June 2007 - A trip on the Portsdown & Horndean Light Railway
July - Whitchurch Silk Mills
August - 40 Years of I.A.
September - Corsets and all that
October - Railway bridges and their engineers
November - Annual General Meeting and Photographic Competition
Gater’s Mill to
Trip to Crossness Engines and Three Mills Complex
Twyford Waterworks Trust
HIAS Rescue and Restoration Section
Alan Watson, Medusa Trust
The work on Medusa (HDML 1387) was going well and our engines were about ready for their test run after 18 months of work. Then, on the morning of Tuesday 30 October, just as our team arrived for work, a fire broke out and rapidly consumed the workshop building.
Many of you will have seen this on the news; it was a major event involving six fire engines and nearly 100 fire fighters. When the site was handed back to us late Wednesday evening, the sight was beyond comprehension. We had lost most of the internal fittings from Medusa, all our tools and woodworking machinery, many parts that had been restored and the main engines were partially melted, full of water and rusting.
good news was that no-one was hurt and Medusa herself is safe. We are now
working out what was lost and costing its replacement. The main engines,
would be grateful for leads to
(Alan can be contacted on tel (023) 8026 1638, fax (023) 8090 7417 or e-mail [email protected] )
This historic vessel has been on and off the agendas of the Southampton Heritage Federation since its formation five years ago and members have continually checked on its deteriorating condition. Matters have come to a head since July when it was discovered that developers Wilson Bowden, who are building the Admiral’s Quay apartment blocks on the Canute’s Pavilion site, wished to get rid of the light vessel as they needed to relocate their marketing suite – currently in the remaining portion of the former Southern Railway‘s Continental Booking Office, which will be demolished (sadly not listed nor even in the Canute Road Conservation Area) – to make way for the final block of the development. The company offered it free to a good home, otherwise it would be cut up for scrap. The initial problems were twofold – where to put it and who would pay to have it moved.
Calshot Spit Light Vessel station was established in 1842 by Trinity House.
This light vessel, No. 78, was built by the John I Thornycroft shipyard at
Woolston in 1914 and is the sole surviving light vessel from that yard. No. 78
was previously stationed at “Mouse” and “Mid-Barrow” before moving to Calshot
in 1951 where a five-man crew lived on board. It was converted to unmanned
operation in 1973. Associated British Ports took over the Calshot Spit station
it was withdrawn from service No. 78 was anchored in Cowes Roads while tenders
were sought for its disposal. The
of the Maritime Group of the Heritage Federation (principally
A deadline of December 3rd was given to remove the vessel and, at the time of writing, I am still waiting to hear how things have progressed. In the first instance the contaminated water inside No. 78 has to be pumped out into a road tanker and the gravel removed from outside, so that a thorough inspection can be made to assess the condition of the hull. Wilson Bowden agreed to pay for this since they would have to carry out this task anyway if they were to have the vessel scrapped. Then if all is OK, there are the ‘small’ matters such as finding a new home for it and getting a move financed. If this all works out – and it‘s a big IF – members of HIAS may well be asked to join working parties to do some chipping and painting.
June speaker was Geoff Salter, a
retired librarian, on A Trip on the
Portsdown & Horndean Light Railway but it was in fact a tramway service.
Authorised in 1899, it opened on
This new tram system inevitably transformed the area and amongst the beneficiaries was Waterlooville. Named after the Battle of Waterloo by soldiers making their way home from the docks, it consisted of just one pub called the Heroes of Waterloo before the advent of the tramway. Geoff had a considerable amount of slides to accompany his talk thanks to the enthusiasm of a Mr Marshall who started taking pictures as early as 1910, and thereafter kept a meticulous record in picture form of the construction of the tramway, as well as other local events in the area. Although greatly changed, many parts of Waterlooville were surprisingly recognisable. During the tramway’s heyday, the tram shed could accommodate up to 12 trams and, by 1905, the company had 15 trams, plus its own power station which also supplied the owner’s house nearby with electricity.
Extremely popular in its day, especially during the “Fairs” when about 40,000 descended on Portsdown Hill for this annual event, it finally closed in 1935, although the tram shed was used in WW2 for the storage of torpedoes etc. Geoff showed us a slide of one of the original trams which has been beautifully restored and it is hoped it will be possible to put it on public view in the near future.
