In the days when railways were being constructed, road
diversions were frequently authorised. The most common occurred where the
line of the existing road was oblique to that of the new railway. Unless
a level crossing was authorised, an over bridge was needed and it was much
simpler to construct a brick arch than a bridge on a skew. The new section
of road was not only inclined, to reach the height of the bridge, but also
had sharp bends at each end in order to cross the line at right angles.
A good local example is to be found near Southampton Parkway although here
the bridge replaced a level crossing after the railway opened. At Chandlers
Ford, in order to provide one bridge instead of two, the Hursley road was
diverted to join the turnpike road before it crossed the railway.
Most railway closures were the result of road competition, and it has not been unusual to close lines merely to provide alignments for roads, although this policy has been advocated. The circumstances were a little different when, in 1964, in order to save the cost of a new overbridge to carry the A34 over the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway south of Newbury, the line was closed. This also made it possible to build a new section of the A34 over about 3 miles of the DN&S between Whitchurch and Litchfield [this is indicated at one point by asymmetrical sides to the cutting, the side with the steeper gradient being from the railway]. Part of the Southampton &
Dorchester line was also closed in 1964 and this was used
for a new stretch of road near Holmsley station.
These were for normal motor traffic but more common in Hampshire is adoption of railway routes as bridleways for use by pedestrians and horses. A section of the Southampton and Dorchester to the west of Holmsley station provides a delightful walk through the Forest, even though one of the crossing keepers’ houses has been virtually demolished. The line, which followed the Test Valley between Kimbridge Junction and Andover, was closed at the same time as the S&D and a section north of Stockbridge towards Fullerton has also become a bridleway. [A short section accommodates a roundabout and a length of roadway]. In much the same way the site of Bishops Waltham station is occupied by a roundabout, and the track beyond the station provides a route for the by-pass road. However in the opposite direction, just over a mile of the route towards the junction at Botley is available for walkers. Probably the longest of the walkways now provided is the nine miles of the Meon Valley line between West Meon and Wickham. On this line of 1903, the overbridges were of brick and the underbridges had metal spans. After closure in 1955, the metal spans were removed for scrap. The continuity of the bridleway has been returned by running it down the side of the embankments of the gaps left by the removal of the bridges. Another break is at Droxford station. This has been preserved in private hands and the bridleway is diverted around it. There will be no extension north of West Meon because of the removal of a viaduct and the presence of two tunnels.
Mention has already been made of the use of parts of the DN&S route. In order to acquire the site of Winchester Chesil station for a multi-storey car park, the City Council purchased the whole of the DN&S land within its boundary. Part of the route was used to form an access road to the car park. However, the property included a tunnel and viaduct. The tunnel is leased by a rifle club, but there was no obvious use for Hockley viaduct. Demolition was considered but the present plan is to incorporate it into a walkway. It is encouraging to find examples from elsewhere and on a recent visit to Wales I was able to walk across the Cefn Coed Viaduct. This was to have been demolished to make way for a road but instead, the road was built on a different site and the viaduct restored as a walkway. If the plans for Hockley materialise, it will be an unusual case of trains being replaced by pedestrians.
(Originally published by the Gosport Railway Society in 1998)
Postscript :A brief item about the Holmsley
crossing keeper’s cottage in the Southern Daily Echo of March 15, 2002:
"A futuristic house will be built beside a disused railway line in the New Forest after attempts to block the project were derailed. A government planning inspector has approved proposals to replace the remains of a Victorian crossing keeper’s cottage beside the former Ringwood to Brockenhurst line. Abandoned after the line closed in the 1960s, the cottage near Holmsley was being restored when it was wrecked by fire two years ago. The site’s future was decided at a planning appeal hearing in Lyndhurst.”
Report on Meetings -- Rosie Voller
John Deeker was our December speaker at the last meeting at the University. He told us the story of Pains Fireworks, which started in August 1595 when John Pain came over from the Channel Isles. This cottage industry produced large firework displays of angels, water rockets and triumphal arches; some were carried on barges down the River Thames. Dreadful accidents and fatalities were a part of the background of the early history of fireworks. After much pressure, in 1873 the Government passed an Explosive Act for more stringent measures to be adopted to stop people making fireworks in the home. By 1870 factories were set up in New York and Melbourne and the company had received a Royal Warrant which continued until 1960. The business was sold to Bryant & May after Philip Pain died in 1962, and sold again in 1965. Then in 1979 after John had been working for the renamed Pains Wessex, he bought the business and moved to Whiteparish. He is now semi-retired, while his sons are now running the family business. I had no idea there was so much information about the fireworks company.
Jim Brown, Vice-Chairman of Bitterne Local History Society, our January speaker, gave an illustrated talk about Henry Charles Brain, born in 1870, the son of a builder who, although primarily a bricklayer, was a keen amateur photographer. Nearly all of the views of Southampton, including ships, and as far afield as Capetown, South Africa, were untitled and had to be identified, and had never been published. Other interesting photos were the Clock Tower in Above Bar, Stag Gates at the entrance to Bevois Mount Estate, a Floating Bridge on the town side of the River Itchen, Southampton Royal Pier and tram no. 36 at Six Dials. The celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was another one as well as photographs of the families including one of Henry’s wife Rose, a really striking Edwardian lady whose really slim waist was the envy of the lady members, although none of us would want to be trussed up in an old fashioned corset. A great start to HIAS’s 2002 programme.
Our February speaker was Hazel
Nicholson who gave a brief social history of Red Funnel. She
was originally employed in the 1950s (when they still owned three elderly
paddle steamers) and later became Secretary of the company, which was started
some 140 years ago. During this time there were many name changes and,
when the family car came into its own, peoples’ requirements changed from
excursions to ferries to take them to the Isle of Wight.
Many paddle steamers and tank landing craft were used during WWII and during the D-Day events. After the war they were altered to provide a service to the Isle of Wight for customers and their cars.
Eventually some of the later ferries were altered when they went in for service. The Cowes Castle and the Norris Castle went to Amsterdam to be stretched and the turntables were taken off, as Ro-Ros were then the thing, and the Red Jets (hydrofoils) are very popular for the fast run to the island for passengers only. Later on the Cowes, Norris and Netley Castles all went to Croatia. In 1989 ABPs bid was accepted and they modernised the existing fleet as well as purchasing seven new ships. A year ago ABP Morgan sold everything to RFG Ltd, whose new Marketing Director was responsible for recently selling off the Towage Division.
Professor Alan Crocker, President of Surrey Industrial History Group, was our March speaker who talked about Paper Making. The mills he talked about were mainly in or around the border of Surrey and it was interesting to hear about paper making by hand. By the second century BC paper was being made in China, but it wasn’t until the late sixteenth century when mills were established in England at Maidstone and Dartford in Kent, and by 1650 there were over forty mills in England. The mills needed clean water power and a ready supply of rags as raw material and, at first, the quality was very coarse brown paper but, when the French and Dutch papermakers came to England in the late seventeenth century, good quality white paper was also being made. The rags were cut into small pieces and sorted into white linen or cotton heaps for white paper, and the coarse rags were used for brown paper. Alan talked about many of the families who ran the mills and he said in general children of paper makers tended to marry into other paper making families. Excise duty was charged on paper, and the paper wrapper was stamped showing the duty paid. These wrappers had to be destroyed so that they could not be re-used to evade tax duty. However, we were able to see one wrapper that was saved. There were so many stories and interesting slides: it was a good talk and a reminder of past lives of people and industry.
