Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society
FOCUS on Industrial Archaeology No. 75,
Calshot Spit Light Vessel
(LV78) makes its move from
Jeff Pain, Nigel and I
were on traffic marshalling duties from 7am, along with local historian
It was a poignant
The vessel will now have to be thoroughly assessed and funds raised for restoration work. It has no dedicated ‘group’ as such and has a high-profile position alongside the Ocean Terminal.
On Wednesday 14th July – a rather overcast, chilly and blustery day with occasional showers – two Transport Trust ‘Red Wheel’ plaques were unveiled on Hampshire’s Waterside by the Hon Sir William McAlpine Bt, President of the Transport Trust. The locations – at Hythe Pier and Calshot – were “on our doorstep” so to speak, as our home in Blackfield is roughly halfway between the two. Many TT members had travelled long distances to attend the ceremonies. The event was organised by TT Council Member Ian Horner from Dibden Purlieu.
Most of the TT members
attending the event took advantage of a return sailing on the Hotspur IV from
Peter Stone, a TT Council Member who is involved in the Red Wheel project, outlined the Project’s aims and then invited Peter Lay, another director of White Horse Ferries, to relate the history of the pier, ferry and railway. Sir William then unveiled the plaque.
Everyone then drove to
Calshot Activities Centre and assembled in the ‘Kinkead Room’ for a
cold buffet lunch. The unveiling ceremony outside the main entrance to the
The two Red Wheel plaques
which were unveiled on Hampshire’s Waterside brings the county’s sites to
three, with the
Ian Horner, a Council Member from the Transport Trust, addressed the HIAS meeting in August asking not only for nominations of sites in Hampshire, but also the details that go with them. Keith Andrews supplied some splendid paperwork to support the Winchester Bus Station, which was being considered until very recently when it was discovered that the site is now going to be cleared.
Only you know the details
for any site which you would like to propose. As long as it has something to do
with transport and is relatively old, it could be eligible. Ian Horner can be
contacted at his email address of firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (023) 8084 2223. His home address is ‘Sunnyside’,
Back in 2001 Lymington historian Jude James talked at one of the last SUIAG meetings (when we were still at the University) on The Salt Industry of Lymington & Surrounding Areas. Unfortunately I was on holiday at that time, as I’m sure the information would have been useful when Nigel and I joined a small party for a guided walk at the former salt works at Pennington marshes in July.
The New Forest National Park Authority and Wessex Archaeology had organised an archaeological excavation to establish the size and scale of a typical salt working site where the country’s last two remaining sea salt boiling houses are to be found. These are Grade II listed, and a planning application had been submitted to convert them into an office and storage space. The ‘dig’ was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage with support from Hampshire County Council, ExxonMobil and The Crown Estate. The excavation was being carried out by volunteers overseen by the professionals who were apparently working without pay in their ‘spare time’. It also coincided with the celebrations for the Festival of British Archaeology which started on July 19th.
The New Forest Park Authority’s archaeologist Frank Green – who will be speaking to HIAS members in July on New Forest archaeology – was in charge of the operation but, sadly, unwell on the day of our visit.
We were met by archaeologist Tom Dommett who first explained the history behind the salt pans and what the reasons were for the investigation. He said that the height of the salt industry was between 1790 and 1820, but Iron and Bronze Age salt workings had been discovered at nearby Efford. Tom, and his assistant Karl Macrow who was working with the NFPA for six months, led us round the perimeter of the former salt pans, pointing out various remains including what is now a narrow channel, but was once a canal leading to Maiden Dock for barges, and mounds that we were told once supported windmills which pumped out the water from the salt pans.
We finally reached the two buildings where site manager Steve explained what the archaeologists were looking for. An area alongside one of the buildings was being excavated where a coal store once stood: this fell down in the 1960s. It is planned to build a toilet block here for the proposed tourist information centre, so had to be thoroughly checked for any remains. Early maps (one was 1698) showed larger buildings, so other areas behind the two buildings (see photo) were being excavated to check if this was correct. Sherds of Verwood pottery (post-medieval) had been found and brick foundations were being uncovered. These seem to have been connected to the truncated building in the right of the photo.
