WIAS Archives


2020 -2021

Funeral – The Late Derek Billings. The funeral will take place at  the North Chapel, Oakley Wood Crematorium on Monday August 9th. at 10.00 a.m. I do hope that those who knew Derek will be able to attend. Martin Green, WIAS Chairman 26th July 2021 Death of WIAS member – Derek Billings. It is with much sadness that we announce the death of Derek Billings at 1pm on Tuesday 13th July 2021. He had been admitted to Warwick Hospital as an emergency on Saturday 10th. Derek was one of the most loyal members of WIAS, and his knowledge and photographic collection was unrivalled, he was particularly keen on Railway and Canal subjects for his camera lens. More than this, he was always courteous, helpful, and positive, ever willing to add to the knowledge of others. Our thoughts at this sad time will be with Pat, son Andrew and daughter Sarah. Further information will follow in due course. M Green & J Willock 13th July 2021

Derek Billings at Cherry Orchard

Image 1 of 2

Derek at the launch of his booklet, 'Kenilworth's Last Brickworks' at the site of the former Cherry Orchard Brickworks. 2005

Ivor Jones. Many WIAS members will remember Ivor Jones who died in 2020. Owing to the Covid-19 regulations the funeral was restricted to a limited number of family members only. Everyone is invited to a Service of Memorial to be held at St Nicholas Church, High Street, Kenilworth at 11am on Tuesday 5th October 2021, to commemorate Ivor’s life on what would have been his 94th birthday. The service will be immediately followed by the interment of Ivor’s ashes in the churchyard, to which all are also invited, after which the family hope as many people as possible will join them at Bubbenhall village hall for lunch. 7th July 2021 2020/2021 Subscriptions. The WIAS committee has agreed that no subscriptions will be charged for season 2020-2021, and that for any meetings that are, in the end, able to take place in the Halse Pavilion, it will be a case of pay at the door – £2 donation from members; £3 from guests. Martin Green 11th September 2020
Death of WIAS member.t is my unfortunate responsibility to pass on the very sad news that Mark Barnard has died. He had been a loyal supporter of WIAS over many years, following an outstanding career in the motor industry, particularly remembered for his association with gas-turbine powered Rover cars. A fuller appreciation is available now at this link, click here. Martin Green, 4th September 2020   Everyone needs a train journey, even in isolation. In this 8-part video series,​ Tales from the Tracks, ​ be inspired with the right to relax from the pressures of isolation by drinking in the best views of the West Coast Main Line as it takes you up from London Euston to Glasgow Central, through Rugby, Crewe and the Lake District. With bright fresh sunshine, blue skies and fluffy clouds adorning the best of the British landscape, this series guides you up the Main Line using a front-mounted digital camera from the driver cab giving you uninterrupted views of the route through the country. Experienced and characterful Avanti West Coast drivers Dave Egerton and Darran Townsend narrate each journey, bringing to life tales of the train line from past decades – describing railway artefacts and potted human stories associated with the train line – as well as highlighting spots of beauty you can enjoy today. For nature lovers, the routes have a magnificent array of landscapes to enjoy. From train lines closely flanked by steep shrubbery and trees to routes that pass freely through villages and fields that stretch away into the distance, you’ll see every hue of the classic British countryside in summer. 29th August 2020

Click here to watch the eight films!