Our April speaker, Mrs Lesley Burton, gave an illustrated talk about Haslar Hospital, Gosport. In the 17th and 18th centuries there were about a hundred or so public houses in the town of Gosport, and sick sailors were initially put into the care of many innkeepers of these taverns and paid 1/6d (7½p) for feeding and looking after them. During this time there were 180,000 who died of sickness compared to less than 120,000 who died in battle. The Earl of Sandwich instigated the purchase of 194 acres of farmland in the Haselworth area and the budget for building the hospital was £38,000. By 1746 the building was well on the way and the project was completed in 1760 in excess of £150,000. The bricks were made on site by local labourers and used in the construction of the hospital which was opened 100 years before Florence Nightingale. Nurses were recruited from the local taverns: however, these so-called nurses stole much of the food which they sold for money and, instead of nursing sick sailors, they caused mayhem and the spread of venereal diseases by sleeping with the patients. Eventually Dr James Ling took over the management and, to prevent other diseases, fleas and other vermin, the sailors were scrubbed clean and dressed in a cotton shift and their clothes were burnt. He also tried preventative treatment by feeding the patients with citrus fruit to reduce scabies: however, many sailors were buried in surrounding parkland. The library held many books of note which were valuable but, in the 1960s, these books were badly handled and, with no consideration of their unique value, were bundled into another part of the building. Only recently has a librarian been put in charge of these works and it is hoped they will now be treated with respect. The hospital is owned by the MOD, who still want to sell it for housing or car parks, but the frontage now has a Grade 2* listing and it is hoped that the new MOD Chief is more on the side of local history.
Although the May evening was wet
and cold, it didn’t deter our members from attending Professor Ray Riley’s
on "The impact of railways on Portsmouth". Before the arrival of
the railways, travelling from Portsmouth to London via stage coach and
road carrier usually took about 7 hours. The town station was built in
1847, when a number of houses had to be demolished for the construction
of the railway. The time span was much reduced and, in 1849, the journey
via Brighton took 3 hours 10 minutes, whereas the London & South Western
express via Bishopstoke took just 2 hours 50 minutes. The railways played
a central role to the growth of Portsmouth and the time reduction enormously
benefited every aspect of the movement of goods, etc. London newspapers
were not only available more quickly, but they arrived sufficiently early
in the day for almost anyone to have identical access to the news as Londoners.
For two decades a double time standard purely applied to Portsmouth, which
was one of the last towns in Britain to accept GMT in the 1870s, which
gave rise to no little but apparently undocumented inconvenience.
The principal income was derived from the middle classes until the introduction of a 3-class system where enclosed carriages for 1st. class passengers were charged at the old 2½d per mile and 2nd class covered topped only carriages (advising passengers to carry an umbrella) were charged at the old 1¾d a mile. A day return only applied to 1st and 2nd. class who were charged at slightly less than the price of 2 singles. The 3rd.class passengers travelled in open wagons containing bench seats and were charged at one old penny per mile. It was interesting to note that cheap return tickets were introduced to attend the 1851 Great Exhibition and Fleet Reviews as well as local visits during the 1870s to attend the Chequer Theatre at Fareham. Due to many commercial travellers using trains, as well as people on walking holidays, they were charged half price (and because the middle classes usually took their dogs on trains the half price applied to them). The biggest reduction of one eighth of the fare applied to sons of a railway worker (who was charged a quarter of the fare). In the 1870s considerable pressure was put on the authorities to instal toilets and, once installed, guards were held responsible for unlocking and locking doors: unfortunately these passengers were often forgotten until they arrived at the next station. It was recorded that in 1891, of 491 railway employees, 158 were porters. Maximum penalties were imposed for offending against the railways bye-laws, one interesting penalty stating that children below 14 years of age would receive 6 strokes of the birch for throwing stones at trains! Ray’s musings and dry wit certainly entertained our members.
Sunday May 12th dawned dry and bright, so the omens for
a successful trip looked good. John Leader, with the coach, was waiting
for us well before time at Rushington (Totton) to make the first pick up
en route to our final destination near Henley-on-Thames. 29 members and
friends (plus 2 more who made their own way) were looking forward to a
rare glimpse at the private railway and museum of Sir William McAlpine.
Admission is by prior invitation only and the site is usually only open
to visitors four times a year.
We arrived at Fawley Hill about 11.30, a little before our planned arrival time, despite a pleasant and leisurely drive to get there. John showed his skill in negotiating the final 1½ miles along a very narrow and winding lane with the 50-seater coach.
We were in time to see the ‘train’ about ready to move from its reception siding to the small station. The train consisted of steam locomotive number 31 ( an 0-6-0 saddle tank built by Hudswell Clark & Co in 1912 ( a single open wagon (with seats) and a brake van. The first train was due to depart about 12.15, but time-keeping was fairly relaxed! Trains ran about every half-hour throughout the day and you could ride as many times as you wished. Other groups were arriving and, in all, there were probably just under 300 visitors. Tea and coffee could be purchased in the station, but otherwise it was “bring your own packed lunch” and eat in the sunshine watching the train come and go.
A striking feature of this short line is the way it gains the valley floor from the station terminus via a 1 in 13 gradient, reputed to be the steepest on the standard gauge in the UK. On the return trip the locomotive has to work to its maximum capacity with great sound and smoke effects. Other stock in use consisted of an ex-BR Class 03 diesel shunter and some other miscellaneous goods wagons. There have been other steam and diesel locos in use over the years ( the first arrival was in 1965 ( but the current steam loco is special in that it was purchased new to the McAlpine company and therefore represents the classic contractor’s locomotive still in company ownership.
Other highlights included an incredible museum of railway related artefacts collected by the McAlpine family over the years, resident in the first floor of a rather unprepossessing building. There are superb models, posters, paintings, furniture, crockery and cutlery and much more to be admired ( many items having unique historical connections. On the ground floor there is a collection of cars (all Rolls Royces!) and a superb ‘O’ gauge model railway.
The railway runs through part of the 80-acre private estate which comprises of parkland and stables, but at no point is it visible from public roads. Travellers get glimpses of rare and exotic wildlife which roams freely around the parkland including llama (not seen), rheas, cranes (the feathered variety) and deer. All the railway buildings and many other structures on view are from original railway locations that, in many cases, McAlpines have been involved in demolition or construction work over the years and which would otherwise have been lost forever.
The glorious sunny weather helped to make this a day to be enjoyed by all and our thanks go to the volunteer members of the Fawley Museum Society who run the open days, to John Leader for getting us there and back in comfort and safety and finally to Rosie for organising the trip. A few of us had the opportunity to speak to Sir William just before we left and it was suggested that HIAS should return some time in the future.