An article in the autumn edition of the NFDC magazine quotes Frank Green as saying that deposits from the boiling process were unearthed, which proved that these were salt boiling houses and not just used for salt storage. It is thought the area where the buildings are located was once a lagoon and the raised trackway leading from the buildings to Lymington was possibly a medieval sea wall. Overall, an extremely interesting morning and I look forward to hearing more about the results.
Wendy and I have just
(October 2010) returned from our annual visit to the Lothians. As usual, I
summarise some of what I stumbled upon. Although aware of
I’m not informed of the
charter for the
. . . collecting manufactured products
and objects of decorative art, from around the world to educate craftsmen and
Glasgow-born James Young
[James “Paraffin” Young] revolutionised candle supplies. Tallow candles were
smoky and smelt of the base animal fats. He set up a works in Bathgate, nearer
This wax was essential to
the provision of the modern candle. He made a further advance based on the
extraction of shale oil at his mammoth Addiewell shale works, near West Calder,
a stone’s throw from
Addiewell candle factory
closed in 1923 and production was moved to nearby Broxburn. Candles continued
to be exported worldwide from there. Supplies to
With the size of the
shale mines, it is no surprise to learn that gunpowder manufacture also loomed
large in the locality of
Despite the hazardous
nature of this business, in a report on the 1909 “Explosion at West Calder
Gunpowder Factory” [West Lothian Courier,
18 June 1909], it was stated that . . . “The
works had enjoyed a remarkable immunity from loss of life and it is almost
fifteen years since any of the workmen were injured”. One amusing upshot of
this explosion was the emergence of a column of water in the
Another startling insight is that gunpowder was sold over the counter in local Co-operative stores! Miners had to purchase their own powder and from 1 to 2 pounds at a time would be carried home in a bag and “often as not stored under the bed”! The miner’s wife customarily filled her husband’s powder tin each day before he went to work.
Turning to lessons from
Summerlee, my ignorance was first enlightened over the provision of fire bricks
from Glenboig. It turns out the finest fire clay in the world existed there, an
echo of the China Clay of St Austell. So renowned was the quality of these
bricks that furnaces across the world, even as far afield as
Another staggering perspective is to realise that the Gartsherrie Iron [later Steel] Works, right by the side of the later Coatbridge Works, was so advanced that, with 16 Bessemer furnaces, it was the largest such works in the world. Memory suggests it produced some 40% of the world‘s output at one time.
A final note is to record
that the area around Summerlee is now an archaeological dig, to restore our
The Coker Rope & Sail Trust was given a grant earlier this year (largely from South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council) which allowed them to erect £40,000 of scaffolding at the Dawes Twineworks ropewalk. The ropewalk, Grade 2*, was the regional runner-up in the BBC Restoration programme in 2006 and, because of rot in its woodwork, has been supported by scaffolding and chains tied to trees. The weight of the roof-tiles has meant that the building, one hundred yards long, was both leaning and subsiding and the new scaffolding was to help the volunteers from the Trust, the Carpenters’ Fellowship and other supporters gradually restore its original height and make it vertical.
This is a two-storey building, the upper being where the twine was wound and the lower open-sided to finish off the rope. The workers would have walked about 12 miles a day from one end of the building to the other, so it was not possible to cross-brace the ground floor for stability. It is thought that the inner vertical wooden posts were sunk into the ground while the outer ones were rested on stone or slate cushions. Once the inner posts rotted the whole building became unstable. Apparently it won‘t be possible to get more Baltic Pine to replace what has rotted, so a suitable substitute has to be found.
The volunteers started to put up the scaffolding in January and the final Acrow props on Saturday March 27th and, after a trial on Tuesday 30th decided on the best method of ‘winding up’ the roof starting at one end and finishing on Thursday 1st April at the other. Only one roof tile was broken!
Good Friday 2nd April saw a very successful ‘open day’ with interested locals and members of HIAS walking easily under the roof, now two feet higher!