Newsletter 70. The latest WIAS Newsletter is now available to read thanks to Mike Hurn, click here. 22nd August 2020
Martin Green and Michael Jeffs, The Ironmen of Leamington: Iron-founders and allied traders in Royal Leamington Spa 1800-1900,  Leamington History Group and Warwickshire Industrial Archaeology Society, published by Shay Books, 2019, £18.
Now awarded one of the two Publications Awards being made by the AIA this year.
The judges were all very impressed by the amount of work undertaken and the great variety of illustrations which you included’.
Congratulations from WIAS 
Copies are available through the website – click here for details. 
WIAS & ZOOM. Following on from the cancellation of all meetings at Warwick School for the remainder of 2020, WIAS is planning to present lectures & talks by ZOOM on the second Thursday of each month at 7.30pm from September. Full details will be circulated nearer the time including detailed instructions on how to join the meeting. If you have a PC, Laptop, Mac, Tablet or Smart Phone that’s all you need. The procedure is free of charge, very straight forward and the trials held so far have been extremely successful.  25th June 2020 I received a note from George Illingworth notifying the postponement of today’s HS2 webinar until Wednesday June 3rd., and, perhaps inevitably, a note from AIA that this year’s Conference in Liverpool is postponed until August 2021. The planned 2021 conference in Dublin is postponed until 2022. We hope we can continue to keep members and friends informed on IA issues, and welcome contributions from all. Sorry not to bring any encouraging news. Stay safe. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS, 28th May 202 Event Postponement: Archaeology webinar about exciting discoveries from our Birmingham Curzon Street site rescheduled to 1pm – 2pm, Wed 3 June Posted on May 27th 2020 by HS2 in Warwickshire. Unfortunately, we have to postpone tomorrow’s planned webinar.  We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope that you are still able to join us next week.    The Archaeology of HS2 – Uncovering the Curzon Street roundhouse, will now be broadcast live from 1pm – 2pm on Wednesday 3 June.  All tickets will still be valid for the session on 3 June, so if you have already registered for the session you do not need to register again. If you have not already registered but are keen to attend, you can still register your interest in attending this online event. About the event Hosted by HS2’s Historic Environment team, this webinar will focus on the unearthing of what is thought to be the world’s oldest railway roundhouse at our Birmingham Curzon Street construction site earlier this year. The webinar will feature previously unseen photographs, footage and imagery captured during archaeological excavations earlier this year. You will be able to ask the team questions via a live Q&A chat option. We will be publishing video recordings of each webinar online, so if you are not able to listen live you can still learn about our archaeological work through a dedicated playlist on the HS2 YouTube channel. For more information about this event or any of our forthcoming events please contact our HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email Annual Conference 2020 The Association for Industrial Archaeology Promoting the study, preservation and presentation of Britain’s Industrial Heritage It will probably come as little surprise that Council have decided we must postpone the Annual Conference this year. The ‘good news’ is that Hope University Liverpool, the venue for the event, and the local organisers have agreed that we can postpone until the same time next year. The new dates are: 19th – 26th August 2021. Booking will open in January 2021 – Those who have already booked for 2020 will be refunded in full as soon as possible. The Conference planned for Dublin in 2021 has been postponed until 2022. Virtual WIAS. You will find a lot of new information and discussions on our ‘Virtual WIAS’ page. Click here to visit now. We also have a lot of new articles on our ‘Contributions’ page, click here, and a selction of films to watch on our new  ‘Films’ page, click here. Plenty to keep the IA enthusiast interested! 19th May 2020 BTH Coton House  – Apprentices Hostel. Can this link be added to the website or otherwise circulated to raise interest ? Another part of the B.T.-H. story.  The site is maintained by John Richards, who has personally borne the running costs, but has now decided to give it up.  The whole site is less than 33 Mbytes, but there are several Gbytes of scanned material on the DVDRom archive being offered for £3.50. Regards, Paul Waller,, 22nd April 2020

To visit the site before it closes and order a copy of the DVD click on this link – Coton House

