News & Information
TV Viewing. I received an e-mail from John Willock that might be of interest. If you watch the programme “The Repair Shop” featured on BBC1, which has as its theme the restoration of basically anything, the next one to be screened on Wednesday evening at 8.00 pm. may be of particular interest. Alan Reed, rang me a couple of evenings ago to say that a chair that once belonged to his grandparents in occupied France in WWII will be featured in the programme. Perhaps a little light relief from the serious situation that is swirling all around us at the moment! You may wish to disseminate this to a wider audience. Martin Green. 1st April 2020
Borg and Beck – Clutch Manufacturer. John Willock has contributed a detailed paper on this famous Leamington Spa company and it has been added to our new Warwickshire Industries section. Click here to visit the page. The Borg and Beck Company was one of the main constituent companies of the large Automotive Products Group, whose headquarters and main manufacturing divisions were situated at Tachbrook Road, Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire. Other companies within the Group were the Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Company, Thompson Steering Joints, Purolator Filters Division, later relocated to Bolton, Automatic Gearbox Division, Lockheed Precision Products (Aviation Products) situated at Speke, Liverpool, Competitions Department (AP Racing) and the Spares and Service Division situated at Banbury. Further contributions are always welcome. 30th March 2020
WIAS News Archive. More items have been added to the WIAS archive which stretches back to 2003! Click here. 30th March 2020
Death of WIAS member. I’m afraid I have to pass on the news that Richard Hartree has died. Richard was a great enthusiast for the industrial heritage, and travelled near and far in pursuit of his interests. He was a member of the AIA for many years, performing the role of treasurer for four of those years, and adopted a similar role for WIAS. He passed on these duties to Victor Lobb and moved from the area about six years ago. He gave several presentations to WIAS, including one in 2010 on The Aluminum Works at Banbury 1929-2009, which accompanied the publication of a book on the subject written by Richard. Richard graduated in 1954, from Cambridge in the Natural Sciences tripos with metallurgy as his Part II subject, a long way from today’s Materials Science. In the 1970’s, he was Director of Alcan’s R&D Centre in Banbury. Above all, he was splendid company, genial at all times, and ever-willing to share his knowledge with others. Richard made the journey from his home in Sibford Ferris, Oxfordshire to most WIAS meetings. Our condolences go to his family. 24th March 2020
WIAS Meetings Cancelled. Your Committee has decided to cancel all WIAS meetings for the remainder of this season. We shall review the situation in the summer. In the meantime, please use e-mail and the website as your link to the industrial heritage. As I suggested in the Quarterly Newsletter, this could be just the chance to write that article, sort out those photos, or relate those work experiences for the benefit of the WIAS community. Those experiencing both involuntary isolation and bandstand deprivation might like to look at this page on the WIAS website where you will find two fascinating videos about the restoration and manufacture of bandstands. Click here. Most of all, look after yourselves. Best wishes, Martin Green, Chairman WIAS. 17th March 2020
WIAS Meetings and COVID-19 Virus Update. After agonising over whether to hold last Thursday’s meeting, events seem to have moved very rapidly and the Committee have taken the decision to cancel the meeting on Thursday April 9th.’Bandstands: History, Decline and Revival’ by Paul Rabbitts. We have contacted Paul and we are currently working on finding an alternative date next season for him to give his talk. We are currently leaving the May and June meetings as ‘under review’, and will make a decision as events unfold in the coming weeks. Thank you for your understanding over these issues. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 15th March 2020
SIR FRANK WHITTLE
7.30pm Thursday March 12th 2020
This is to confirm the meeting on March 12th. in the Halse Pavilion, Warwick School at 7.30pm when Ian Whittle will give talk on the Life and Work of his father, Sir Frank Whittle. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear this story of one of the nation’s most important aeronautical engineers. Sir Frank has, of course, many local connections, being born in Coventry, enjoying the benefits of an education at Leamington College, and carrying out crucial experiments on the jet engine in Rugby. I feel sure it will be a fascinating evening. All the usual bookstalls and refreshments will be available.
