News & Information


Newsletter 67. If you weren’t able to collect a copy at the September meeting the latest newsletter, with meeting reports, is now available on line on our Newsletter & Retort page. WIAS is indebted to Mike Hearn who does a superb job of reporting on our speakers talks. 16th September 2019

Saturday 28th September 2019
Leamington Local History Day is in the Parish Church (All Saints)
10.30 am until 4.00pm – Free Entry!
Many local history groups and historians will be in attendance, some with products for sale. Two recent books on “A History of Royal Leamington Spa in 100 Buildings” and “The Ironmen of Leamington” (produced jointly with the Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society) are available. Also the 2020 edition of LHS Old Leamington Calendar will be on sale. The Church café will be open but there is no on-site car parking. We look forward to seeing you there. This event is organised by Leamington History Group to share what is known about the history of the town and the people who have lived and worked here. If you have information to share, or questions, then LHS will happily discuss them with you.


‘THE IRONMEN OF LEAMINGTON’ by Martin Green and Mick Jeffs.
Leamington History Group and Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society are pleased to announce the publication of their joint research project, THE IRONMEN OF LEAMINGTON: The Iron-founders and Allied Traders of Leamington Spa 1800-1900 by Martin Green and Mick Jeffs. This liberally-illustrated book provides a fascinating insight into the world of iron-founding in the rapidly expanding town of Leamington Spa during the 19th. century, exploring the experience of the firms and individuals involved. The book is available from local retail outlets, WIAS and LHG and will be on sale at the Leamington Local History Day on the 28th September.

15th September 2019


WIAS Meeting October 10th
Peter Coulls and Alan Jennings:
‘The Warwick and Leamington Tramways’
Allan and Peter have written a comprehensive history of ‘The Leamington and Warwick Tramway’ which last ran in 1930. It includes details of the horse drawn and electric trams that travelled between the two towns for 49 years. Again, it includes many images along the route. This book will appeal to local historians, transport historians, industrial archaeologists, people with an interest in the history of the two towns and others who will just enjoy checking out the old postcards and photographs. This book will be ideal for a birthday or Christmas present.

Available to purchase at the WIAS October meeting!

15th September 2019

From the Chaiman. Dear all, time to extract oneself from the Brexit quagmire and enjoy the pleasures of exploring the industrial heritage of Warwickshire and beyond. After a short AGM, the Chairman will be presenting ‘Where next for the Industrial Heritage? Positive options in an uncertain world’ on Thursday September 12th. at 7.30pm in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP. This rather grandiose title is a cover for a chance to explore the contributions that we as individuals and as members of WIAS can make to the study, recording and preservation of our industrial heritage. It will be liberally illustrated with photographs from near and far (many taken in recent months) and hopefully will be full of interest and the odd surprise or two! The meeting will also have the usual bookstalls, all at remarkably – some would say, unbeatably – low prices. Refreshments will be available, and – perhaps most important of all – the evening provides the chance to share time with fellow enthusiasts for the industrial heritage.
Subscriptions are now due – £20 for an individual and £26 for a joint membership. This works out as a bargain £2 per meeting for the individual, with the added knowledge that it is supporting the work of WIAS. Payments can now be received via cash, cheque or card. The latest Newsletter will be available to members.

I very much look forward to welcoming you all back for the new season. The strength of WIAS lies in its monthly meetings and the support it receives from the membership and friends at these meetings. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 8th September 2019

Card Payments! From the start of the 2019/20 season in September, WIAS will be able to accept card payments at WIAS meetings. You can renew membership subs, buy books or even pay for refreshments if you are visitor! All major debit & credit cards are acceptable. 22nd August 2019

Ian Allan Bookshop Birmingham. I am grateful to Richard Johnson for passing on the news that the Ian Allan bookshop in Birmingham will close on September 14th. 2019. It seems that the owners of the business are wanting to retire so have chosen not to renew the lease on the Birmingham site. They will be having a sale – starting on August 24th. For those who have not been it is a transport enthusiast’s delight and a visit is highly recommended. The shop is located at 12 Ethel Street – on the corner of Ethel Street and Stephenson Street, close to New Street station. More information is available on their website here Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 22nd August 2019