Death of WIAS member. Sadly, I have to announce the death of another WIAS member, Bill Lovell. The news was passed to me by Nigel Briggs, and I attach an extract from his message. “I’m sorry to announce that Bill Lovell, a dear personal friend and a member of WIAS for many years has passed away today 13th April in Warwick Hospital at the age of 90 years and 2 weeks. His death was not Covid-19 related but due to haemorrhaging within his stomach / digestive system. A retired railway man, formerly a manager in the mechanical and electrical department at Tysley Depot in Brum, Bill always looked forward to the meetings and especially the comprehensive write ups in the newsletter.He also enjoyed as a single man the tea with homemade cakes and biscuits.He had lived in Leamington for all his life. Apart from a niece in Switzerland Bill had no other family.”  Nigel Briggs.  Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 13th April 2020
Ivor Jones
Death of WIAS Member. Sorry to have to add to the general mood of gloom, but I have heard from John Willock that Ivor Jones died this morning in the Leicester House Nursing Home. Ivor, who was 92, died peacefully in his sleep and this was not a Covid 19 death. Ivor was a member of WIAS over a long period, usually attending meetings with Messrs Haggard and Ward. He was for many years European Sales manager for AC Wickman Ltd, Coventry, and was part of a group of friends who shared industrial and railway enthusiasms, and the pleasures of walking. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed. Ivor’s son Gary has informed John that the intention is to have a Memorial Service for Ivor, probably at St. Nicholas Church, Kenilworth when the Covid 19 crisis is at an end. Martin Green, Chairman, WIAS. 10th April 2020 Update. This is merely an advisory e-mail to say that Ivor Jones’ Funeral will take place at Oakley Wood Crematorium on Monday, April 27th at 2.30 pm.    Due to Covid 19 restrictions, this will be a VERY STRICTLY LIMITED FAMILY ATTENDED SERVICE ONLY.  I am sure we all will have Ivor in our thoughts at the time of the service and indeed for many years to come. John Willock. 18th April 2020 TV Viewing. WIAS members maybe interested in a new original TV series. The Architecture The Railways Built with Tim Dunn presenting. It starts on Tuesday 28th April on the Yesterday Channel. He also has various  existing  videos appearing on YouTube. These are also about railways  and might be of interest. Regards, Graham Higgins. 10th April 2020 AIA Bulletin. I forward the AIA’s e-news bulletin. I hope it will be of interest. Hope you have avoided any contact with the dreaded virus. Take no risks. Stay safe. Martin Green, Chairman WIAS. 7th April 2020 NOTE; This edition has local interest including the discovery of the oldest locomotive roundhouse in the world, discovered as a result of HS2 archaeology digs and more about the future of Chance Brothers Glassworks. Click here to read the bulletin. Contributions and Updates. A new page about the history of Cherry Orchard Brickwork’s in Kenilworth including a collection of photos taken by WIAS member Derek Billings in 1977 has been added. (The photos are also available in the gallery section under ‘The Derek Billings Collection’).  There is also another contribution from WIAS member George Sayell about his fascinating research with Differential Analysers. They can be found under the ‘Contributions’ tab in the main menu. 7th April 2020
WIAS Members Film Section. To help pass some of the time we have on our hands at the moment a selection of films is being added to the site, mostly with a theme that will have an IA interest. There is a new link in the main menu at the top of each page under the ‘Contributions‘ tab. The first film has kindly been supplied by Derek Billings. It features a family from the USA enjoying crossing the Atlantic by ocean liner and arriving in the UK at Southampton. The family then travel on via the GWR to Leamington Spa reaching their eventual destination, a house in Radford Semele. The precise year of the visit is uncertain but from the identity of the ship they arrive on it has to be between 1921 when it was re-named and 1938 when it was sent for scrapping. A guesstimate would be the early 1930’s? The film is a delight in that we see steam ships, steam locomotives, views of Leamington Spa, Radford Semele, Warwick Town, Warwick Castle, London, Worcestershire and much more. Look out for some good shots of the streets and vehicles of the period, in particular a Midland Red bus passing through Radford Semele. The journey to see the May blossom in Worcestershire is made in a Rover car which may help identify the year. Eventually there are goodbyes as the family return by train from Leamington Spa to Southampton to board their ship for the journey back to the USA and ultimately we see them arriving back at their home. Sit back and enjoy a time gone by! Webmaster. 4th April 2020


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 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: Thanks, Debbie Kilroy  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

All available parking locations at Warwick School


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

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

Oliver Cromwell at Leamington Spa 31st Aug 2017
Oliver Cromwell at Leamington Spa 31st Aug 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

David Hulse   Mechanical Wonders Brightened
David Hulse Mechanical Wonders Brightened

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[wowslider id=”20″]

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 [wowslider id=”19″]

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 [wowslider id=”18″]

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[wowslider id=”16″]

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

WIAS 2014 – 2003. The archive is in pdf format.