Hosted by Oxford House Industrial History Society and held at Coleg Gwent, Cross Keys Campus, near Risca, on 20th April,2002
Welcome on behalf of OHIHS -- Terry Evans
Restoration of Newport’s Transporter Bridge--Barry Mawson
Twine Works at West Coker-- Derrick Warren
Gloucester and Sharpness Canal-- Hugh Conway-Jones
Industrial token coinage of Wales-- Noel & Alan Cox
Blaenavon World Heritage Site-- John Evans
South Wales Steel Industry (Archival film)-- Chris Plaister
Local walks, weather permitting, and OHIHS Museum
There were, in fact, two welcomes. Firstly a welcome on behalf of Coleg Gwent; the welcomer, as a historian, stressed the importance of recording the memories of former industrial workers. [Should this begin ‘at home’ with HIAS members setting down their own memoirs of working life]. The second welcome was on behalf of OHIHS.
The speaker, Barry Mawson, a Gwent bridge engineer and in charge of the restoration, was the ideal person to recount the restoration of Newport’s Transporter Bridge. Transporter bridges were built only over a span of 30 years, before tall masted ships disappeared and before motor traffic became intense. The bridge at Newport was built to provide a crossing of the River Usk below Newport bridge to replace small ferry boats which were prone to accidents, several fatal. With a span of 600ft, a walkway 175ft above the river and space for 6 cars on the gondola, the bridge was commenced 8 years after the first transporter bridge in the world was opened in 1894. It was opened in 1906 at a cost of £98 000. Even as early as 1919 the bridge was losing £6000 per year, so it is not surprising that maintenance was neglected, the condition slowly deteriorating until the bridge was closed in the 1980s, being considered unsafe to use. Restoration commenced, none too soon, in 1992 with the towers and walkways, then the 16 badly corroded suspension cables were replaced along with other restoration work. Power to move the gondola is by the original 35hp DC electric motor on the shore. The bridge was re-opened with due ceremony in December 1995. For comparison, photographs of other transporter bridges past and present were shown, including the three in England.
Until the end of the 19th century Twine making was a cottage industry generally in the open with possibly only the twisting heads under cover. In the village of West Croker near Yeovil there is an almost complete 1890s twine works. Apart from military ropeworks, it is the only covered ropewalk which has the original machinery still in situ. Using flax or hemp, twine was spun for sail making, etc, until 1968. Since that time the building has been used by a machinery/vehicle parts dealer for storage and the condition of the building has been deteriorating. Surveys have been done at various times by Somerset I.A. Society and a conference held on the future of the building in 1996 when £370 000 was estimated for restoration, but to date nothing has been done to restore the building and machinery. The structure is of wooden construction with open sides, to allow the twine to dry after sizing, and a pantile roof. An engine house is attached but with no indication of original power.
A photographic tour along the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal followed, with many ‘then and now’ contrasts. The first entrance to the canal at Sharpness allowed access from the River Severn only at high tide: later, as the size of shipping increased, a new larger lock and basin was provided. As a ‘greenfield’ site, infrastruture had to be provided for the new community. Leaving Sharpness, the now demolished Severn railway bridge was remembered. Road bridges over the canal were originally split, so it needed two people ( one on each bank ( to open them but they were later converted for one man operation. Bridge keeper’s houses were built when the canal became open for 24 hours and the keepers had to be on call. Saul Junction, where the Stroudwater Canal crosses on the level, became the engineering headquarters of the canal with maintenance buildings and staff houses. With the projected reopening of the Thames & Severn Canal, it could become busy again. As Gloucester was approached, the changes to the warehouses, many still existing, and wharves were apparent.
In the late 18th, early 19th century there was a lack of small coinage in the country by which employers could pay their workers, and some of them resorted to issuing tokens. Not legal coinage, but very similar in appearance, the tokens could be used for purchasing goods and necessities at local shops and redeemed at the employers’ works or agencies. This response to governmental shortcoming degenerated into the infamous ‘truck’ system. Birmingham became the town where most of the tokens were struck, with Matthew Boulton (of Boulton& Watt) being the major producer. One of the first to issue tokens was Thomas Williams of Parys copper mine who put large numbers of copper (naturally!) tokens of 1d and ½d into circulation. Tokens of small denomination were usually bronze, and higher denominations such as 6d (2½p) and 1/- (5p) of silver, the maximum discovered being £1. Although many Welsh employers issued tokens, only one has been found where the inscriptions are in Welsh. Many tokens had illustrations of works and are often the only indication of the size and appearance of the enterprise.
Blaenavon is basically a company town, this and the surrounding area now being a World Heritage Site. As well as the well-known ironworks, colliery and railway, on the high moors round about many industrial features remain for those who know what to look for. At the meeting of 5 parishes, it was inevitable that disputes would arise between them and it is the maps and papers from these disputes which provides the wealth of knowledge of the remains, which was a major factor in the gaining of world heritage status. No good road to the town existed until the 1880s, although there are records of small coal mines in the 1480s and of iron mining in the mid 1500s, the ore being transported to Tintern furnace. Thus tramways and railways flourished in the area. Early mines were dug along the outcrop and earthworks can sill be seen as can, unusually, fields remaining from the company farm. Scouring ponds, hushes, trackways, limestone quarries and other remains of industry are scattered above the town. In the town itself, the streets are laid out from valley to hill, contrary to other valley towns where streets generally parallel the river.
The final session consisted of the showing of 16mm archival film. Starting with short sequences from the construction of the M6 motorway, the ‘old’ Severn Bridge and electrification of the West Coast main railway line, this was followed by scenes from the dismantling of the Mellingriffith water powered pump during its restoration by members of the Oxford House Indutrial History Society. The main film was the construction of the Margam steelworks and Tostre tinplate works which took from 1947 to 1951. The scale of the construction was immense and the working practices and civil engineering equipment of those days very interesting when compared to today. Headgear, if worn, being the ubiquitous cloth cap! Not a ‘hi-vis’ vest in sight. Construction, with commentary, was followed from entering the site, installing drainage and access roads, through to comissioning of the plant.
Finally a tour of some of the bridges of Monmouthshire was made.
After the conference a choice of two walks offered, a
visit to a nearby abandoned stone quarry, a notable feature on the way
was an abandoned embankment where the horse worked. Monmouthshire Tramroad
crossed the valley with sharp corner both sides and the new embankment,
made when the line was reconstructed for steam operation. The other walk
was along the towpath of the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire Canal to
a notable graveyard.
For those less enegetic, the small museum run by OHIHS was open and those on the walks could also visit it later if they had the energy.
Altogether a very interesting, entertaining and informative
conference, run well to time. From HIAS point of view, it was a pity it
was so far away but the members who managed the journey thoroughly enjoyed
it and considered the effort well worth while.
Jill Guthrie, Inspector, Monuments Protection and Thematic Listing Programme and Dave Hooley, Archaeologist, Monuments Protection Programme
Hayle was built on one of the few natural harbours of Cornwall’s north coast and has a hinterland rich in tin and copper resources. This combination propelled the town first to regional significance and then, when the town began to specialise from the first half of the 19th century in manufacturing steam pumping engines, to international importance. Many of its historic structures still survive, creating a unique and easily understood industrial landscape and a strong sense of place. Hayle illustrates the power of industrialisation to reshape the economic, settlement and transport patterns of an area, despite significant natural difficulties. It also shows the challenges that face communities when the industry that shaped it has ebbed away.