Welcome! Read the Chairman’s 2019/20 season welcome letter here13th August 2019

WIAS Database. Roger Cragg has recently revised and updated the WIAS database and we thank Roger for the amount of time and effort he has put into the project. New entries have been added and we welcome more contributions. If you photograph something worthy of an entry over the holidays please send it to us for inclusion. There is a simple submission form on the Database page – click here5th August 2019

Crossness Pumping Station Trip. The booking form for the visit to Crossness on October 20th, 2019 is now available here. This really is a wonderful piece of Victorian engineering and is strongly recommended. Full details are enclosed on the booking form. 31st July 2019

National Memorial Arboretum. I have received an e-mail from John Willock with the following details of a visit to the National Arboretum. Royal Leamington Spa Probus Club are running a coach trip to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas on Tuesday 17 September, 2019. We currently have three seats available on the 26 seater coach. I wondered if any of our WIAS members may be interested.  The fare is £12 per head and admission to the arboretum is free. An optional, although pre-bookable, 50 minute railway train tour of the site is also available at £5.00. Perhaps you could please circulate this to WIAS members. Anyone interested should contact Michael Doody, RLS Probus Cub, for further details. Martin Green, Chairman WIAS. 19th July 2019

Jaguar Vehicles – Tools. Do take a look at our ‘Can You Help Page’ where you will find a request from Steve Kennedy, Denver, Colorado, U.S. Steve is researching tools kits that were provided by Jaguar and needs help in identifying a particular ‘Pink Lockheed Bleeder Tin!’ Click here for full details. 18th July 2019

Fawley Hill Trip this Saturday 13th July 2019 Alain Foote has contacted me to say that there are still a couple of places left on the trip to Fawley Hill Railway and Museum on Saturday. Please get in touch with Alain at if you are interested. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 11th July 2019

Open Day at Winnall Mill

WIAS 2019. The final meeting of this season saw a packed Pyne Room for a fascinating talk on the Redditch needle industry. WIAS looks forward to welcoming members and visitors, old and new, when the new season starts in September. Until then enjoy the summer – when it finally arrives! 16th June 2019

LNWR Society Archive. Located in Kenilworth, the collection runs to around 10,000 items, a large proportion of which are original. It covers all aspects of the work and operations of the LNWR and its successors, and includes minute books, reports, working and public timetables, appendices, and working instructions. There is a large collection of drawings and other information related to locomotives and rolling stock, stations, buildings, track and signalling. Many items are unique.

The archive is regularly open to the public, dates are published in advanced on the LNWR web site. Facilities available include state of the art scanning equipment as used by the National Archives, Kew. To view a PDF brochure with more information click here or visit the LNWR web site at

There is an opportunity to visit on Monday evening, 17th June, starting at 6.30 pm.
Mike Musson who runs the archive it is keen to have people see what goes on.

15th June 2019

Coombe Abbey Country Park, Coventry. Visitors to the final meeting of WIAS for this season will have heard member John Brace giving an illustrated talk on some interesting research he had carried out at Coombe Abbey Country Park near Coventry. The focus was on ‘Water and Electricity for Coombe (Combe) Abbey’ – Four Features in the East Park and an Electric Power House. John has kindly made the text and photographs from his research available for all. Click here to view now or visit via the link on our ‘Contributions’ page. 14th June 2019

Coventry – Road Transport Museum. Free admission for all until 29.6 2019, from 30.6 2019 Coventry residents free otherwise Adults £14.00,Concessions £10.50 5 to 16 years £7.00. It is still get possible into the Museum for free after 1/7/2019 if you have a Go CV card. Resident in Coventry, paying Coventry City Council Rates, is the qualification for this card. Roger Cleal, 16th May 2019

‘The Ironmen of Leamington’ Some of you will recall the joint WIAS/Leamington History Group presentation in November 2017 on the Ironmen of Leamington. A book was promised at the time and this is about to be published. It will be available at the May WIAS Meeting, but just in case you missed the talk – or dare I say it – would like to hear (a revised version of it) again, I will be giving such a talk entitled ‘Some influential iron founders in 19th. Century Leamington Spa’ at a meeting of the Leamington History Group on Monday 29th. April. starting at 7.30pm. The meeting will be held in the Dormer Conference Centre next to St. Peter’s Church in Dormer Place, Leamington Spa. The book ‘The Ironmen of Leamington’ written by Martin Green and Michael Jeffs, with be on sale at the discounted price of £12. All are welcome. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS 28th April 2019