In July our speaker was Geoff Hide on Whitchurch Silk Mills. Geoff, who had been a volunteer at the Mill for the last twelve years, has a close family connection – his Great Grandfather being James Hide who bought the mill in 1889. James’ father John already ran a successful drapers business in Whitchurch. The Mill was modernised with the introduction of powered looms and winding frames together with a warping mill run by the waterwheel.
Hide family was related to the Burberrys at nearby
The business was losing money and the Mill facing closure when, in 1985, the buildings and contents were purchased by The Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust who carried out extensive repairs, including nearby cottages which were then sold to help fund the repair work. It was then in 1990 that the Mill was leased to the Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust enabling the weaving to continue, still using the historic machinery. Today the Mill is very busy with orders coming in for silk from all over the place, including the National Trust, costume suppliers, as well as private clients, enabling the Trust‘s ethos of education and preservation to continue.
Geoff kindly passed round numerous silk samples for us to look at as well as different thread, cocoons, and other bits of machinery used in the process of silk making. Together with showing a selection of slides and sharing with us his own very personal memories of his family, it made for a very entertaining evening.
August found us with our very own
no particular order or theme, we appropriately started with a view of
Ironbridge, and then travelled around the country with Jeff looking at his
collection of slides mainly taken on I.A. trips over the last forty years, as
many members of the audience fondly remembered. These included canals such as
also looked at ocean liners including the Queen Mary on her last voyage out of
Also included were various factories, kilns, pumping stations including Cromford internal as well as external shots, steam traction engines, old fingerpost sign posts, mills including our own Woodmill and Timsbury where preservation work is still ongoing by the Hampshire Mills Group. Steam trains including those taken at Southampton & Eastleigh Stations, railway bridges, buses including vintage Hants & Dorset, trams, and trolley buses including Bournemouth ones. Unfortunately, time was running out, although Jeff still had another box of slides to go, but hopefully he will be back next year to complete his very entertaining presentation on Forty years of I.A.
I was unable to attend September’s meeting, so once again thanks to Angela for providing a report. As might be expected, combine Ray Riley with a lecture entitled Corsets and all that and you know you are in for a good evening.
said that, after meeting Dr Edwin Course in the 1960s, he began looking into
the industrial archaeology of the
of the male population of
reason for the explosion in the corset industry can not be easily explained,
but a large number of women in
To round off the most interesting evening, Ray showed a few slides of surviving buildings used as corset workshops, now re-used for other purposes. Most were destroyed during the war. One of the major manufacturers was Leatham. In one small workshop original machinery can still be seen preserved.
For our October meeting, we were very pleased to welcome back Dr Bill Fawcett who has spoken to us before and whose various books on railway topics can be found in our library. The talk began with a review of some of the later works of Thomas Telford born 250 years ago and whose bridges anticipate, and often exceed in ambition, those built by the early railways. We then saw the earliest surviving railway bridge, the 1727 Causey Arch built for the horse drawn Tanfield Waggonway in County Durham, followed by the oldest masonry railway viaduct – Laigh Milton on the 1811 Kilmarnock and Troon Railway in Ayrshire.
railways were introduced via George Stephenson’s Stockton & Darlington
railway with its
then looked at the work of two established civil engineers experienced in dock
and canal work and not normally associated with railways: Francis Giles and
the major figure considered is Robert Stephenson who made a considerable
contribution to the evolution of the steam locomotive before turning his attention
to civil engineering in partnership with his father. Robert’s first major work
which made his reputation was the London & Birmingham Railway, and we saw
examples of the masonry and iron bridges including the notable tied-arch bridge
over the Regent’s Canal. Unfortunately, the enlargement and modernisation of
the railway has led to the loss of many of these structures. However, we were
able to see something similar in principle to the Regent’s Canal Bridge on the
Manchester & Leeds Railway built shortly afterwards and engineered by
George Stephenson and Thomas Longridge Gooch. This was the cast iron bridge
carrying the line over the
lesser known, but major, figures we encountered John Miller and Thomas Grainger
a brief reminder of Brunel’s timber viaducts, the talk closed with a glance at
the technology which made both Brunel and Stephenson‘s innovations somewhat
redundant. Sir John MacNeill‘s Boyne Bridge at Drogheda, a wrought iron lattice
structure drawing on American timber bridges, was an early and notable example;
even earlier were Joseph Mitchell’s designs for the Highland Railway. We ended
by seeing William Law’s
the Annual General Meeting in November,
Association for Industrial
Archaeology Annual Conference
conference this year was held on the campus of the
seminar was entitled Urban regeneration
and the adaptive re-use of industrial buildings: problems and potential,
attracting both professional and amateur speakers. Starting with slides
illustrating the mixed fortunes of industrial buildings in the
Another speaker, from a firm of consultants, agreed that finding uses for large industrial complexes can be difficult, housing is another matter though. In the recent past, official policy has usually been for wholesale demolition and build new, but now, often led by conservation and/or residents groups, there is increasingly reassessment of the policy with refurbishment and re-use becoming more common. As an instance, the next speaker was a leading campaigner of one of these protest groups fighting to save the area of terraced housing in Nelson she has lived all her life, against the ‘demolish and rebuild’ plans of the local council. It is not only the houses that go, the community also disappears.