Much still survives of industrial Hayle: extensive quays built from 1740 onwards, tidal flushing reservoirs, a canal and associated structures. These remains are still linked both historically and visually with distinctive 18th- and 19th-century residential and industrial hinterland behind the waterfronts. These early industrial remains give Hayle a highly distinctive local character. They also have international significance because, in the 19th century, Hayle was the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pumping engines, especially for deep mining and land drainage.
Because of Hayle’s wealth of interest and need for a more
secure future, English Heritage has chosen the town to be among the first
to benefit from new ways of working, based on the principles of
Power of Place,
that create an integrated approach to urban conservation. Fundamental to this approach is an assessment that combines all aspects of a town’s historical development and importance ( whether traditionally considered to be archaeology, architecture or landscape ( to provide a firmer base for decisions about regeneration.
The study of Hayle will combine a number of conservation initiatives to produce a co-ordinated strategy, including listing, scheduling and conservation area recommendations, to inform the future management of the town’s historic character, It will also serve as a model for other historic towns so that new development is socially and environmentally as well as economically sustainable.
There is strong local commitment to Hayle’s industrial archaeology. Hayle needs inward investment and regeneration and English Heritage, as an existing funding partner in the town, is very keen to encourage this. The recommendations we have made are therefore intended not to obstruct the sustainable regeneration of Hayle but to ensure that key elements of the town’s historic character are properly featured in any proposals for its future. (From Conservation Bulletin 41, September 2001, published by English Heritage)
Three wool and cotton weaving communities in West Yorkshire, Derbyshire and South Lanarkshire have been granted World Heritage Status by the United Nations. The World Heritage list is fast becoming the modern version of the Wonders of the Ancient World, albeit with more than 700 destinations rather than seven.
The first, Saltaire in West Yorkshire, is a Victorian industrial village almost unchanged since it was built by textile magnate Sir Titus Salt as the site of his mill for the spinning and weaving of alpaca wool. The model village was built complete with a church and a park for his workforce.
The second site, the Derwent Valley Mills in Derbyshire, was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution. It includes Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill, the world’s first steam-powered mill, and Belper North, a cotton mill that was the most technically advanced building of its time, incorporating an iron frame and brick arches to make the building fire proof. It is now recognised as one of the most important industrial buildings in the world.
The third site is New Lanark Mills, founded in 1785 by Scottish entrepreneur David Dale, which won fame as a model community under the management of Dale’s son-in-law Robert Owen, a pioneer socialist.
Sir Neil Cossons, chairman of English Heritage, said: ‘I am delighted that the nation’s outstanding industrial heritage is at last gaining the recognition it deserves internationally.’ The UN said that the pioneering sites of the industrial revolution are so important that they deserve international recognition.
All three latest industrial sites (Derwent Valley Mills,
Saltaire and New Lanark) nominated for a World Heritage Site gained that
status at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting last December. This
more than doubles the World Heritage sites in the industrial category in
this country, the other two being Blaenavon [gained in 2000] and Ironbridge
[gained in 1986]. Nearer home, the Devon and East Dorset Coast [Orcombe
Point to Old Harry Rocks], the other site nominated which was in the ‘Natural
Site’ category, also gained World Heritage status.
The rules for nomination sites for World Heritage status have changed so now only one site can be nominated per country per year. This year the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew is the UK nomination. The other industrial sites from the 1999 proposed list will have to wait and compete against other cultural sites for nomination in future years.
In addition to National Museums, the Government proposes to set up regional museum hubs to act as flagships for the local museums community, with some assistance for the whole 2500 regional museums. A leading museum and up to three other museums in each of the nine regions would be expected to work together and provide leadership and set standards. The process of selection is on-going at the time of writing and the selected museums should be announced in this month (June 2002). A fund of £10m is available for modernisation, upgrading, etc.
Braithwaite Viaduct, which is part of Bishopsgate goodsyard area of London, has been listed Grade II. Other structures on site were not deemed of enough architectural or historical interest to merit listing.
(From Punch , 1952)
The hush which has been creeping over London’s streets ever since October 1950 will soon be all-pervading. The huge and complex operation of converting tram routes to buses is taking place in nine stages; the first to be withdrawn were in the west. “Thereafter,” as Lord Latham said at that time, speaking with a fine sense of occasion, “the conversion will march steadily eastward across south London, closing in on our final tram base, Charlton Tram Overhaul Works.”
So, during the night of a recent Saturday, the sixth of
the nine stages was completed and more than 100 trams in Woolwich, Lewisham,
Camberwell, Southwark, Lambeth and Westminster melted from the public ken
and, under cover of darkness, clanked in close procession to Greenwich.
On the Monday, as the first of them was given to the flames, a fleet of
brilliant new buses slipped unobtrusively into their places.By April, all
the trams in north London will have vanished. By October there won’ be
a tram to be seen anywhere. Three hundred and fifty miles of track will
be awaiting removal by the Executive or the local authorities; 1,000 more
buses will be in service, operating from brand new garages or exhaustively
converted tram depots; 3,000 tram men will have been transformed, by a
few weeks’ training, into bus men; and the daily traveller, if he has read
the announcements thoughtfully posted up, will have suffered no inconvenience
whatsoever. It is an immense operation, and I feel that the public hat
should be taken off to our friends at No 55, Broadway, Westminster.But
it is to the trams that I want to take off my hat˜and stand with head bowed
on that grim site in Greenwich. We shall miss them.
Work has been carried out at Slipper Mill Pond, Emsworth,
where a sluice gate is being rebuilt to reduce leakage.
The wheel at Hockley Mill had a build-up of chalk deposit on the buckets which put the wheel off-balance. This had to be chipped off. John Silman reports that, during National Mills Day in May, the machinery was running as smoothly and silently as he could ever remember.
Restoration of the water driven pump at Mayfly Cottage, Timsbury, is the next job to be tackled. This originally pumped water to a tank in the roof of Timsbury Manor. It is hoped to restore it to work a fountain, or something similar.
The major task has been the on-going work to clean up and paint the component parts of the Crux Easton Wind Engine at Hove ( a long drive for the volunteers. The wind wheel parts have been completed and the tower components are now receiving the same high level of restoration, with everything needing at least three coats of paint. The final coat on the tower parts will be of a ruberoid type to allow for flexing of the tower when the wheel is running. When everything is returned to Crux Easton, the actual erection of the tower and wind wheel will take some time. John Hone will be working on the wooden sections of the 48 sails contained within the wheel. Mick Edgeworth, John Silman and Mateen Farooqui have been to the well house to wash and treat the upper floors and doors with Cuprinol and seal the floor. The bricks from the frame of the bearing box in the wall of the well house where the drive from the engine enters the building were removed and the shelf for the bearing was discovered still in situ in the box, ready to receive the restored bearing.
The well house itself has been re-roofed with the original tiles by contractors, the stairs to the upper floor completed and electric power supply installed. The next major job is the de-capping of the well to reveal the water level 300 ft below to visitors. It is hoped to recover the pump so that the wind engine can operate the original machinery.
A date has finally been arranged for the grand ‘opening’ of the restored wind engine ( Wednesday September 25th. A display is being assembled to illustrate the history of the engine which will be on view in the well house.