WIAS Meeting May 9th 2019. Due to the unexpected unavailability of our speaker, the May Meeting of WIAS has had to be altered from the published programme. It is to be replaced by a meeting with three elements. The principal talk will be by Alain Foote on Metropolitan Vickers, an industrial giant making electrical goods and equipment that at one stage employed over 23,000 workers at its Old Trafford site. Highly diversified, Metrovick was particularly well-known for industrial electrical equipment and generators, street lighting, electronics, steam turbines and diesel locomotives. Alain has carefully researched this company, from its rise to fame to final closure.

A second ingredient will be the launch at WIAS of the book on Leamington Iron-founders, written by Martin Green and Michael Jeffs. This will be available at the heavily-discounted price of £12 (cash or cheque), compared with the retail price of £18.

Finally, there will be a significant sale of books on transport and industrial history, all at unbeatable prices.


The Meeting will be held in the HALSE PAVILION, WARWICK SCHOOL at 7.30pm Thursday May 9th. 2019. (This is a change from our normal venue of the Pyne Room), Martin Green, Chairman WIAS, 15th April 2019

Crossness Pumping Station Please go to the Visits & Trips page of the site for details of a proposed trip by coach on Sunday 20th October 2019. An estimate of numbers is required before arranging the booking. Alain Foote, 28th March 2019 


Leamington History Group and Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society are pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of their joint research project, THE IRONMEN OF LEAMINGTON: The Iron-founders and Allied Traders of Leamington Spa 1800-1900 by Martin Green and Mick Jeffs. This liberally-illustrated book provides a fascinating insight into the world of iron-founding in the rapidly expanding town of Leamington Spa during the 19th. century, exploring the experience of the firms and individuals involved. Publication is expected to be April 2019, and the book, costing around £10 to members, will be available from local retail outlets, WIAS and LHG.

To pre-order your copy, please contact Margaret Rushton (
(n.b. the cover price will be £15)

Death of WIAS member. I regret to have to pass on the news of the death of Anthony Hawkins, one of our members. Not many will have known Anthony, but he was a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of the Society. He travelled in from Balsall Common each month, often arriving late in his notoriously unreliable car, but he rarely missed a meeting, and would often contact me with supplementary information or comment subsequent to a meeting. Please contact me if anyone would like to know funeral details. Martin Green, Chairman WIAS. 17th March 2019

Leamington Art Gallery Exhibition. Just in case you are not already aware, an exhibition of over sixty of Thomas Baker’s works will be on display at Leamington Art Gallery from March to May 2019. Although born in Birmingham, Tom Baker spent much of his life in Leamington, sketching and painting the local topography, as well as that of the West Midlands and the Welsh Borders. One watercolour in the exhibition is a very fine 1850 depiction of the LNW Railway Bridge spanning High Street in Leamington, before the GWR arrived. Thomas Baker’s works have become, rightly, much more appreciated in recent years, and hopefully this exhibition will continue that trend. I think it may be well worth a visit.  Click here to visit the Leamington Art Gallery Website. John Willock. 16th March 2019

Newsletter. The latest edition, No. 66, is now available on the web site. Click here. 16th March 2019


Clun Castle Thursday 21st February 2019 and with the beautiful afternoon sunshine fading fast the sound of a steam engine could suddenly be heard across the fields near Lapworth, Warwickshire. The very quiet scene at Lapworth Station was suddenly disturbed as GWR 7029 Clun Castle appeared travelling under full steam from Hatton Junction to Tyseley. Hauling a rake of GWR livery coaches the train made a wonderful site in the dusk. All too soon the silence returned, the only evidence of this unexpected treat being a huge amount of thick smoke hanging amongst the trees towards Birmingham. 7029 had been out on a loaded test run with empty stock, Tyseley – Stratford upon Avon – Tyseley via the North Warwickshire line and Chiltern line. 22nd February 2019

GWR 7029 Clun Castle passing Lapworth Station on the 22nd February 2019

Railways Remembered at 40! Rob Foxon returns to the Ben Hall, Rugby at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 20th February. Don’t miss this special evening when Rob will be celebrating ’40 years of archive railway film on the silver screen!’ Tickets are £7 on the door or £6.50 in advance.