The evening will be busy at the school, so please arrive early and share a lift if at all possible. We have negotiated special parking arrangements with (marshalled) parking on the Junior School playground (the area of tarmac you usually walk across to get to the Halse Pavilion). On arrival at the Junior School car park you will be given (by me or a member of the committee) a permit to place on top of your dashboard, and will then be directed onto the Junior School playground by a car-parking marshall. Please fill up any spaces in the car park before utilising this additional space. We really hope this can assist with the pressure on parking, and please be tolerant of any teething problems with this new system.
Naturally we have been keeping in close contact with the School over Covid19 and the latest guidelines are attached. These were published this morning, with the statement “It remains the case there are no confirmed cases or any testing of pupils or staff across the Foundation for Covid-19”. Full details received from the school are available here.
We will keep you informed about any change in the situation, and please check e-mails right up to the meeting in case of any last-minute change in advice. Look forward to seeing you on Thursday.
Regards, Martin Green, Chairman. WIAS 9th March 2020
Please park for the event in the Warwick Junior School car park – see map below
Newsletter 69. The latest WIAS newsletter, March 2020, is now available on the website. Click here. 7th March 2020
WIAS Photo Gallery.
- Our photo gallery currently contains over 1400 photos and videos and contributions are always welcome – why not send us some of yours? If they don’t fit one of the existing categories don’t worry, we will create a gallery for you! If you haven’t visited it recently click on the gallery link in the main menu.
- In addition there are another 400 plus photos in the WIAS database and contributions are always welcome. 15th February 2020
Contributions to our website.
- More articles have been added to the WIAS website, take a look at the growing list on our contributions page! Thank you to the people who have supplied these. Click on ‘Contributions’ in the menu at the top of the page.
- Additional industries have also been added to our new section of the website which features some of the industries that can or could have been found in Warwickshire. Click on ‘Industry’ in the menu at the top of the page.
8th February 2020
WIAS is on the move! Not far actually but from the February 2020 meeting this and all future meeting will be held in the beautiful Halse Pavilion. Just a few yards away from the Pyne room, and slightly nearer to the Junior School car park, this state of the art building has a lift to the large light and airy function space on the first floor overlooking the first team cricket pitch. Facilities are excellent and there is even a terrace to stroll out onto in the interval when the weather permits. WIAS looks forward to welcoming everyone old and new to this splendid new venue.
The Ironmen of Leamington. Copies of this excellent book by Martin Green and Mick Jeffs are available to purchase through the website. Click here for full details. 1st February 2020
Index of WIAS Meeting. Over the years, the amount of meetings held by the society has been considerable and some are so long ago as to have been forgotten! However, records of meetings and visits, (usually walks), do exist as far back as 1993 and these have been compiled as a searchable index. Use the search box towards the right to find a particular or topic or speaker by just typing in a few letters. Click here. 27th January 2020
Histories of the Unexpected Tour. I’m helping to promote the Histories of the Unexpected show, which is coming to Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon on 13 February 2020, and I thought that some of your members might be interested in attending. The Histories of the Unexpected team is comprised of TV historian and adventurer Dr Sam Willis and University of Plymouth Professor of Early Modern History James Daybell, and their purpose is simple: to show that everything – even the most unexpected of subjects – has a history and that these histories link together in unexpected ways. Thus, they aim to bring great research and new approaches to history to audiences around the country and across the globe. They’ve been running a podcast for several years, covering topics as diverse as cricket and executions, and have published five books under the Histories name. These have been converted into a tour, which has been selling out at the likes of the BBC History Weekends. You can find out more about the show, the team, and their work, as well as listen to their podcasts at www.historiesoftheunexpected.com. If you are interested in the show, or would like more information, please let me know. If you are interested in the show, but are unable to get to Stratford, the team have a number of other performances planned for your area, the dates for which are listed here: https://historiesoftheunexpected.com/tour/.
Thanks, Debbie Kilroy firstname.lastname@example.org 23rd January 2020
Heritage of Industry 2020 Tours. Booking has now opened for the 2020 series of tours from this well established company. This years trips include, West Yorkshire, Poland, East Anglia, Hamburg, Bucks Oxon & Surrey, New Zealand. For details of each tour and information on how to book click here to visit the Heritage of Industry website. 16th January 2020
WIAS Website. Exciting new sections are being developed for the site based on Warwickshire Industries. It is hoped to include an introduction page and then more detailed information including further reading, visits and photos for each industry. If you have knowledge of a specific industry you are welcome to contribute to this project. Click here to view the progress so far.