A surprising discovery was made when trenches were being dug around the well house to provide a gravel drain around the building to ensure the run-off from the roof (no guttering allowed) is absorbed into the ground. A dump full of broken bottles was found, mostly of black or dark olive glass, some running under the east wall of the well house. Ruth Andrews, Mick Edgeworth and John Silman have been excavating these broken bottles and a glass expert from Newbury Museum said they were English, hand blown and probably c.1740. Several glass ‘seals’ were found with the letters ‘Ed.Lisle Esq.’ and Ed. Lisle Esq. 1723’. Edward Lisle had settled in Crux Easton in 1693 or 1694 and a rectangular depression in the ground nearby may be the site of his house (see map). Mick and Ruth are researching these finds and may write an article for the Journal.
Normally the winter period is one where activity at Millbrook
is at a low level: working conditions when the weather gets very cold become
untenable in the unheated workshop. However this year has proved an exception.
Following the move of Portsmouth 84 to Milestones and the consequential
re-positioning of Lisbon 715 in its place in the workshop, it was decided
to try and give the Portuguese car a facelift. Although the car itself
is quite sound and was in working order when we got it, years of storage
outside had taken their toll on the paintwork and other aspects of the
car body. In addition nobody was that keen on the all-over advertising
livery that 715 came with, so it was decided to repaint the car into its
original fleet colours.
We decided not to expend too much time and effort on this task ( just a cosmetic repaint ( so as not to divert resources from Car 11, but if you are going to do a job you might as well do it properly! Since Christmas one or more of the team has been working to transform the appearance of 715 at least once every week, in some cases 3 times in a week, and we are now almost finished. That is, finished the parts we can reach ( the far side of the car next to the tramshed wall will have to wait until we can get better access to finish the job, but at least it now looks quite presentable.
Work on Car 11 has continued in parallel, with the Reading ‘gang’ manufacturing new roof vents, and much work being done to design the upper deck seat brackets and the fixing points for the 8 opening floor flaps which were used to give the conductor an opening to sweep out all the dust and fag ends at the end of the day’s work. Angela has completed painting the ornate scrollwork lining on the upper deck ivory panel at one end. Four ‘scrolls’ down, eight to go ( but they will have to wait until later as the main side panels have yet to receive their gloss coats. Too many tasks to do and not enough hands or time to do them.
Angela and I spent the Golden Jubilee Bank Holiday in the workshop at Crich Tramway Village (formerly the National Tramway Museum: a PR consultant suggested a name change would make it sound more interesting!), our first visit for nearly 3 years. In that time a lot of changes have taken place, including the completion of the Red Lion pub (now serving meals and beer) and a large extension to the workshop which includes a 1st floor public viewing gallery, which was part funded from the National Lottery. Work is now taking place to extend the library. Southampton 45 was running again after repair work to damage caused when it collided with a depot door. We also took the opportunity to visit Nottingham where a local museum member took us for a tour of the works for the first of the city’s new tramway routes, which should prove to be very photogenic with many of its street-running tracks winding through quite narrow roads, as well as some dedicated rights of way.
Another Open Day has been arranged in conjunction with
the heritage bus group on August 25, building on the success of last year’s
event. Details of routes and timings below.
Sales of the Southampton Transport video still continue to give a small but regular income. If you haven’t got yours yet, see any member of the T57 group at the meetings, or contact me at the address on Page 2.
Finally we look forward to a visit by the Southampton
City Heritage Task Group on June 12 in our never-ending quest to find a
permanent home for the trams when restoration is complete.
With several large canal restoration schemes coming to fruition this year, a further programme valued at more than £500m was announced in March. The current programme includes the Huddersfield Canal, reopened last year; the Anderton Boat Lift, opened in March 2002; a further section of the Chesterfield Canal, due to reopen in early 2003; final phase in the reopening of the Kennet & Avon Canal due for completion December 2002; reopening the Rochale Canal due summer 2002; the new Ribble Link between the Lancaster Canal and the River Ribble ending its isolation, due to open summer 2002; restoration of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in Scotland along with the new Falkirk Wheel rotating boat lift which will connect the two canals, due to open May 2002.
The new projects announced are the reopening of the Thames
& Severn and Stroudwater Canals under the title Cotswold Canals; reopening
the Droitwich Barge and Droitwich Junction Canals; reopening the northern
section of the Lancaster Canal to Kendal; reopening what is now known as
the Montgomery Canal to Newtown; reopening the Manchester, Bolton &
Bury Canal; restoration of a network of tributaries of the River Lee in
east London; restoration of the Foxton Inclined Plane on the Leicester
line of the Grand Union Canal; a new canal link between docks in Liverpool
which will effectively extend the Leeds & Liverpool Canal; a completely
new canal (though projected in the 19th century) linking the navigable
River Ouse at Bedford and the Grand Junction
Canal at Milton Keynes.
British Waterways have received two NLF grants, one to the Montgomery Canal and the other to the Birmingham Canal Navigations. The first, which runs south from Llangollen Canal through the counties of Shropshire and Powys to Newtown, was laid out between 1794 and 1824 and contains 124 listed structures, 38 scheduled ancient monuments and 6 historic parks. The grant of £71 100 will fund a Conservation Management Strategy for its restoration. The Waterways at Birmingham took almost a full century to complete from 1769 to 1863 and was critical to Brum’s role at the heart of the industrial revolution. The £68 700 awarded here will allow local schools and community groups to be involved in the recording process as well as to create a new CD-Rom and interpretation panels.
The Windmill, Windmill Hill, near Herstmonceux, East Sussex (NLF(£577 000) to repair a Grade II* listed windmill of 1814 described as ‘the largest surviving hand-turned postmill in the country” and included on the English Heritage At Risk Register because of its condition.
The Amberley Working Museum , near Arundel, West Sussex (NLF(£89 300) to employ a new community access officer, to train volunteers and improve educational facilities. The Museum tells the story of the industrial heritage of the South-East including transport and lime kilns. Further details, particularly from anybody who wants to become involved, from Norman Wild at the Museum on 01798 831 370.
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, near Chichester, West Sussex (NLF(£155 500) to provide a new building to store timber for use in the museum’s conservation workshops.
The Fovant Badges, Wiltshire (NLF(£70 000) are the chalk hill figures clearly visible off the A30 when you drive between Salisbury and Shaftesbury. The first one was laid out in 1916 carved out of the turf by soldiers from a number of regiments that trained and camped on the land during World War 1. The largest, that of the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces, is equal in length to three cricket pitches. The AMS has drawn attention to their serious decay, and the money now allocated will help to conserve four of the most eroded Fovant badges cut by soldiers at Fovant camp in WW1 in 1916
These are: Royal Wilts Yeomanry, 6th City of London Regiment,
Australian Imperial Force,Royal Corp of Signals, Wiltshire Regiment,London
Rifle Brigade, Post Office Rifles, Devonshire Regiment, Royal Warwick Regiment
7th Battalion London Regiment These can be clearly seen from the Wilton ( Shaftesbury road and from the air. A layby with an information board has been provided for viewing the badges near Fovant. (Ordnance Survey Landranger Sheet 184 (SU 0128) and
Glastonbury Tor, Somerset (NLF(£314 000) to allow the National Trust to conserve this early 14th century tower exposed to the wind and weather at the top of the tor.
The Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester (NLF(£2 547 000), one of the most spectacular HLF II awards of its kind to the Sussex Archaeological Society to improve interpretation, provide new displays and better protect the extraordinary mosaics on the site. Allied to this is the which has gone to the
Brading Roman Villa of the 4th century on the Isle of Wight.£1 912 000
The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex (NLF(£1 900 000). At last Rother Council, having toyed with the idea of introducing a Wetherspoons Pub into this iconic building from the Modem Movement, has been reconciled to the corollary of accepting this substantial HLF grant ( namely that the building will serve as an arts and leisure venue without palming some of the rooms for commercial use.
The Rural History Centre, University of Reading (£5 170 000) to rehouse the ‘at risk’ collections of the Rural History Centre into a new store, to be allied with the conversion of the listed St. Andrew’s Hall to house the archives and library.
The Standedge Experience Visitor Centre on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was opened on 25 May symbolising the navigability of the whole 20 miles of the 200 year old canal. The Centre is housed in a converted 18th century warehouse. It is also the starting point for the guided boat trips through part of the Standedge Tunnel, the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain. The source of Lottery funding here was not the HLF but the Millennium Commission which offered a staggering £14·85 million.
The surprise additional Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £168 500 has saved the restoration at Eastleigh of SR Maunsell 4-6-0 No 850 Lord Nelson from collapse and the locomotive could be back in steam in 18 months’ time. Severe wastage and buckling in the boiler and firebox were discovered at the Tavistock works where they were to be repaired. It is hoped that a visit by HIAS members can be arranged to see Lord Nelson at its workshop, probably next year after the boiler has been refitted.
Southampton University’s Hartley Library has received
a grant of £951,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve facilities.
The money will fund an extension to the building to create space for the
internationally revered collections and provide space for an exhibition
so that documents can finally be displayed. The St Barbe Museum in Lymington,
which recounts the story of people and landscape in the New Forest, has
also been given a cash boost of £87,000 to improve access to the
site for schools, families and older people.
The Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) has introduced a Fieldwork Award Scheme “to encourage the recording of the physical remains of the industrial period to high archaeological standards”. The awards are open to both amateur and professional fieldworkers and have been operating successfully for over a decade. Work submitted for the award may already have been published or if not, entrants may be encouraged to publish. As well as the main award there is also the Initiative Award for innovative projects, particularly those from local societies. The closing date for entries was 1st May 2002. Previous winners have studied the Somerset Turnpike System, a quarry in Gwynedd, and the engineering of Stephenson’s Rocket. Further details from Fieldwork and Recording Awards, AIA Liaison Officer, School of Archaeological Studies, The University, Leicester LEI 7RH (Tel. 0116 2525337).
The Obelisk, Market Place, Ripon, is now recognised as an important monument designed by Hawksmoor in 1702 and listed at Grade 1. AMS objected to a proposal to attach a plaque commemorating the Rising of the North in 1569 as an inappropriate use of the monument. “The Rising of the North" has a major place in Ripon’s history, but we felt it better that it should have its own separate commemoration. A plaque attached to the Obelisk would associate matters with no historical link and lead to the danger of any significant monument in a important position becoming a target for misplaced heritage enthusiasm.
Weedon, Weedon Depot, Daventry, Northamptonshire was built as a small arms depot during the Napoleonic Wars and is said to have been the intended retreat for George III had Napoleon invaded. It was just off the Grand Union Canal and had a canal branch running through it. The depot consists of two walled enclosures, one for the warehouses with entrance gates based on the Traitors’ Gate at the Tower of London and the other for magazines with paraboloid roofs and blasthouses between, designed as large earth-filled buildings. Recent research by English Heritage has emphasised the architectural and historic importance of the depot. Some years ago public inquiry decided that retail and commercial uses would be appropriate for the original warehouses with the National Fire Service Museum going into a later warehouse. AMS has expressed reservations about the extent of work which may be necessary to convert these Grade II* buildings to a productive use in order to finance the adaptation and beneficial conversion of a less important building.
92 gas lamp posts at Malvern, Worcestershire, six of them in the churchyard of the Priory. All the more interesting for being produced by various companies, one example by Horsley & Company of Tipton being dated 1856. The vast majority are complete and in working order.
The Central Gates and Railings of the former Firestone Factory, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex. The loss of the Firestone, demolished over a Bank Holiday just before Michael Heseltine intended to add it to the lists, was one of those ‘sacrificial lambs’ which produced some good ( in that it opened the eyes of Government to the need to protect the best examples of Inter War design. It also prompted the setting up of the 20th Century Society. Here the listing process finally catches up with the memory of a great building by offering protection to the central gates and railings designed, like the lost factory, by Wallis Gilbert and Partners in 1928.
The research of Wayne Cocroft and others has borne fruit
in the listing of a number of buildings associated with the gunpowder
industry. These include a large number at Faversham, the Chilworth
Works at St. Martha, Guildford
which alarmed patriots when it was owned by a German firm from 1885-1920, and several Powdermill Houses, mainly in Somerset and Devon which give away their origins by their telltale names.
The Pier, Clevedon, Somerset, of 1867-69 by Hans Price, repaired in 1999 and now upgraded making it unique among the building type except for the West Pier Brighton.
In Wales, where listing is carried out by CADW, George
Street Bridge, Newport of 1962-64 has been listed Grade II*. It is
‘the first cable-stayed cantilever bridge in Britain’.It looks like a cricket
pavilion. In fact it is the Fairmile Cafe
which lies on the southern side of the A29 between Whiteways Lodge and Slindon in Sussex. It is a rare survivor of an Inter War ‘roadside refreshment facility’ for motorists. The Amberley Museum has announced its wish to resite the cafe within its complex. The present owners, now that the building is redundant, wish to return the site to its natural condition as part of the Fairmile Bottom site of Special Scientific Interest.
A Museum of the Dairy Farming Industry was proposed in early November by the Rural Arts Agency ( Littoral. It intends to cover ‘the cow’s relationship to man through the ages’ but also the importance of the current dairy industry. The Arts Council has already contributed £3000 and it is expected that an application for substantially more will be lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund. For more information on the museum, which is to be based in Cheshire in converted farm buildings, please contact Littoral on 01706 827 961.
SS Great Britain gained a £7·744m Heritage Lottery Grant, on 29 January 2002, towards its £10·5m Development Plan. This Plan will embrace an extended area of the surrounding dock and secure the shipyard proper. It will also incorporate a glass ‘roof’ to the dry dock, with environmental control to stay the rusting of the ship’s fabric.
