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 Aarchaeology 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
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
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
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
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: http://www.heritageofindustry.co.uk/Longer%20Tours/2017_Holland/Randstad.html
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: http://www.heritageofindustry.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone/Fax: +44 1235 352275
Heritage of Industry sponsors http://www.ourindustrialpast.org – 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
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 email@example.com These are two wonderful examples of steam power and this provides an excellent opportunity to visit both sites, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. Please let Alain know if you are interested.
Can I also take this opportunity to thank you all for your support for WIAS in 2016, to offer best wishes for Christmas, and to look forward to more investigation of the industrial heritage, both local and beyond, in 2017.
Martin Green,Chairman, WIAS, December 2016
WIAS Meeting – December 8th 2016. Learn more about THE GREAT KEMPTON ENGINES at the next meeting of the Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society. Thursday December 8th. at 7.30 pm in the Pyne Room, Warwick School. Alain Foote – a renowned expert on steam power – will describe the workings of the world’s largest triple-expansion steam engines. These engines worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, pumping millions of gallons of water to North London between 1927 and 1980. All are welcome to attend the meeting and discover more about these magnificent examples of steam power and engineering. December 2016
WIAS Newsletter. No 59 October 2016 issue is now available to read on line. Click here. December 2016
Council for British Archaeology (West Midlands). The latest newsletter, Autumn 2016, is now available to read online. Click here. October 2016
WIAS Database. The latest batch of submissions to the database has now been processed and is available to view on line. The total number of entries is now and impressive 361. Click here to learn more about the project. October 2016
WIAS Newsletters. After a slight delay, Newsletters No 56 to No 58 are now available to read on line. Sept 2016
Dear all, I write with a final reminder of the meeting on Thursday September 8th. in the Pyne Room, Warwick School at 7.30 pm. This will start with a (very brief) AGM and the main part of the evening will be a talk by Tim Clark on the fascinating story of the Parkes, Brookhouse and Crompton Worsted Mill that used to stand in an area now occupied by the Sainsbury’s car park in Saltisford, Warwick. Remains of the buildings still stood in the 1970s and Tim has pieced together the history of the Mill since its construction in the late 18th. century. It will also be a chance to catch up with news from members, to browse the bookstall and the collection of industrial heritage journals that will be available to buy, and to look at our display boards. One added ingredient will be a running slide-show (without commentary) from 7.10 pm which I hope will be of interest to those who arrive early.
Talking of arriving early, the new system of subscriptions begins this month and joining on the first meeting as members obviously gives the greatest free access to all meetings for the season. We hope the membership table will be busy, and it would help Sue Hammon enormously if those joining could bring the correct £16 in cash (although cheques are, of course, entirely acceptable). The fee for joint members is £20.
Many thanks to you all for your continued support of the society and of our industrial heritage. See you on Thursday!!
Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS
From The Chairman:
Martin Green, Argyll House, 2(B) Union Road, Leamington Spa CV32 5LT
Dear member/former member/industrial heritage enthusiast,
I am writing to remind you all of the start of the new series of WIAS meetings beginning on Thursday September 8th 2016, and to enclose the programme for 2016-2017. (Click here to see the programme).
This information is sent to you by e-mail and not post to save unnecessary postage costs.
Please may I also remind everyone that in order to take advantage of our Society’s Gift Aid status, our membership subscription rates change from this September to £16 (individual) and £20 (joint) for the 2016-‐2017 year. Please renew your membership subscription with Sue Hammon in the usual way. Under these new arrangements, membership will give members free entry to all WIAS monthly meetings.
In the past we have used the signing-‐in book as a record of the cash received at each meeting. Although we shall now not need this financial record of payments by our members, it is important for both the school’s safety and security arrangements and our own record keeping that we note who is present at each meeting. To simplify matters we shall have a pre-‐printed list of members’ names in alphabetical surname order to tick on arrival. Your help with this will be greatly appreciated. There will be a signing-‐in sheet for non-‐members.