See Past Meetings page
AIA Conference at
AIA Annual Conference this year was held in
Mine at Camborne was one of the richest, deepest, famous and most important
metal mines in
morning started with a review of the Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick. A
brief run through the history of steam before 1800 set Trevithick’s
achievements in perspective. The problems of reduction in size and weight
necessary to allow self-propulsion, having to force water into the boiler, and
the engineering needed to prevent leaks in boiler and pipe-work were
highlighted. Finally the building of the replica for the bi-centenary of the
1801 Puffing Devil, Trevithick’s
first road locomotive, was described.
a break for coffee, and a visit to society stands and poster boards, came a
lively explanation as to why there are so many Methodist chapels to be found in
contributions followed lunch. A hectic few days with television’s Time Team
excavation at the Derwentcote cementation furnace was described, aiming to
discover further structures and artefacts around and associated with the
furnace which is a scheduled monument. Remains of a crucible furnace, a forge,
workers’ housing and evidence of a charcoal furnace and rolling mill were
found. Another contribution was of ‘holiday snaps’ of many sites of IA interest
The latter part of the afternoon was given over to the AIA Awards but this year HIAS again did not feature among the winners. The meeting then heard some of the award winners talking about the work that merited their award. As usual, award certificates were formally presented to the winners by the AIA President after the formal dinner in the evening. The Cape Cornwall Singers male voice choir rounded off the day by singing Cornish, and other, ballads unaccompanied (except by pints from the bar).
AGM of the AIA was first on the agenda for Sunday with nothing exceptional of
note. Details of overseas visits in 2011 to
Sunday evening after field trips and dinner, a very knowledgeable talk on the
china clay industry of
of the largest land owners in the World Heritage sites is the National Trust
and, on Tuesday evening, the work of the Trust in
comprehensive booklet on the 12 field trips had been compiled and each trip was
led by members of the Trevithick Society. For delegates arriving early on
Friday afternoon a trip round the Harbour at
Tin mining occupied one group on Monday. The King Edward Mine was established to provide a practical teaching site for the Camborne School of Mines. Changes in the 1980s and ‘90s led to the buildings being made into a new museum of mining history. The importance of the site is the different types of tin ore processing equipment from circa 1900 which have been reconstructed. Californian stamps, a round frame, buddles, a sand table, a Frue vanner and rag frames were all seen operating. In the afternoon (in the rain!) the remains of the mine buildings at Marriott’s shaft were visited, where parts of engine, boiler, compressor and winding engine houses remain, together with a “miner‘s dry”, complete with elegant Norman-style arches. West Basset stamps nearby was included, where the stamping engine house survives. Lower down the slope were the remains of vanner, buddle and calciner houses, all part of the treatment processes for tin ore.
on Tuesday was better. One party travelled to
On Wednesday morning one tour was of sites linked to china clay production. Littlejohn’s pit has its origins in the 1840s, with seven smaller pits amalgamated into one large one. Here high pressure water jets are used to wash clay, sand and mica from the walls of the pit. The resultant slurry is pumped to treatment works for further processing. Passing through the clay country, with the distinctive conical “sky tips” of waste sand we reached the Meledor dry extraction site. Here the basic rock is dug dry and transported by 70-ton dump trucks to a central site, where separation and processing takes place. Customers in the paper, ceramic and other industries demand high specifications for their clays, and further processing is required to satisfy their different needs. At the new Rocks drying plant, a new process is used to force water out of the clay to dry it. At Parkandillack, volunteers, supported by English China Clays, have restored a Cornish engine built in 1852 by Sandys, Vivian & Co, at Hayle, and first installed at Wheal Kitty Mine, near St Agnes. In 1912 it was moved to its present site, where it pumped china clay slurry until 1953. The engine now works on compressed air and we found the blackberries around the engine house were delicious!
other group first had a brief stop in St Just to look round the town centre and
parish church. Then it was to the former
count house at Botallack Mine and an exhibition in a one-time stable annexe. A
guided tour of the ore dressing floors and calciner followed, culminating with
close inspection of possibly the most well-known of
found the harbour at the former clay
thanks to members of the Trevithick Society for the great field trips and other
conference participants for some trip reports. The 2011 Conference will be at
The opening activities
took place in the Solent Sky museum where guests and members of the Southampton
Heritage Federation were able to see the displays for the proposed heritage
museum based at the Trafalgar Dry Dock. John Clark, Chairman of Aeronautica’s
Board of Directors, outlined the plans for the site, Sqn Ldr Alan Jones thanked
those who had helped so far and Cllr John Hannides wished the project success.