The museum’s Downland Gridshell building has been shortlisted for a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Award in the South East. It is 48m long and will provide an environmentally-controlled store for historic artefacts in the basement which is built into the chalk hillside. It is the first major timber gridshell building in Britain and is due to be officially opened in June by Sir Neil Cossons. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1·185 contributed to the £1·8m project. : (News from the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, Chichester, Sussex)
Historic barn to be restored
Support of £14,210 towards the repair and renovation of an historic barn on Hampshire’s buildings-at-risk register has been approved by Winchester city councillors. The barn, at Lower Lanham in Old Alresford, is a Grade II timber-framed listed building which was developed in the 18th century. It is estimated that the work, which will include re-pointing the plinth walls and re-thatching, will cost about £80,000 (Daily Echo, 21 March 2002)
English Heritage - Policy extensions applied to Cornish I.A.--Roger Hedge
English Heritage appear to have created a new (?) policy, “Power of Place”, to create an integrated approach to urban conservation. One of the first locations to benefit is Hayle, Cornwall, an early port developed to exploit inland tin and copper. The early 18th and 19th century IA remains give Hayle a distinctive character. There is a strong local commitment to I.A. and English Heritage, as an existing funding partner, are keen to promote inward investment to encourage this.
An unveiling ceremony by Honorary Alderman Mrs Kathie Johnson took place at the Southampton Hall of Aviation on May 10th, when a spectacular 15ft length of Nottingham lace was re-dedicated. It had originally been presented to the Borough of Southampton by the lace makers of Nottingham after WW2 and was on display in St Mary’s Church until a recent renovation meant it had to be put in store. Its history and the convoluted means of it arriving both at the church and at the Hall of Aviation would take at least a page to report, but all credit to Mrs Johnson, the Collections Management team and to Hall of Aviation curator, Sqn. Ldr. Alan Jones, for putting this marvellous piece of work on public display. It is The Battle of Britain Commemorative Lace Panel and depicts images from the war. If you’ve never been to the Hall of Aviation, it’s worth a visit just to see this masterpiece alone (though the aircraft and other displays are very good too!): and if you have been before, why not go again. And then tell your friends to go!
Rookhope mine manager’s house for sale
A dwelling called Boltsburn House in the village of Rookhope, Durham is for sale. It was built in 1907 for the manager of the Weardale Lead Company which owned mines in the area. Alongside it lies the original “horse level” entrance to the mine which, although flooded, runs for at least a mile into the hillside before spiralling deep underground for several miles more. The entrance, like the old compressor house and near-derelict mine offices, comes with the property. It all sits in two acres of grassland, bordered on one side by what used to be The Little Nut’s narrow-gauge railway track, now a rushing stream, and on another by Bolt’s Burn, which powered and gave its name to Rookhope’s Boltsburn Mine, once the richest in the north, that closed in 1932 and was capped. All around are relics of the lead-mining era, which many SUIAG/HIAS members have seen for themselves on the various trips up north. The present owners, who are selling to ‘downsize’, bought the house in disrepair nine years ago and have spent considerable time and money on its restoration but have left most of the original fittings such as dado rails, picture rails and sash windows. They have not touched the old mine offices or compressor room, which could be converted into a pair of substantial houses.And all for a mere £225,000!
Behind Bars ( The Hidden Architecture of England’s Prisons” published by English Heritage in 2000 at £10. A companion book “English Prisons, An Architectural History” by Allan Brodie, Jane Croom and James Davis has been published at £40.
by Alien Eyles is one of those pithy introductions to a subject at once accessible and ludicrously cheap available from Shire Publications (Cromwell House, Church Street, Princes Risborough HP27 9AA) at £3.50. Either buy it direct or look out for it in bookshops.
The Fawley Branch: The story of the Totton, Hythe & Fawley Light Railways
Many years ago we were fortunate in seeing a manuscript for a book on the Fawley Railway. It was written by John Fairman, a senior engineer with the Southern Gas Board who had a major interest in all things about railways, especially the LSWR and SR. Unfortunately he died before the book could be published, but his typescript was invaluable to us in understanding about the station at Hythe and the branch line it served. Now the book has been published by Oakwood Press, priced at £9.95. Copies can be obtained at the Hythe Heritage Centre after it opens on June 22nd. All profits on sales from the Centre will be placed in a special account and used for publishing books on various aspects of the history of the Waterside that we plan to produce.
Work starts at last on Battersea Power Station:
Enabling works for conversion of the Battersea Power Station hulk got underway last week. Work on the leisure, retail, business and housing complex started nearly a year after designs by engineers Buro Happold, Atelier One and architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners were granted planning approval. Partial demolition of a Grade II listed building on the site is being carried out to allow for diversion of water mains owned by Thames Water, Wandsworth Borough Council planning department confirmed this week. Developer Parkview International wants to complement redevolopment of the power station and 14·5ha of surrounding land by building a pedestrian bridge across the Thames, designed by Arup’s Millennium Bridge team. (from New Civil Engineer, 14 March 2002)
The Winter Gardens in Bournemouth have finally been condemned to demolition by Bournemouth Borough Council. Acoustically, the Winter Gardens is quite outstanding, even today in its present state of disrepair, although some members of the council have tried to argue to the contrary. The Winter Gardens had survived one attempt by the developer’s wish to demolish the building to make way for the inevitable flats, offices, etc, when a massive petition was raised locally and the plan was thrown out by one vote. However, at the next planning application, one councillor switched to the ‘approval’ side. (from New Forest Post, 17 January 2002)
Fox Mill wheel to be erected in Romsey
The 11ft breastshot waterwheel from Romsey’s Fox Mill (146 in SUIAG’s Hampshire Mills Guide) was removed in the 1970s and put in store by Hampshire County Council. It has now been restored and will be placed on the Southampton Road roundabout. The wheel was reported to be ‘in a bad shape’ and needed cast replacements, and it will be supported on a steel cradle. The project should be completed by October or November and the £20 000 cost is being half funded by the Romsey Heritage Trail capital scheme with the remainder allocated from the council’s millennium projects fund.
English Heritage - Policy extensions applied to Cornish I.A.
English Heritage appear to have created a new (?) policy,
“Power of Place”, to create an integrated approach to urban conservation.
One of the first locations to benefit is Hayle, Cornwall, an early port
developed to exploit inland tin and copper. The early 18th and 19th century
IA remains give Hayle a distinctive character. There is a strong local
commitment to I.A. and English Heritage, as an existing funding partner,
are keen to promote inward investment to encourage this.
A note from Roger Hedge:
While staying near Risca for the 33rd S Wales & West
I A Conference (20 April 2002), Wendy and I picked up a copy of the
current Blaenafon Tourist Information Guide. An intriguing item included
Hughesovka, a Welsh enterprise in Imperial Russia In the late 1870s some ironworkers from Blaenafon, Caddick, Skyrme and Taylor, moved to Russia to set up a works in the Ukraine for the Imperial Czar. The man in charge of the operation was John Hughes of Merthyr Tydfil. The Ironworks was named the New Russia Company. A town grew up around the works and was named Hughesovka. In Stalin’s time it was renamed Stalino and is now known as Donetsk. The Russian general and politician Timoshenko (Thomas Jenkins) was a descendant of one of the Welsh workers. The Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev was a worker in this ironworks when a young man.
Southampton floating bridge engines --Angela Smith
You may not remember a brief note I made in last June’s
Focus about a short holiday Nigel and I had in Cornwall in April,
when we met up with Kenneth Brown of the Trevithick Society. We had visited
what is now called the Poldark Mine near Helston, formerly Wendron Forge
Museum, and had enquired as to the whereabouts of the two former Southampton
floating bridge engines which they were supposed to have on display. “Oh,
they’ve been sold to a museum in east Kent and gone,” was a reply from
one of the guides. When we met Kenneth a couple of days later and asked
him, he said they were still in a restaurant car park near the museum.