ports and harbours of
example of where below-ground archaeology is assisting in sympathetic re-use of
a large complex industrial site is Woolwich Arsenal in
conference proper started on the Friday evening and concentrated on the cotton
industry, and was confined to the present
A speaker from the Northern Mill Engine Society traced the changes and development of power sources for textile mills from human, horse and water, through steam, to electricity. The progression of textile machinery from fulling stocks, which are considered the first textile machines, through the important 18th century inventions with a brief look at modern weaving machines followed. The speaker from the Lancashire County Museums Service illustrated the importance of the distance between the drawing rollers which made Arkwright’s Water Frame successful. Instead of tracing a strict progression of buildings, the range, different uses and architecture of buildings was explored by an A.I.A. member who has studied mill buildings for many years.
began with a run-through of
Recent typical figures given are; 410 planning applications passed with no ‘strings’ attached; 196 applications were permitted with records being made; 35 a watching brief was required to be kept; 16 needed further evaluation, and 2 had other restrictions. Most planning applications are allowed as they stand, seldom is a record insisted on and rarely are applications refused outright. Most problems with planning applications revolve round lack of knowledge of actual number of sites in the county; their type; distribution; importance locally, regionally or nationally; professional priorities and public perception.
lecturer from UCLan has made a study of weavers housing. Invention of machines
for weaving did not keep pace with the invention and development of spinning
machines with the result that hand-loom weaving enjoyed a boom time and the
construction of many houses with domestic accommodation and loom shops in the
same building. A humid atmosphere is desirable in weaving cotton, but also good
light. Although some loom shops were on the ground floor, mostly they were
either on the top floor, with good light and where coarse weaving could be
carried on; while fine weaving needed damp cellar loom shops. Example of both
top floor and cellar loom shops can still be found. Eventually weaving looms
were developed which required factories, with consequent loss of employment for
hand weavers. Estimates put 170 000 hand-loom weavers in the old
conference ended with the Rolt Memorial Lecture, where an eminent person in IA
speaks on a subject of their choosing. This year a person from the
series of lectures were laid on in evenings during the week, directed at giving
background information for field trips the following day. The first lecture
traced the history of the
next evening, the history of aircraft manufacture in the
conference members gave presentations on widely different subjects. Several
paintings by the famous artist John Constable were compared with what could be
found extant on the ground with the conclusion that the pictures are not
accurate depictions. From
AGM of the A.I.A. was held on the Sunday with nothing of note. Awards were
presented, and as announced at meetings, the HIAS Journal again won the Journal
Award. The Dorothea Award for Restoration was won by the Kelly Mine (shiny iron
ore mine) near Bovey Tracy in
total of 13 field trips were run over 6 days, thus choices had to be made and
as usual difficult decisions were necessary. There were 3 afternoon trips on
the Saturday. One went to the well-established textile mill museum at Helmshore
Mill which is having major work carried out on displays. Another group went to
Sunday another 3 trips, this time around
all-day trip on Monday visited the
saw one group going to
the following day, one group perambulated along part of the remains of the
final event of the conference was a field trip to
Again a very enjoyable conference, with much to see and learn. Next year the Annual Conference is much nearer to Hampshire, being held at Lackham Countryside Centre, about 3 miles from Chippenham, Wiltshire. The dates are from Friday August 22nd to Thursday 28th. Details are usually available in February.