There are also new contributions from members on the Features & Links page of the site. Click here to view. 13th January 2020
WIAS January Meeting. Just a final reminder of the talk this Thursday by David Skillen entitled ‘Giants in the Sky – the Zeppelin in World War One’. All are welcome to hear this fascinating story. The meeting will be held in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP, with all the usual bookstalls, refreshments and convivial company readily on hand! Next month’s meeting is a Members’ Evening of short presentations of 20 minutes or less. I look forward to hearing about these contributions on Thursday so that I can formulate the programme. Don’t be shy!! Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS 7th January 2020
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL ENTHUSIASTS FOR THE INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE!
WIAS begins the new decade by casting our eyes skywards with a talk by David Skillen entitled ‘GIANTS IN THE SKY: THE ZEPPELIN IN WORLD WAR ONE’. The meeting is on Thursday January 9th. 2020 at 7.30pm in the Pyne room, Warwick School and all are welcome. One of our members is struggling to get to meetings and can no longer drive. He wonders if anyone might be prepared to give him a lift. He lives in Leamington, off the Old Milverton Road, not far from the Vauxhall garage. Please let me know if you are able to help, and I will put you in touch with the person concerned. Many thanks. I look forward to seeing you next Thursday. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 3rd January 2020
Elmdon Airport. Aviation enthusiasts may well be aware of the appalling state of the original ‘art deco’ terminal building at Birmingham (Elmdon) Airport, located in Warwickshire until 1974 boundary changes. In danger of demolition or indeed collapse, the previously unlisted building has been granted Grade II listed status and hopefully an exciting new future awaits. To read the story to save this iconic building click here. 17th December 2019
WIAS December Meeting. A reminder that the ideal way to spend Thursday evening is to enjoy the presentation by Ian Pogson on ‘The Life and Engineering Achievements of Frederick Lanchester’ at the WIAS meeting at 7.30pm in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP. It is a fascinating story with great significance for the area’s industrial heritage, and Ian is a lively speaker. All are welcome. The School has advised that parking is available in the Junior School car park (the one, I believe, that most members use). I have received a request from a couple who live in the Milverton area of Leamington who cannot drive to the meeting and would very much like a lift. If anybody is willing to help, please contact me. See you at the meeting! Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 10th December 2019
WIAS Newsletter. The November newsletter, No. 68, is now available on line. Click here. 8th December 2019
Leamington History Day. Held on the last weekend in September the day provides a wonderful shop front for many local societies, including WIAS. If you weren’t able to get to this years event make a point of visiting next years! In the meantime have alook at some photos from this year in our gallery. Click here. 7th December 2019
BFI Lighthorne Rough. For many years now, the British Film Institutes archive of highly volatile nitrate and other films has been housed in the former remote weapons ‘clutch’ store for V-bombers constructed in 1955 at Lighthorne Rough to serve RAF Gaydon. In recent years the site has undergone much re-development including the demolition of two of the original stores, 3 remain in place. Before demolition took place Warwickshire CC completed a detailed archaeological recording complete with diagrams. Click here. 17th November 2019
New Bookshop in Birmingham! The long established Ian Allan Bookshop has now closed but members of the staff have now opened a new establishment called Tornado books & hobbies. Located in Dalton St, close to the law courts in the city centre it should be well worth a vist. For more information visit their website here. 15th November 2019
November WIAS. Just a final reminder of Thursday’s WIAS meeting when Brian Ellis will give a presentation on ‘The Geological Background to Warwickshire’s Extractive Industries’. I look forward to seeing you all in the Pyne Room for a 7.30pm start. With regard to parking, the School has advised us that there are no other external events on that evening, so pressures on parking space should be far less than last month. Parking in the Junior School Car Park should be available. I attach a map of all the car parks that are available on site, with the proviso that the Gallows Hill Car Park should NOT BE USED for evening events. We hope that last month’s experience was a real exception, and we will work hard to ensure that all available information on parking is sent to those on the WIAS Circulation List. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 13th November 2019
WIAS Chairman’s email address. Please note this has been changed to email@example.com. All future correspondence to the WIAS Chairman should be directed to this address (although, in the short run, old address will still be monitored). Please let us know if you wish to be added or removed from the WIAS mailing list, or if there is a more appropriate e-mail address that should be used. 4th November 2019