All the guests were then taken to the dock on 3 heritage buses for an
inspection of the site, a plaque was unveiled beside the dry dock by
Following the siting of the Calshot Spit lightship in November, the next step in the heritage area at Trafalgar Dry Dock will be the erection of a workshop to house the three Southampton trams currently in store at two locations in Southampton, plus an, as yet unspecified, Dunkirk Little Ship. This building will be sited on the former ferry linkspan site between the caisson basin and the quayside and will be very visible to anyone using the Hythe ferry (or on a cruise ship).
Twyford Waterworks Trust Ian Harden
It seems far longer ago than 1996 that the Twyford Waterworks Trust first successfully returned number 3 boiler to steam but a repeat moved a significant step closer in the summer with a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and an award of a £63,300 grant which will allow the restoration of one of its unique Babcock & Wilcox boilers and the Hathorn Davey triple expansion pumping engine back to full working order.
This award will allow the Trust to fully evaluate the work required to restore the set of three boilers and the engine along with other improvements to the site including visitor and educational facilities and a new workshop. The Trust plans to complete this development phase by mid 2011, after which a further grant application will be submitted towards the final cost of the project.
Twyford possesses one of the most complete Boiler Houses left in terms of its equipment, and is unique in having a rank of three Babcock & Wilcox WIF water tube boilers. Of these, one will be returned to steam, one will be cosmetically restored and the third will form a sectioned backdrop to a new education area, with interpretive displays explaining a range of subjects from how things work through to life and conditions at the Waterworks in Edwardian times.
As a reminder, the Boiler House itself gives a great insight into Edwardian technology as it contains two sets of steam boiler feed pumps, a steam air compressor and a steam driven d.c. generator. The plan is to restore all of this back to original condition together with the Hathorn Davey engine of 1914 in the adjacent engine house, so that visitors will be able to witness at first hand the ‘high tech’ facilities a century ago.
Passing on skills and training to new volunteers is something that every heritage centre has to take seriously and the plan for Twyford is to build a new workshop specifically for this. Twyford is completely voluntary with a small number of volunteers but is fortunate to have some highly skilled people within its ranks and it is intended to spread this expertise and pass it on to new generations, thereby keeping the site alive for many years to come.
Without HLF support the restoration of steam operation could scarcely have been seriously considered. The Trust also needs to raise money for this project and the ongoing ‘Buy a brick / boiler tube’ campaign, planned to generate £45,000 has in six months realised over £6,500. The contributions already made from HIAS and individual members are gratefully acknowledged. Details of the appeal can be found in the News section of the TWT website at www.twyfordwaterworks.co.uk
Open Days in 2011
April 24th: Easter Sunday Guided Tour Day; May 1st: Spring Rally; June 5th: Industrial Railway and Communications Day; July 3rd: Miniature Steam & Models Open Day
HIAS trip to Brooklands,
About 16 of us went on
the community bus, driven by Andy Fish, to
The Morgan Car Club enthusiasts were out in force for a get-together that Sunday, and we watched them take turns in going up “Test Hill” constructed in 1909 for braking and acceleration tests. There was so much to see and, starting from the 1907 Clubhouse which included the “Barbara Cartland Room” and a members’ Billiard Room, we looked at racing cars, aeroplanes including a Wellington Bomber, racing motorcycles, bicycles including early pennyfarthings, the Raleigh Display and the Malcolm Campbell shed, which was his workshop. We also saw the huge Napier-Railton 24 litre engine sports car in action when it was driven a short distance. For those of you who have not been to Brooklands, it is well worth a visit and is open all year round. We finally left at 5pm after a very enjoyable and full day accompanied by excellent weather.
Maritime Angela Smith
Visit the website at www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk to check up-to-date information on sailing dates in 2011.
I have been unable to find any website updates on the paddle steamer since May. ‘Dickyboy’ took a short video and some stills in June and posted these on You Tube. This shows a fence surrounding the site and a small crane from a Ventnor demolition firm alongside the vessel, which looks in a very sorry state. Another website said that they’d read the final stay of scrapping was August. I have made contact with members of the Isle of Wight IA Society but nothing appears to have happened. The adminstrators are still trying to find a buyer for the site and “all sorts of rumours persist as to the next step”.