From Gater’s Mill to
June 10th, turned out to be a beautiful day when about twelve of us met at the
White Swan at Mansbridge to walk from Gater’s Mill to
started by going in the opposite direction to have a look at Gater’s Mill. The
mill is now a mixture of houses and small businesses, and we were able to have
a look round after asking permission from one of the residents, who we came
across as he was unloading an enormous salmon he had found along the river
bank. The information from the handout John [Silman] passed round told us that “Gater’s Mill was the largest complex of
watermills in the vicinity of
From Gater’s Mill we retraced our steps back to the White Swan and joined the Itchen Navigation where we took a short detour to have a look at the old City Reservoir, now partly covered in water lilies, many of them in flower. Just before reaching Woodmill we were fortunate to come across an ice cream van, which was very welcome, as the afternoon kept getting hotter and hotter! During our “refreshment” stop, we were able to look at some old postcards and photographs that Bill kindly brought along as a “then and now” exercise, which was extremely interesting.
On reaching Woodmill – now the Woodmill Sailing & Canoeing Centre and Shop – we were lucky enough to meet Malcolm Zobel who runs the centre on behalf of Southampton City Council and, as it was a quiet Sunday afternoon, he kindly showed us around and for his kindness and obvious interest in I.A. [a possible new recruit!] I promised to let him have a copy of Seaplanes & Flying Boats of the Solent as a thank you. Malcolm also found Bill’s old photographs and postcards of the mill and surrounding areas, as they used to be, very interesting.
Unfortunately, none of the mill’s original fittings remain, and the mill house has been demolished, but nevertheless it was interesting to see the mill’s massive timber beams and iron columns supporting the floors. John’s handout told us that the mill is built of brick with a slate roof, and this 19th Century mill stands at the head of the tidal River Itchen with the by-pass channels of the mill forming the salmon pools below South Stoneham House. Malcolm also showed us around the grounds of the mill, and we saw for ourselves a medieval salmon pool, together with some of the “activity” aids including a “rock climb” used by schools, which is hugely popular with the kids.
Moving on to Riverside Park, we made our way to the miniature railway and, although not a great deal to see, we were able to have a look through the doors of the maintenance shed and talk to one or two of the people who maintain the engines and tracks. Some of us, who have not been able to “transcend our childhood”, took a ride on the train and enjoyed every minute of it!
was now getting on for teatime, when we finally arrived at “Southampton‘s best
kept secret” as Jon called it, the St Denys Rowing & Sailing Club where we
were able to have a very welcome cup of tea and have our picnic sitting outside
in the very warm sunshine and admiring the view of the river. Jon promised us a
sail in some of the club’s vintage rowing boats, but instead we had an even
bigger treat in store by being taken out in a 40-year-old ex-Thames survey
launch by one of the club members, Dick Bampton, who took us all the way from
HMG/HIAS trip to Crossness Engines and Three Mills Complex Nigel Smith
Sunday September 16 about 25 members and friends from HMG and HIAS visited
Crossness Engines and the Three Mills complex in
weather was fine and, after an early start, we arrived at Crossness shortly
after its opening time of 10.30am to find it was already quite busy. The four beam engines, which are the
main attraction there, were constructed by Boulton & Watt in 1865, but were
totally rebuilt in 1899 from simple to compound working. They were used to pump
the afternoon we travelled via the Blackwall Tunnel to the Three Mills complex
and were split into two groups for a guided tour of House Mill. There have been
mills on this site since the Domesday report, but this building dates from 1776
and is Grade I listed. It, and the adjacent Clock Mill (Grade II listed), were
owned by a Huguenot family and over the years were used for grinding corn,
meal, animal feed and materials for the production of raw alcohol for the gin
industry. House Mill was rated to be the largest tide mill in
Both mills ceased work during the Blitz and Clock Mill is now a film studio. (The third mill was a windmill close by). After our guided tour we were free to explore the mill and the surrounding area which is rich in wildlife living cheek by jowl with busy roads and railways, and to patronise the tea shop.
Twyford Waterworks Trust www.hants.org.uk/twt Ian Harden
another successful open day season recently ended, it seems appropriate to
continue at the point the previous report left off. The continuing efforts of
the Wednesday Conservation Volunteers cleared the way, literally, for a
wildlife and nature theme to the August event with guided walks, a lace-making
demonstration and some owls and falcons on show. September’s Emergency Vehicle
day provided much of interest for children of all ages and included the return
visit of a French Citröen fire appliance. The end of season open day in October
attracted the highest attendance of the year, including a coach party of
stationary engine enthusiasts from
Various social events are gaining in popularity with the now traditional autumn barbecue having just taken place and preparation for another Wassail at the Works for December 15th well under way. Similarly, we look forward to receiving visitors courtesy of the Friends of King Alfred Buses Running Day on the first day of 2008.
to Twyford Waterworks next year will notice an immediate difference on arrival.