WIAS February David Fry talk will be speaking on ‘Forgotten Foleshill’. David is an acknowledged expert on the history of Coventry, and he will explore the economic and social history of Coventry’s northern suburb, with some emphasis on the industrial changes that have taken place over time. David has a wonderful collection of postcards and photographs, and I can guarantee a carefully researched, well illustrated and stimulating presentation. The meeting will be held at The Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP on Thursday 14th. February 2019. Details of how to reach the venue can be found on the Society’s website ALL ARE VERY WELCOME. We look forward to seeing you there, including any new – or returning – visitors from Coventry!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Just a reminder of the meeting next Thursday January 10th. which will take the form of a Members’ Evening, with short presentations from members lasting twenty minutes or less. I already have had a couple of offers but please do not be shy in coming forward. Just let me know the topic (and likely length) by sending them to Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 3rd January 2019

WIAS Member. I am very sorry to have to bring you the news that Brian Haggar has died, aged 80. Brian was an enthusiastic supporter of WIAS for many years and he will be greatly missed. The funeral will take place on Friday January 18th. at 2.30pm in the South Chapel, Oakley Wood. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS , 22nd December 2018

WIAS December Meeting. Just a reminder of the WIAS meeting tonight (Thursday) when Roy Smart will be be exploring the life and flight path of Percy Pilcher, aviation pioneer. The meeting is in the HALSE PAVILION, Warwick School at 7.30pm. The pavilion is inside the Sports Centre, easily accessible from the Junior School car park, with a lift to the first floor. Look forward to seeing you there.
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 13th December 2018

December 2018 Newsletter No. 65. Digital version now available on line, click here to visit the newsletter page. 13th December 2018

WIAS Visits in 2019. Details of 3 provisional visits have been added to the Visits page of the site. To see full details and register your interest click here. 5th December 2018

WIAS Database. The latest updates to the database have now been added and include some interesting examples of IA that can be found in Warwickshire & Coventry. Visit the database page here4th December 2018

WIAS Meeting November 8th 2018. Due to illness the planned speaker for this meeting can no longer attend. A new programme has been put in place; Martin Green on ‘Retention in Rome, Restoration in Vienna, Resilience in Delft: examples of industrial heritage in three European cities’ plus Alain Foote on the Ferrybridge Power Station Centenary. 6th November 2018

Next Meeting Thursday 11th October 2018 ‘The Healey Archive’.

Abandoned Railways! Not on your life, this is the Cambrian Coast ‘main line’ near the famous Barmouth Bridge linking Barmouth & Mid Wales with a direct service to Birmingham International Station. Anyone seen the weedkiller train!? The webmaster couldn’t resist adding this gem from his holiday snaps. 13th September 2018

Welcome back! I write to remind you of the first meeting of the new season for Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society, on Thursday September 13th. at 7.30pm in the Pyne Room, Wawick School CV34 6PP, with the Society’s AGM followed by the Chairman’s Review – “Thirty years on – where next for WIAS?” I am reliably informed that this rather mundane title undervalues a fully (even lavishly) illustrated survey of sites old and new and the prospects that lie ahead for the Society. It will be great to welcome you back, with the chance to share the evening with fellow enthusiasts, browse the bookstalls, and enjoy the refreshments. The latest Newsletter will be available, plus the ideal opportunity to renew membership with Membership Secretary Sue Hammon. Rates are £16 for individual membership; £20 for joint membership (member plus partner); and £20 for Society membership (two passes per meeting). Cheque or cash can be paid on the night, and Sue would welcome those paying cash having the exact money available. I very much look forward to welcoming you on Thursday.
Martin Green, Chairman WIAS 10th September 2018

Lecture by Professor Steve Parissien, Chief Executive of Compton Verney, on ‘The British Car as a Social Icon’ on Friday October 5th at All Saints’ Church, Leamington at 7.00pm. Tickets £5 on the door or from Temperance, 33 Bath Street.   In aid of the Friends of the Parish Church. Professor Parissien is an entertaining speaker with a range of interests well beyond his role as Chief Executive of Compton Verney. 6th September 2018

WIAS Database. The database team will be updating the contents soon. If you have a contribution now is a good time to send it to us. Visit the database page here for more details. 1st September 2018

Newsletter No 64. Now available on the web site, click here. 1st September 2018

Birmingham Museum Collection Centre
‘Explore The Store’ Heritage Open Day Sunday
16th September 10am – 4pm
Here it is, ‘Explore The Store’ Birmingham Museum Trust, Heritage Open Day event, on Sunday 16th September 2018 10am – 4.30pm (last admission 4pm). Tell your family, friends, colleagues and networks about this great day out at one of the country’s largest museum stores. It’s a great opportunity to look behind scenes and wander around at your leisure.