The majority of our members have now completed Gift Aid declaration forms. If you have not done so, and are a UK taxpayer, please complete a Gift Aid declaration form which will be available on entry to the September meeting. HMRC have amended the wording they require on such declarations and this is reflected in the forms that are now available. Please also note that we shall continue to invite visitors to our meetings to contribute £2.50 on entry, although we must emphasise that this is a voluntary ‘free will’ gift and is not an entry fee for attendance.
Subscriptions can be handed in at the monthly meeting to the Membership Secretary, or
sent by post to:
Mrs. S. Hammon (WIAS Membership Secretary)
17 Knightcote Drive,
We do hope you will be able to attend the first meeting of the new season to hear the various talks, to renew friendships and contacts -‐ or to visit us for the first time. We very much look forward to seeing you all at our monthly meetings.
Strong Rooms. I have been approached by Sam Collenette from the County Record Office to see if any of us would be prepared to help with an initiative seeking to spread the word to the wider community about the value and importance of Archives through an innovative Arts project. I quote from her e-mail to me:
Warwickshire County Record Office are leading a project working with Hill St Youth Club in Rugby, artists and archives in Coventry, Dudley and Warwickshire which will culminate in an outdoor touring exhibition called Strong Rooms. There will be a member of staff at the site next to the Benn Hall in Rugby at all times but we could really also do with help from volunteers who would provide family history advice and explain to the public what archives are, handing out leaflets etc. Training on these issues would be provided for the volunteers. The exhibition opens to the public on 4th to the 11th July this year in Rugby and we’d need help between 10-4. We’re planning two shifts 10-1 1-4 with travel expenses paid.
Sam is organising a training session for volunteers on 27th June at the Record Office in Warwick, probably for a few hours between 10 and 3 with travel expenses paid and a light lunch. Please get in touch with her if you are interested firstname.lastname@example.org
We often talk about the Society reaching a wider audience … perhaps this would be useful experience! Martin Green. June 2016
Death of WIAS Member. I’m afraid I have to deliver the very sad news that Alan Flint died last week. Alan had been connected to WIAS for a very long time, and greatly enjoyed exploring the industrial heritage of his local area, centred on Priors Marston. He was always a cheerful enthusiast, and although he has been a less regular visitor to meetings in recent years, (and some new members may not have known him), he was a stalwart of the Society in its early years. When I learn of funeral arrangements, I will pass them on to you. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. June 2016
STOP PRESS! Our next meeting of the Sydenham History Group is on Tuesday 31st May at 7.30pm at the SYDNI Centre, Cottage Square (off Marloes Walk) Sydenham CV31 1PT. Please note we have a change to the published programme. The talk will now be ‘The Bonniksens of Harbury Lane Airfield’ by Allan Jennings. The story of Julius Bonniksen, Bahne Bonniksen and Gordon Evans, the three local enthusiasts whose interests encompassed flying, horology and art. We do hope you can join us. Sydenham History Group. May 2016
WIAS Outing! An extra visit for WIAS members has been arranged by Alain Foote on Friday 8th July to the “Cementing Relations with Southam” exhibition in Southam followed by a site visit to examine the remains uncovered during the excavations at Nelson’s Wharf, Stockton. This will be followed by lunch at a nearby pub for those interested. The visit starts at 10:00 a.m at Southam Heritage Collection in Vivian House, Southam. The visit will be led by John Frearson. Anyone interested in joining this visit should contact Alain Foote on email@example.com. Please indicate whether or not you wish to join the party for lunch. Numbers are limited to 15, so early application is advised. There will be a fair bit of walking and a torch is advised too. May 2016
Electric Railway Museum, Baginton. I attach a leaflet about the Electric Railway Museum Baginton CV3 4FR. Saturday May 14th. is Open Day – with free entry – and visitors would be most welcome. The Museum holds the largest private collection of electric trains in the country, seeking to fill a gap in this country’s railway heritage. It is a Museum that deserves our support, and it could, of course, be combined with a visit to the Air Museum which is virtually next door. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS , May 2016
Steam Power – WIAS Meeting Thursday May 12th.
The Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society meets on Thursday May 12th. in the Pyne Room, Warwick School CV34 6PP at 7.30 pm when Anthony Coulls will speak on ‘The London Water and Steam Museum – formerly Kew Bridge Pumping Station’. Anthony has a passion for steam power, and is a trustee of the Water and Steam Museum and Chair of the Board’s Collections and Curatorial Committee, and it will be a pleasure to learn more about this landmark museum. ALL ARE WELCOME at the meeting. May 2016
Death of WIAS Member. I am very sorry to have to pass on to you the news that Brian Redknap died on April 2nd., aged 88. Brian was a regular attendee at WIAS meetings, and, of course, as Coventry City Engineer was able to give first-hand knowledge of the design and construction of The Coventry Inner Ring Road, opened in 1974. He spoke to the Society about this project, and we were fortunate to hear his reflections on the issues surrounding the re-building of Coventry. He was also author of the Historical Association booklet ‘Engineering The Development Of Coventry’. Martin Green, WIAS Chairman. April 2016
Funeral Arrangements. Friday 6th May at Canley Crematorium, Coventry (1.30pm). Donations if desired to The Myton Hospices, who looked after him so well. Details are: The Myton Hospices, Myton Lane, Warwick, CV34 6PX, Tel: 01926 492518 www.mytonhospice.org Cheques payable to: The Myton Hospices. A donation can be made to The Myton Hospices over the phone (01926 492518) or by post to the address below or indeed via website http://www.mytonhospice.org/donate. Those donating should state Brian’s name to ensure that they attribute all donations made in his memory to him. April 2016
WIAS 2016 Visits. Alain Foote has arranged the final WIAS organised visit of 2016 to Toye, Kenning & Spencer (http://www.toye.com/about-us) at Bedworth at 10:30 a.m. on Monday 12th September. Places are limited to 10, so early booking is recommended. The visit will last for around two hours. A reserve list will be made once the limit has been reached. Please email Alain Foote on firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place or places. If you subsequently cannot make it, please let Alain know so that your place can be given to someone else. Further details will be sent nearer the time. Martin Green. March 2016
Photo Gallery. Three new albums just added, the first is look round the Jaguar Heritage Centre, Browns Lane, Coventry on the final day of opening to the public. The second is a collection of photos taken at the last open day held at the Aston Manor Transport Museum, Aston, Birmingham. There are some nice shots of Midland Red and Coventry Transport vehicles! The third is a miscellaneous collection of photos, many supplied by members, featuring various locations/events of interest inside and outside Warwickshire, the UK and Europe These are sorted into sub albums. Link. Photo submissions are always welcome, use the ‘contact‘ page. February 2016
Index of Proceedings WIAS. The index has now been updated to included the subjects & topics in the latest newsletter. Click here to visit. February 2016
Parking at Warwick School for WIAS Meetings. Warwick School is a busy site, and there are evenings when there are several events taking place. This puts pressure on car parking space, worsened at present by the building works associated with the new Hall. Thursday evening was such an occasion and I apologise to those who found parking difficult. If the Junior School car park is full, please try the Bridge House Theatre car park at the western end of the site. It is only a marginally longer walk from there to the Pyne Room. I attach a map. Black routes indicate driving; red routes walking.
Martin Green, Chairman WIAS February 2016
WIAS Visits 2016. Two more WIAS visits have been arranged. The first is to Shrewsbury on Sunday 19th June to visit Ditherington Flaxmill ( see http://www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk/) and Coleham Pumping Station (see http://colehampumpingstation.co.uk/) . It is intended that guided tours will be arranged at each location. We will meet at Ditherington Flaxmill at 11:00 a.m. and then move to Coleham for around 2:00 p.m. Transport will be by members’ cars and it is suggested that members take a packed lunch or arrange to have lunch in Shrewsbury. Normal admission charges will apply at both sites.