Of the somewhat larger items of kit at the Waterworks, by the time this report is published, most of the remaining Haines water filters tanks should be installed in the Filter House, freeing up space around the Boiler House and Quarry. As regards the boiler restoration project, this remains at the paperwork and planning stage so little actual progress is evident at the present time. The final structural report on the Babcock boilers is awaited on which decisions on their restoration will be based.
of the winter work schedule is being finalised and, in addition to the
aforementioned areas, further attention will be given to upgrading of some of
the railway infrastructure and vegetation clearance resumed around the quarry
and along the
Another open day season will then be upon us before we know it, the provisional programme repeating the themes of 2007, although taking place on the first Sundays of the respective months.
S.S. Shieldhall ( www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk )
Shieldhall has had a fairly successful excursion programme in 2007, with three
trips still to take place in December – Friday
7th, greet new Cunard liner Queen Victoria as she arrives from her builders
(7.30am dep); Sunday 9th, Christmas lunch cruise (fully booked); Tuesday 11th,
bid Queen Victoria bon voyage on her maiden trip (evening). Some winter
maintenance work has already been undertaken but, after Christmas, the engines
will receive their annual overhaul, while deck crew will be sprucing up the
paintwork. In 2008, May will also see a West Country programme in addition to
the annual visit to
British Military Powerboat Trust ( www.bmpt.org.uk )
the fire at Medusa’s yard in Hythe on October 30th, the BMPT lost around £4000
of parts it was using to restore FMB Ark
Royal, which was under restoration in a part of the yard unaffected by the
fire. A new Perkins S6M diesel engine and gearbox were being worked on in the
burnt-out workshop. Any offers of help, please contact
Paddle steamer to operate on
In July John Silman arranged to get a key to the turbine house at the Shears Mill site in Bishopstoke so that the ‘Heavy Gang’ / Hampshire Mills Group could begin to assess the condition of the machinery and requirements for future operation. Several members turned out to begin the task of cleaning and applying releasing oil to the machinery. I took a series of photographs which hopefully will show the ‘before’ condition inside the turbine house which can be compared one day with completed restoration. We were joined by Peter Storey, the clerk of the Bishopstoke Parish Council which is sponsoring the plan to see if it will be possible to use the restored turbines to generate electricity. It was encouraging to hear from him that there should be access to some grant funding to help deliver this project.
Unfortunately, little remains of the former mill which was demolished in the 1920s. However, the turbine installation was retained with the idea that it might be used to generate DC power for the village at that time. This double turbine (20" and 36") installation by Armfields of Ringwood is very unusual in that the two machines are coupled together, although it appears they could run independently when required. Apparently they had a very short life and were only in use for four years before milling ceased and the mill was demolished. The adjacent mill house survives and is quite a large and grand building.
The major task will be to free off the turbines which are no doubt seized with chalk deposits and decades of river silt and rubbish. Access will be extremely difficult and work cannot be done without damming off part of the river to allow workers to get to the turbine drive and input / outflow tubes. Before any work or even detailed surveys can be attempted, negotiations with the Environment Agency and the local authorities will be needed to devise a method of working that is safe and does not damage river life.
Timsbury water wheel and pump: Work at Timsbury has still to be completed. In June the fountain was installed in the pond adjacent to the channel which contains the wheel and pump, and the water hit a height of 15 to 18ft when the pump was set running. One of the pump rods was later broken during unattended use and needs repair. Work is progressing on the construction of the main bypass sluice gates which are now ready to be placed in situ. However, a concrete sill needs to be made to allow the gate to engage securely and this is proving difficult because of the high water levels at this time of year.
Eling Tide Mill: The installation of the new sea gates has been completed by contractors. Work continues by HMG members on the water wheel infrastructure to replace the stop planks with new green oak boards as well as work to maintain the main wheel bearings and grease points.
Hampshire Mills Group website: www.hampshiremills.org
under the aegis of the association took place over three weeks during the
summer at the site of Holbury Manor. The work was undertaken by students from
A two-day exhibition of many photographs illustrating the work and personnel of the British Power Boat Company at Hythe was mounted at Hythe Community Centre in July, accompanied by a small display of model power boats provided by the British Military Powerboat Trust.
