Industrial Archaeology Society
on Industrial Archaeology No. 78,
Shieldhall in a spot of bother
for Culture, Media and Sport to be axed?
trip to Yeovilton
Reports December 2011 to May 2012,
Twyford Waterworks Trust
News from the Portsmouth area
SS Shieldhall in a
spot of bother . . . but fulfils spring programme – just!
reported in December’s Focus,
following the discovery of corrosion in Shieldhall’s
hull plates during last May’s dry-docking at Falmouth, intermediate repairs were effected
over the winter to the MCA’s approval in time for a cruise on April 10th as
part of the Titanic commemorations
held in Southampton Docks. Graham Mackenzie
writes (taken from the Southampton Heritage Federation spring newsletter):-
year after the frame corrosion problems were identified, Shieldhall came back into service on the 10th April to participate
in the Titanic Centenary Commemorations. For this year, the grey hull has been
replaced by black as a mark of respect to those lost at sea over the past 100
years. Well done to Terry Yarwood, of the Tug Tender Calshot Trust, and Associated
for organising the event in the new Ocean Terminal and, with Calshot leading the flotilla before
heading back to her home berth, Shieldhall
then led the procession down Southampton Water as far as Ryde. On the 14th
April we commemorated Titanic’s last
full day at sea and the Port Chaplain conducted a short ceremony off Ryde.
end of March we were advised that our Stage 1 grant application to the Heritage
Lottery Fund had been successful and had been awarded £143,600. This will be
used to develop plans for Shieldhall's
beginning of May Shieldhall sailed to
dry-docking, planning to be away for two weeks. To save costs, she was
dry-docked with another vessel. Graham continues the story . . .
part of our stay in Falmouth
was very successful, with the hull being UHP blasted in the underwater areas to
allow the MCA to inspect the hull thoroughly. Four coats of anti-fouling were
applied and, 6 days later, we were on our way.
after approximately 8 hours into our return voyage, a small leak was found
through the hull plating into the engine-room and the decision was made to
return to Falmouth for repairs, as there are no
facilities in the Solent that could dry-dock Shieldhall. The actual repairs only took
3 days to effect, but we had to wait for a dry-dock to become available and
then we had to assess the extent of the repair. It was quicker to remove a
complete plate and this was done ready for us to leave Falmouth on the 31st May to arrive safely on
the 1st June. Shieldhall had been
away a complete calendar month and, fortunately, we had some legacies to draw
on. We are now looking forward to a busy season to put some money back in the
was none too soon as Shieldhall had a full booking for the sailing of the Three Queens on June 5th.
SS Shieldhall 2012 Excursion
Programme: Visit the website at www.ss-shieldhall.co.uk to check up-to-date information.
Culture, Media and Sport to be axed?
editor had to look more than twice at the date of this item from the Mail Online – no, it was April 20th, not
April 1st! Labour’s deputy leader and culture spokesman Harriet Harman claimed
the Prime Minister was poised to close down the Department for Culture, Media
and Sport once the Olympic Games are over. Though she opposed such a move, and
Downing Street sources insisted it was ‘not in the offing’, economists and some
Tory ministers back the idea, pointing out that the Government functioned
perfectly well before 1992 when the department was created. It has been branded
as the ‘Ministry of Fun’ and David Cameron is being urged to scrap it and use
the cash to fund tax cuts. The DCMS has already halved in size.
functions could be hived off to the Arts Council, media to the Business
Department and sport split between councils and the Department of Health (no
mention of what would happen to culture). Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is
tipped for promotion in a Cabinet reshuffle later in the year. A ‘think tank’
said stopping government funding of museums would save £500m a year. Mark
Littlewood, Director General of the Institute
of Economic Affairs, said
“If the government isn’t seriously considering closing down the DCMS, then it
should start doing so now.” Was this a wind-up? Time alone will tell.
HIAS trip to the
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, March 8th 2012
On a sunny
day in early March, Andy kindly drove the community bus with sixteen of us on
board to Yeovilton to spend the day at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
On arrival we were met by the Curator of Aircraft, Dave Morris. He joined us on
the bus and we drove the short distance to Cobham Hall. This huge,
self-contained aircraft hangar houses the FAAM’s extensive reserve collection
of ex Fleet Air Arm aircraft, which is only open to the public about three days
a year, or by prior arrangement for groups such as ourselves. Costing about
£3m, most of it from the HLF, the building was completed in 2000 and has
state-of-the-art air conditioning and fire-proofing facilities protecting
priceless aircraft and associated artefacts. Amongst rows and rows of stored
artefacts, Dave pointed out some ironwork which had been used in one of the
original airships, and was found in someone’s garden being used as trellis-work
about an hour and a half there with Dave who showed us round and talked to us
about the collection in general, peppered with stories and amusing anecdotes.
