News & Information

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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 a Leamington History Day

Image 2 of 2

Derek at the WIAS stand on a Leamington History Day, with a treasured possession - a plaque from Leamington Gas Works.

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

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


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