. . two items from
Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is promoting the restoration of the
year, the Laois Heritage Forum commissioned an industrial and ecological survey
20km canal runs from the Athy Branch of the
early September 2007 whilst travelling along the B4396 in
to the other passengers, this section of the canal was never completed and this
was being built to complete the missing link. My OS map named it as the
started more than thirty years ago on the
dry section which Mick saw, between Gronwen and
not in Hampshire, I’m sure many of us frequently pass over the road bridge on
the A346 where it crosses the
Waterway closures due to flooding
to the severe and exceptional flooding caused by the unprecedented rainfall in
July, canals and river navigations across the country were closed or
restricted. These included the River Severn, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal,
Lower and Upper Avon in Warwickshire, part of the Stratford Canal, all parts of
the River Thames, parts of the Grand Union, Oxford and Kennet & Avon
Canals, all parts of the Great Ouse and Nene, Erewash Canal, Fossdyke Canal,
River Soar, River Trent and the river section of the Trent & Mersey Canal.
Other warnings to take extra care were in force on the
In other words, if you‘d chosen the peak of the summer season to go on a canal holiday, you were stuffed!
There were reports about the Eel House on the River Arle in the June and December 2006 newsletters, with a photo taken by Carol in the June edition showing a brick building with a large hole in one side, partially covered with trees and ivy. After Carol visited it in May last year she said, “It is in very poor condition and in need of major work as a matter of some urgency, especially to the foundations, otherwise the whole thing will collapse into the river.” The December Focus reported that restoration had begun.
Come forward a year and things are not looking so good. BBC-South reported on November 16th that a large part of the wall had collapsed into the river – possibly when ivy was being removed. Film showed that the roof was propped up and relatively intact, but there is little left of the wall overlooking the river and most of one side had also fallen in. There seemed to be little floor left, either. Another £20,000 is needed to fully restore the little building. Work to stabilise it in the short term is under way. Builders were seen cementing in concrete blocks to the foundations.
With the ever-increasing price of scrap metal, thieves are becoming more daring (and foolhardy?) in their attempts to get their hands on anything that can be melted down. If your precious and expensive bronze statue has disappeared from the garden, it’s now not likely to be found again. The thieves are not concerned with its value as a statue, only what cash they can get from the scrapman.
Thieves struck two railway preservation centres during the summer. Thousands of pounds-worth of signalling equipment was stolen from a station on the Churnet Valley Railway in August. The theft came weeks after 20 sleepers were stolen from the stretch of line between Froghall and Consall stations. The funds to replace the equipment could be better spent on other projects. In a separate incident, components for an ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST were stolen from the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway in June and July.
In September a news item said that, at a crematorium, all the bronze (about 25) memorial plaques had been stolen. They were replaced free of charge by the memorial company. How low can these thieves sink?
have been a lot of reports of lead flashing being stolen from roofs in the
south east. One victim was Crossness Pumping Station. Volunteers arrived on
site one day to find many rolls of flashing having been taken from the roofs
and left on the ground, presumably for later collection by the thieves.
Although the flashing was recovered, it will be costly to replace because it
was too damaged to re-use. Police said that there was a similar theft in the
area not long before. Lead flashing theft has also been reported in Haslemere
and, very recently, at a school in
The preserved Vulcan XH 558 finally got its wheels off the ground on October 18th at Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire, making a 40-minute flight before returning home “with a textbook landing”. The flight followed successful ground tests on 28th September. When more test flights have been completed, the CAA is expected to issue a Permit to Fly which will enable a flying programme for 2008 to be planned. The challenge now is to keep it flying for many years to come, so fund-raising needs to continue. It is the first time a jet aircraft of this size has been restored to flying condition.
on the two Cody Flyer replicas is continuing apace.
Snippets old and new
" The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum,
" Bristol Industrial Museum closed on 29
October (2006) to make way for the new
" Paper Mills at Apsley, near
" Ryde Cemetery, Isle of Wight (Lottery £486,000) to restore the monuments, boundary wall and railings of the Island’s first municipal cemetery (1842), to use on one of the chapels as a heritage learning centre, the other to generate income.
" Pontardawe Tinplate Works, Glamorgan.