Leamington Bandstand. New page added including the video of how this wonderful bandstand in the Pump Room Gardens was saved and restored to its former glory. Click here. 1st November 2019
Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC. This tremendous event is being held once again at the NEC, Solihull on Sat & Sun 23rd & 24th November 2019. The full size ‘centrepiece’ of the show this year is the 1903 N.E.R. Auto-Railcar, the worlds first DMU! In 1903 the North Eastern Railway designed and built a pair of “autocars” which laid the foundation for most of the trains running today. A rare opportunity to see this amazing work of restoration on the doorstep! Enjoy the video and visit the the 1903 NER Electric Autocar Trust website to read the full story here. 15th October 2019
WIAS October Meeting. During the discussion after the splendid presentation on the Leamington & Warwick Tramway a question was asked about whether any film of the tramway existed. The link below will take you a film on the BFI Archive website entitled ‘Shakespeare Land’. The first 30 seconds, (approx), of the film shows a double deck tram car, No. 11, travelling north away from the Parish Church in 1910. The driver and conductor are clearly visible and the tram stops briefly outside the Pump Rooms to allow a lady in period dress to board. You can see the lady wave to attract the attention of the driver. The street scene is wonderful. The film is free to watch on the BFI site, just press on the ‘Watch for Free’ button in the bottom right hand corner. Enjoy! 11th October 2019
‘Clan Line’ at Leamington Spa. In the evening sunshine on Tuesday 9th October, 35028 Merchant Navy Class ‘Clan Line’ heads south through the station hauling the Belmond British Pullman from Stratford upon Avon to London (Victoria). 10th October 2019
Contributions. A reminder that contributions, (articles, photos, papers, talks etc.), to the WIAS web site are always welcome. Visit our ‘Contributions’ page to see many we have already received. Some include short videos. 9th October 2019
WIAS 10th October Meeting. Just a reminder of the talk on Thursday on the Leamington and Warwick Tramway by Allan Jennings and Peter Coulls, starting at 7.30 in Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP. Copies of their book on the subject will be available at a discounted price, and all are very welcome. It is a busy evening at the School so it would be good to arrive early, and I have attached a link to all available car parks on the site. If all else fails, it is possible to park in Myton Gardens (first turning on the right on Myton Road after the Junior School car park towards Leamington) which is only a short walk from the Junior School car park. Martin Green, Chairman WIAS 8th October 2019
From the Chairman, Martin Green. I have to go into hospital on October 9th. for a hip replacement so will be out of action for a couple of meetings, but you will be in good hands thanks to members of the Committee. At the October meeting of the Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society, Allan Jennings and Peter Coulls will be telling the story of the Leamington and Warwick tramway, a system that involved both horse drawn and electric trams. Allan and Peter have unearthed a great deal of material and have many illustrations of the system in action. They have also written a book on the subject and this will be available on the night at a heavily discounted price. Do come along and enjoy the 49 year history of this fascinating system. The meeting takes place at 7.30pm on Thursday October 10th in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP. 2nd October 2019
WIAS Crossness Pumping Station visit. There are still 4 places available on the coach trip to Crossness on the 20th October. Full details on the WIAS Visits page. Click here. 2nd October 2019
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 Chairman. 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 www.ianallanpublishing.com Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 22nd August 2019
Welcome! Read the Chairman’s 2019/20 season welcome letter here. 13th 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 here. 5th 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 http://www.lnwrs.org.uk/StudyCentre/studycentre.php
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.
A MEETING NOT TO BE MISSED!
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
COMING SOON –
THE IRONMEN OF LEAMINGTON
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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
WIAS THURSDAY 14th MARCH 2019
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MONTHS MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE HALSE PAVILLION.
IT’S ONLY A FEW YARDS AWAY FROM OUR NORMAL VENUE, PLEASE SEE THE MAP BELOW.
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
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 www.warwickshireias.org 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 Wiaschairman@aol.com. 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 here. 4th 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
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 www.spitfire.film 13th July 2018
News Update –If 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 www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jim-A-Powell
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
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
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