The second visit is planned for Thursday 21st July when WIAS member Chris Barney will be leading a tour of the canal installation and buildings at Braunston. This tour will involve a considerable amount of walking, probably around 1½ miles, so is only suitable for those who do not have mobility problems. The plan is to meet at Braunston at 11:00 a.m. and stop for lunch at the Admiral Nelson pub by the canal at Braunston. Numbers for this visit are limited to 16 or so, so it will be first come first served.
Further details will be provided nearer the time, but if you wish to join either, or both of these visits, please contact Alain Foote by email on email@example.com or phone 01788 570786 to reserve your place/places. February 2016
Coventry Technical College – ‘The Tech’. Did you know the college or attend a course at the The Butts, Coventry? You may be interested to know that this splendid old building, (the front is grade II listed), is undergoing a £6 million pound refurbishment which will see it converted into a plush new complex for Premier Inn. The project has involved the replacement of 1250 panes of broken glass and the complete restoration of the centrepiece, which many will remember, the 1930 art deco lay light. To read more about this exciting development visit the page created by the glazing contractors Three Spires Glass here. February 2016
February Meeting. Speaker Dr Barrie Trinder, 7.30pm, Thursday 10th Feb, the Pyne Room, Warwick School. All welcome.
Newsletter 56. Our full colour November 2015 edition Newsletter is now available on line. Paper copies will be available at the December meeting. Click here to read now. December 2015
Change of Venue – December 2015 Meeting. Please note there is a change of venue from our usual meeting place. Details of how to reach the Halse Pavilion, Warwick School are below. Park in the usual place – the Junior School car park, cross the playground and then turn left and enter the Sports Centre. The Halse Pavilion is on the first floor – stairs and lift available. December 2015
Nelson’s Canal Basin Restoration. To learn more about this exciting development near Rugby click here. November 2015
Longbridge, Birmingham. I am a member of WIAS and came to the meeting on shadow factories. I was interested in the Cofton Hackett airfield and how Longbridge built planes in the war . A you tube clip was shown of a Huricane being sent up a lift to an airfield . My parents lived until quite recently by Cofton Park and the Longbridge factory. Edwin Gumbley who collects postcards provided the attached image showing the factory and airfield which also included a pre war parents house before we moved in . A second image shows Fairey aircraft being stored in Cofton Park. Regards, Graham Higgins. October 2015
Vulcan XH558. Derek Billings was at Burton Dassett Country Park, along with many others, on Sunday 4th October 2015 to see Vulcan XH588. Tickets to see it display over the Motor Heritage Centre, just down the road, sold out within minutes but the next best spot was Burton Dassett overlooking the former RAF Gaydon. Perhaps the crew of XH558 saw the crowds gathered on the hill as they were able to enjoy a low pass en route from Gaydon! Photos copyright D. Billings. October 2015
FERRY CANCELLED!! I pass on a message from Peter Lockyer …
Following my contacting your website recently and asking for publicity for Tim Ryan’s talk on the Beachley Aust ferry at the Beechwood Tennis Club in Earlsdon, at 7.30pm on Friday 18th September, I’m sorry to have to tell you that he has had to cancel the evening because of poor health. At very late notice, Liz Pitman from Hereford has agreed to give her illustrated talk Pigsties and Paradise: Lady Diarists and the Tour of Wales 1795 -1860.
“They were mostly well-to-do ladies. They came, they saw, and they wrote… about landscapes, naked bathing, drunk coach drivers and terrible weather….”
More information on: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/…/authors-notes-liz-pitman-pig… September 2015
From Pens to Particle Physics – The Story of a Birmingham Family Business’
by WIAS member John Berkeley OBE.
If you missed John’s splendid talk at WIAS about his family firm, ‘Brandauer’, you may be pleased to know that his excellent book of the same name is available to download free of charge. To obtain your full colour PDF version click on the logo below. August 2015
Warwickshire Nooks & Crannies! If you missed this talk by Martin Green here are few of the slides! August 2015
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