This is a rare survival of what was once a fairly common building type in the
" The Waterways Trust is now able to offer a new on-line database of 33,336 records from some 13 Record Offices dealing with the history of the waterways from the C17th to the present day. It includes, for example, an exhibition on Sharpness Docks. Further information: www.virtualwaterways.co.uk
" Murray Mills, Ancoats, Manchester opened last year. This sheer cliff wall of a 19th century mill complex is the flagship conversion of an early group of industrial buildings.
" The Dorne Cinema,
" Nelson’s Monument, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk was officially opened in August last year.
" The Geevor Tin Mine,
" An Illuminating Site: see Commissioners of Irish Lights’ website, www.cil.ie. Under ‘Pictures’ you will find photographs of all lighthouses around the Irish shores. One of the best known, Fastnet, commemorated its centenary in 2004.
Properties for sale
in the Sunday Times ‘Home’ supplement
of November 25th, a couple of properties with an IA flavour. In Battle, East
Sussex, a converted listed windmill (without sails) and attached buildings with
5 bedrooms, etc. and 1.5 acres, on the market for about £1¾m. At the other end
of the scale is an old pumping station – still with
its diesel pumps and machinery – at Hilgay
Lincoln-based company which offers short breaks of an archaeological nature has
just published its 2008 programme. No windmill trips this time, unfortunately.
One for aircraft enthusiasts is being run twice – 20 to 22 April and 21 to 23 September. This is
called Bomber County: Home of the
Dambusters and visits are included to RAF Scampton (home of the Red
Arrows), RAF Coningsby (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) and
local to us, but of an archaeological nature rather than IA, is a weekend on The Archaeology of Prehistoric Wessex
hosted by Julian Richards who has appeared on TV. Sites such as Woodhenge,
Avebury and various barrows will be visited, and there is a private visit to
the real archaeology freaks there is a Summer
Excavation Roman Villa Site run over four weeks in July where students stay
Monday to Friday (£170 not including accommodation) and, if you want to learn
all about geophysics, an Archaeology
Taster Weekend 17 to 19 October will give you hands-on experience field surveying
an archaeological site, with the added interest of flint-knapping and ceramics
(from £245pp). Contact director Zoë Tomlinson at 19 The Green, Nettleham,
A snippet from Roger Hedge from his
I have it from two Scottish historians, with advice from a local Industrial Archaeologist, that the first ever battle fought across the line of a railway was at Prestonpans in 1745. The line carried coal down to the nearby port at Cockenzie, now ‘graced’ with a coal-fired power station. This station is now fed with imported coal and the line is no longer extant. However, climbing the bing (dialect for spoil heap) on the battle site, the line of the railway runs across one‘s view behind the goal posts of what is now a Sports Field.
Locomotive Lord Nelson sidelined: After a successful start to its mainline career
earlier in the year, crown stays in the boiler of No. 850 Lord Nelson were found to have fractured in August. It was decided
to put the locomotive on static display at the
Blue Plaque for Hythe Cottage
he was testing the 200 series high speed launches at the British Power Boat
Company for the RAF, T E
Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) lived at Myrtle Cottage in
Buildings at risk: In July, English Heritage launched its Buildings at
Risk Register 2007 at a meeting in Battersea Power Station – itself at risk since 1991. Each building on the list
needs at least £1m in public funding if they are to be saved. Among the IA-type
buildings are Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, Staffordshire (£25m), Cardington
No 1 Shed, Bedfordshire (£5m) and the former Ditherington Flax Mill and
attached former malt kin,
Hockley Viaduct: The railway viaduct at Hockley, on which SUIAG/HIAS
members have, in the past, carried out vegetation-clearing working parties, may
be saved from falling down or demolition. In September
Arson suspected over mill blaze: A massive blaze which destroyed a listed building in
Sea fort for sale – again: No Man’s Land fort in the Solent was back on the market again in July after the commercial property finance business that owned it, Lexi Holdings, went into liquidation in 2006 with debts of more than £100m. The money raised from the sale of the converted fortress would be used to pay creditors. It is used as an exclusive conference venue and has 21 bedrooms.
Turbine scheme abandoned: A plan to install turbines at a weir near
Flying boat crash remembered: The 50th anniversary of the November 15th fatal
Discovery Centre opened:
Digital heritage access: Hampshire Record Office is digitising around 5,000 old documents dating from 1605 which will be made available online from February under the title Access Hampshire Heritage (AHH).