The Genesis of the Turbo Jet – 10th November 2018

Rugby Cement – I thought you might like information concerning a Heritage Day visit to Rugby Cement Works on Thursday 13th. September and Friday 14th. September at various times during the day. To book a place, contact the Rugby Visitors Centre on 01788 533217. I have just booked a place, and I was only the second person to sign up, but places went quickly last year. May see some of you there! Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 28th July 2018

Spitfire – One Day Only Tuesday 17th July 2018. Don’t miss this film showing for one day only at cinemas across the UK as part of the RAF 100 years celebration. Leamington Spa Vue Cinema showings at 2pm and 7pm. For more information visit 13th July 2018
News UpdateIf you missed it, Warwick Arts Centre Cinema is showing the film on Sat 25 & Mon 27 Aug 2018. Updated 29th July 2018

Book on Sanderson Miller. Following the recent talk on the landscape of Farnborough, when he discussed his findings on the old mediaeval buildings and the amazing C18 water landscape, I am offering my book Sanderson Millet and his landscapes for sale to members. Miller created the landscape at Farnborough for, and together with the owner, William Holbech, who had recently returned from a prolonged tour of classical Italy. It was an extensive project involving the creation of three large lakes, and a remodelling of the whole hillside to form a terrace from the Hall towards the village of Mollington. Classical garden buildings along the terrace overlooked the valley towards Edgehill and Millers own house at Radway. The book is hardback, illustrated with many colour and black and white photographs, drawings and maps. Originally priced at £30 when published in 2006, it can now be obtained from Warwick bookshop for £12, or directly from myself at £14 inc p and p.
Dr. Jennifer Meir, Jacksons Barn, Charlecote, Warwick, CV35 9EW. 26th June 2018

WIAS Privacy Statement. Click here to read the privacy statement. 23rd June 2018

Death of WIAS Member Jim Powell. Dear all, I’m afraid I have to pass on the very sad news that Jim Powell has died at home after a long illness. Our commiserations go to his family. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday 19th. June at Oakley Wood Crematorium, North Chapel, at 3pm. Donations can be made at the Service to Myton Hospice (care at home) or by the following link
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 12th June 2018

Bilbao Trip. I’m reminding everyone that we still have a few places left on the City Safari to Bilbao in September. Bilbao is an area previously unexplored by City Safaris and it’s a good time to go to northern Spain with pleasant temperatures for walking and the chance of rain still low. Bill Barksfield, Managing Director, Heritage of Industry Ltd. For full details visit click here 21st April 2018

May 10th WIAS Meeting.

April WIAS Meeting. A reminder of the next meeting of the Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society on Thursday April 12th. when Rob Everitt and Lynda Burton will present a talk on ‘The Exhall Pit Disaster’. The coal industry formed an important part of Warwickshire’s industrial history and our speakers will explore the causes of the disaster and its impact upon the local community. The meeting will be held in The Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP at 7.30pm. All are very welcome.
Several members have mentioned a BBC4 programme ‘Metalworks’ screened last Wednesday that is available on ‘catch up’. I quote from the publicity … In a story where progress meets creative invention, this film looks at how the blacksmith created items in wrought and cast iron that both served and embellished society. From the earliest ornate hinges and doors to magnificent baroque gates and mass-produced street furniture, it reveals the mastery of metalworkers such as Jean Tijou, Robert Bakewell and John Tresilian, the designs of Robert Adam and George Gilbert Scott, and the mass marketers of the Victorian age such as the Saracen foundry. Treasures are drawn from all corners of the UK in a celebration of the best of British decorative ironwork.
I look forward to seeing you all at the meeting on Thursday.
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 8th April 2018

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 sight 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 below, 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

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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