As reported last December
and in June this year, the once proud clipper ship City of Adelaide has been languishing on a slipway in
Both the city of
A trawl through various
websites for recent information drew a blank until I thought of trying a local
Coming on to November
12th, the Australian team was “this week
granted planning permission to remove the vessel from
Apparently the Duke of
Edinburgh had spoken about the ship on a BBC interview in July, saying that “there was a hideous problem with the City
Museums join forces in fight for funding
Hampshire County Council,
Hampshire County Council, in looking at ways to save 20% of its museum budget in anticipation of Government cuts, is axing 36 museum service jobs. Bursledon Windmill and Rockbourne Roman Villa near Fordingbridge will have funding for temporary staff only after next April and lose the equivalent of two full-time posts. The longer-term plan is to develop volunteer teams to help keep them open.
HLF brings in new measures to help applicants in tough times
The Heritage Lottery
Fund’s Board of Trustees has agreed some further changes to its procedures in
response to the economic challenges facing potential and current applicants.
There will be more money on offer for applicants who are finding it hard to
raise funds elsewhere and new ways of protecting HLF’s past investment. With
effect from the day of the announcement, November 4th, changes such as reduced
match funding requirements (only 10% will be required for grants over £1m and
5% for under £1m), management and maintenance costs included in match funding
and more accessible grant increases were announced. In August other changes to
help support major grants over £5m had been announced, increasing allocation
from £20m to £30m. (HLF press release
Adriaan Linters from VVIA
“The bridge was destroyed in spite of all efforts by
VVIA and local heritage associations – and the
hundreds of protest mails which were sent from all over the world to the public
authorities in charge of public works and historic heritage, the
VVIA, together with the Brugge heritage forum, managed to buy a small part of the bridge, some 9 tons of steel. This part is now in a safe place, and is offered to public authorities (who don’t move) or a private company to transform it into a memorial for the engineer Vierendeel. We are now negotiating with a local developer in Brugge.”
Wheels of Fire by Alan House
Alan House retired from
his job as Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service –
a post which he had held for 17 years – at the end of March 2010. He maintains a small
museum and archive collection at Service Headquarters in
Fawley and the Southern Waterside by Clare Murley and Graham Parkes ISBN 978-0-9566855-0-6
Published by Waterside
Heritage, this new book can be purchased at The Herald Office in Hythe High
Street and the Waterside Heritage Centre in the Old Railway Station in Dominy
Close, Hythe (opening times Thursday and Saturday 10.15am to 1pm) at a cost
£14.95. Or by post from the Community Centre,
This is the first in a planned series of 4 books about the history and development of the Waterside and is based on the original volume of Waterside – a Pictorial Past written in 1991 by Clare and Fred Murley. The new volume covers the parishes of Fawley and Exbury in a greatly extended and completely rewritten form, and now consists of 144 pages of text containing over 200 photographs, drawings and maps. Two of the chapters cover the flying boat station at Calshot. One event was a hush-hush operation in 1942 when a number of Heinkel 115 bombers found their way to Calshot and a small team flew many sorties behind German lines in one of the large floatplanes which had been specially equipped.
QE2’s anchor finds a home: A 13-tonne
anchor from the Queen Elizabeth 2, which was presented by Cunard to Southampton
City Council when the liner left two years ago, has finally been found
somewhere for display after gathering dust in a dockside warehouse. It will be
placed on the pavement outside
Conservationists in Lymington have launched a campaign to try to get listed
building status for the town’s main railway station, which recently celebrated
its 150th anniversary. The brick-built station is one of only two of a kind in
Hurst Castle Low Light was handed over to English Heritage by Trinity House on June 11th. The 70ft-tall listed light operated from 1911 to 1997. English Heritage now has the responsibility for maintenance of the light, which has been painted grey to match the castle in order to eliminate any navigational confusion. It was unusual as it enabled its giant light to move laterally and horizontally along the castle walls, warning ships of the hazardous, shifting coastline at Shingles Bank. It was visible to ships for ten miles out to sea. The earliest lighthouse was built in 1733. A high-powered light was installed in the higher tower in 1997.
An airborne survey using lidar (light detection and ranging) has detected a variety
of archaeological features, ranging from Iron Age field systems and Bronze Age
mounds to anti-glider obstacles, a practice bombing range and a WWII
searchlight, in the
©HIAS and contributors, 2005-2011.