires Glass here. February 2016

February Meeting. Speaker Dr Barrie Trinder, 7.30pm, Thursday 10th Feb, the Pyne Room, Warwick School. All welcome.Banbury-notice2

Newsletter 56. Our full colour November 2015 edition Newsletter is now available on line. Paper copies will be available at the December meeting. Click here to read now. December 2015 

Change of Venue – December 2015 Meeting. Please note there is a change of venue from our usual meeting place. Details of how to reach the Halse Pavilion, Warwick School are below. Park in the usual place – the Junior School car park, cross the playground and then turn left and enter the Sports Centre. The Halse Pavilion is on the first floor – stairs and lift available. December 2015Elan valley noticehalse pavilion2

Nelson’s Canal Basin Restoration. To learn more about this exciting development near Rugby click here. November 2015

Longbridge, Birmingham. I am a member of WIAS and came to the meeting on shadow factories. I was interested in the Cofton Hackett airfield and how Longbridge built planes in the war . A you tube clip was shown of a Huricane being sent up a lift to an airfield . My parents lived until quite recently by Cofton Park and the Longbridge factory. Edwin Gumbley who collects postcards provided the attached image showing the factory and airfield which also included a pre war parents house before we moved in . A second image shows Fairey aircraft being stored in Cofton Park. Regards, Graham Higgins. October 2015

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Cofton Park

Vulcan XH558. Derek Billings was at Burton Dassett Country Park, along with many others, on Sunday 4th October 2015 to see Vulcan XH588. Tickets to see it display over the Motor Heritage Centre, just down the road, sold out within minutes but the next best spot was Burton Dassett overlooking the former RAF Gaydon. Perhaps the crew of XH558 saw the crowds gathered on the hill as they were able to enjoy a low pass en route from Gaydon!  Photos copyright D. Billings. October 2015

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The crowds gathered on the Burton Dassett Hills

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Vulcan XH558 passes low over the hills

FERRY CANCELLED!! I pass on a message from Peter Lockyer …
Following my contacting your website recently and asking for publicity for Tim Ryan’s talk on the Beachley Aust ferry at the Beechwood Tennis Club in Earlsdon, at 7.30pm on Friday 18th September, I’m sorry to have to tell you that he has had to cancel the evening because of poor health. At very late notice, Liz Pitman from Hereford has agreed to give her illustrated talk Pigsties and Paradise: Lady Diarists and the Tour of Wales 1795 -1860.
“They were mostly well-to-do ladies. They came, they saw, and they wrote… about landscapes, naked bathing, drunk coach drivers and terrible weather….”
More information on:…/authors-notes-liz-pitman-pig… September 2015

From Pens to Particle Physics – The Story of a Birmingham Family Business’
by WIAS member John Berkeley OBE.

If you missed John’s splendid talk at WIAS about his family firm, ‘Brandauer’, you may be pleased to know that his excellent book of the same name is available to download free of charge. To obtain your full colour PDF version click on the logo below. August 2015

Warwickshire Nooks & Crannies! If you missed this talk by Martin Green here are few of the slides! August 2015

  • Birmingham Airport (Elmdon) Signpost now at International
  • Birmingham Airport (Elmdon) Original Terminal
  • Wilsdon Coachworks, Stratford Rd, Solihull
  • Hill Top Miners Housing, North Warwickshire
  • Goldfinger House, Stratford Rd, Shirley
  • Lucas Research Centre, Stratford Rd, Shirley
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  • Healey Motor Works, The Cape, Warwick
Birmingham Airport (Elmdon) Signpost now at International1 Birmingham Airport (Elmdon) Original Terminal2 Wilsdon Coachworks, Stratford Rd, Solihull3 Hill Top Miners Housing, North Warwickshire4 Goldfinger House, Stratford Rd, Shirley5 Lucas Research Centre, Stratford Rd, Shirley6 Olton Railway Station, Olton, Solihull7 Healey Motor Works, The Cape, Warwick8
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