Yes, we had seen them and actually gone to have a look, but hadn’t totally
realised what they were! Upon our return home things were put in action
by Alastair Arnott from City Collections after we provided him with contacts
for the museum and supplied a map of where to find the engines.
The two engines were subsequently brought back to Southampton and were craned into the Heritage Collection warehouse near the docks on December 31. They are from Floating Bridges 8 and 10 (10 still survives at Bursledon). One is a rare ‘Grasshopper’ engine built in 1896 and the other is a more conventional beam engine dating from 1928. Both engines were built in Northam by Day, Summers & Co, and are unique survivors of their respective types. These acquisitions were made possible with the help of the Science Museum PRISM Fund and were reassembled with help from a local firm, Williams Shipping.
News from Coldharbour Mill
English Heritage, as part of a regional survey, has reported
that Coldharbour Mill is now to be regarded as a significant site of
national (as well as regional and local) importance. Two of the reasons
for this are the power system, ranging from water to steam, and the intact
Gas Retort House (mentioned in several of my notes). In furtherance of
this, there is an audit in progress to ensure that all the machinery is
recorded properly and additional information about each object will be
noted on file.
Steam Team Progress
Since the last Newsletter, progress has been dramatic! With the help of our Bricklayer, the Steam Team have (almost) finished the brickwork on the boiler. This has been achieved by working some 18 days since the 5th January with a total of 500 hours clocked up by the six volunteers during this period. We have used some 6,000 red engineering bricks ( 4,000 white fire-resistant bricks ( 14 tons of sand and approximately 3 tons of lime! This has brought steaming days much nearer BUT there are still many more man-hours of engineering work to be carried out on normal volunteer workdays. As Team leader, I would like to thank our Bricklayer for giving us this opportunity to achieve so much in such a short space of time and thanks go also to the members of the steam team for giving me so much support during this period. (from John Babb, Spring 2002 newsletter)
New Forest District Council has issued a warning
to anyone thinking of altering structures surrounding listed buildings,
following a recent court case and fine. A local man was fined £5,000
by Lyndhurst Magistrates for the unauthorised demolition of a granary,
which was a protected historic building. The 200 year-old timber framed
granary in Bramshaw was listed by virtue of its curtilage relationship
to the cottage, the primary listed building on the site.
As a result of the case, the council’s conservation and urban design team has urged everyone who either owns or maintains a listed building to be aware of the implications of altering surrounding structures. (The Waterside Herald , June 2002)
Flying Boat public house, Calshot
More news on the former Officer’s mess from the Calshot
Naval Air Station camp, mentioned in the last issue of . A government inspector
has supported the New Forest District Council’s rejection of the developer’s,
Stoneclose, plans to turn the north-west wing into low cost housing because
‘it went against policies for redevelopment in the countryside’. After
visiting the property, he said “From what I saw during my inspection, the
former public house has been badly damaged by fire. Much of the roof of
the building is missing and debris was strewn across parts of the site.”
Following closely on that refusal, the NFDC warned that it would take action against the owners if the pub is not tidied up and made safe. “We are looking at what powers we have(our environmental health powers, our building regulation powers and our planning powers.” On the environmental health issue, the council was keen to make the building secure, to prevent people ( possibly children from nearby houses ( getting in and injuring themselves. The building regulation aspect concerned the possible unstable state of the building and the need to ensure that it did not deteriorate into a condition where it could collapse on to someone. On the planning front, it now has a derelict and very unsightly appearance and needs a lot of tidying up.
The council says that it wants to regenerate the Calshot area for the benefit of the community. The developers of the former pub previously had permission to convert existing parts of the buildings into hotel-type bedrooms, only to have the property ravaged by fire. (The Daily Echo , 25 Janury 2002)
Fritham letter box refurbished
The Forestry Commission has refurbished a unique post
box that served the former Schultze gunpowder factory at Fritham in the
New Forest . District forester Dick Mihalop said: “The post box was put
up in the 1800s to save the postman’s legs. People walked a kilometre from
the factory every day to collect incoming mail and leave their next batch
of post.” Production at the site ended early last century and the buildings
were later demolished. The post box is among the few relics that remain.
[see the article in SUIAG Journal No. 6]
Monica Ellis 1912 - 2001
Monica was born in 1912 into the Verdon-Roe family, who were pioneers in aviation circles. She attended Cheltenham Ladies’ College and from there went up to Girton, Cambridge, to take a B.A. and incidentally meet, and later marry, a dashing young medical student from Pembroke College. Some of the foundation work on diet carried out by Monica while at Cambridge was instrumental in formulating the Government’s plans for feeding the British population during World War II. Her careful training in analysis showed when later she jointly published The Bude Canal in the original David & Charles series of books on British Canals.
Monica got involved with the Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group in the early 1960s when they were in the middle of a project to record milestones along the old turnpike roads before they disappeared in the road-widening schemes of that time. This involved taking responsibility for a stretch of road and then searching in the undergrowth every mile for a stone or cast iron marker. These were then recorded using a standard recording form (location, photograph, description, etc) which now, of course, forms the only record of these interesting features, few of which survive.
The project also involved looking at turnpike toll houses
and bridges and it was through the bridges that she became interested in
canals, She studied many of the Hampshire canals but became particularly
associated with the Bude Canal in north Cornwall. This had a history of
carrying sea sand up to lime inland farm fields. Very little was known
about it until Monica, with Jim’s help, started work. When she had finished
( the record published by David and Charles as
The Bude Canal with Helen Harris) the route and its locks and inclined planes had all been meticulously planned, the complex methods unravelled, and the original tub boats (now in the Exeter Maritime Museum) had been spotted and rescued by Monica and Jim and other enthusiasts.
With the Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group in Hampshire, Monica edited a Guide to the county’s industrial archaeology, published in 1975, and then a gazetteer of the wind, tide and water mills of Hampshire and another of its ice houses, the latter in Ice and Ice Houses Through the Ages (1982), her best work including much original research and new material. She was acknowledged as an expert on Hampshire ice houses in particular and ice houses in general, giving her advice freely. From them she went on to recovering material on no-longer existing 18th and 19th-century houses, particularly Cadland House near Fawley ( built in 1775 and levelled in 1950 ) publishing the results in 1989.This is an impressive list of achievements for an amateur archaeologist. Her records were exemplary, her methods impeccable, her background research thorough, and she maintained her drive, her standards, and her enthusiasm over three decades into her late seventies. Thankfully most of her work on these various surveys remains in the Cope Collection at Southampton University for posterity.
Monica died at the age of 89 Our most sincere sympathies to Jim and to the rest of her family.
The group lost another of its members when Betty
Eaton passed away on January 3rd after fighting a long illness with
courage. Betty and Ron were on the same three-year evening class course
in industrial archaeology with Edwin which I did in the early 70s and had
been stalwart supporters of the meetings and excursions ever since. My
sincere sympathies to Ron, who we hope will be joining in again with HIAS