Just before we started the tour we were joined by Eleanor’s brother, Richard,
an ex Naval helicopter pilot, and his wife Barbara. Richard worked at Yeovilton
for a while and saw action in the Falklands
about noon when our tour of Cobham Hall ended and Andy drove us back over to
the main Museum where Eleanor and I sorted out admission fees, etc. Some of us
went for an early lunch or coffee, and others started their tour of the Museum.
We were there until 4.30pm but, as there was such a lot to see, I am sure we
will all want to go again. Eleanor and I were particularly taken with the “HMS
Ark Royal” experience where you take a replica Wessex helicopter simulated
flight to the replica flight deck on the “Ark Royal” and there surrounded by
about ten genuine aircraft and two huge projection screens either end showing
jets taking off and coming into land, together with a simulated launch using a
real Phantom jet aircraft.
agreed by all that we had had a very enjoyable day out and would certainly
recommend it to anyone who has not already been there, especially now the days
are getting longer and warmer, as there is certainly a lot see.
see Past Meetings page
Association for Industrial Archaeology
Ironbridge Conference 2012. April 21, 22
Report by Angela Smith
of the 2012 Ironbridge weekend conference was Industrial Heritage at Risk. Four HIAS members attended (Nigel and
I, Quentin Lang and Tony Yoward), with Rodney Hall
coming along on the Sunday.
delegates were arriving at the Museum
of Iron at Coalbrookdale
on a fairly sunny but chilly morning from about 9.30am on Saturday April 21st.
After registration and coffee, everyone had time to catch up before the
conference began at 10.15, held in the G F Williams Room of the Ironbridge
Institute and opened by David de Haan, Secretary of the AIA, with the
Chairman of the AIA, Mark Sissons, welcomed us all, explaining that over the
past 2 years the Ironbridge Conference had failed to get off the ground. Mark
then introduced Shane Gould, Project Manager for English Heritage’s Heritage at
put together their website of the same title and he spent 50 minutes navigating
through it, explaining how to search out particular items. Having already tried
to work my way through the various pages, I found this tuition extremely
useful. It included such headings as the ‘Heritage Sites at Risk Register’,
‘Case Studies’, ‘Protecting Industrial Sites’, ‘Owning and Developing’ and
‘Support for Developers’. Some English Heritage booklets can be downloaded as
pdf files. A survey on peoples’ views about Industrial Heritage had been
carried out, with about 80% thinking heritage was country houses and castles.
71% said industrial heritage should be preserved, but these were mostly people
over the age of 55. There is an attempt to stimulate interest in the younger
generation. Of the nine regions, the north-east of England has the highest proportion
of industrial buildings for which re-use is hard to find .
was asked about listed ‘fixtures and fittings’ – for example street furniture –
which are allowed to rust away or disappear. Shane said they need to work on
item on the agenda was Industrial
Heritage Support Officers’ Role, with the first speaker being Lucie Thacker
(Architectural Heritage Fund for the East and West
Midlands) who outlined the type of projects they support, the
re-use of buildings, costings, project grants (over £8m since 1990) and loans
up to £750,000. This is a 3-year part-time post with funding from English
Heritage. Next was David de Haan who, since 1978, has been a director of the Ironbridge
Gorge Museum Trust and, like a true industrial archaeologist, shunned a
Powerpoint presentation in favour of a white board! Like Shane, he commented on
the lack of younger people but also said that they are needed to keep up with
technology and new rules. He said that around 400 volunteers from around the
country are involved with the Trust. Finally, Tegwen Roberts from the East Peak
Innovation Partnership explained that their project was started in December
2010 and ends in March 2013, involving community groups and volunteers looking
into such diverse industries as weaving, textiles, coal, iron and steel.
Sissons summed up, mentioning sourcing grants and ‘hideous paperwork’. David de
Haan said that a new officer was to be appointed at Ironbridge to help groups
source funding. Professor Marilyn Palmer, President of the AIA, then announced
the 2011 AIA annual awards, two of which had already been presented on earlier
occasions. That left the Journal award (to Ron Martin representing the Sussex Industrial
History Society) and Newsletter (to your scribe) to be made at the meeting.
Keith Falconer officially launched the new book, Industrial Archaeology: a handbook. Catrina Appleby from the
Council for British Archaeology commented on it and was joined by the three
authors, Mike Nevell, Marilyn Palmer and Mark Sissons, for the ‘launch photo’.
item before a buffet lunch was John Yates from English Heritage giving us a
briefing about Ditherington Flax Mill and Maltings in Shrewsbury, which was the first of the
afternoon coach visits. He covered a possible scheme to save it and said that
they were awaiting an announcement as to whether their first round HLF grant
application for £465,300 had been successful. The freehold of the Mill was
purchased by English Heritage in 2005 and they have, with support from
Shropshire Council, spent some £60,000 just to keep it standing. The Main Mill
was built in 1797 and is the oldest iron-framed building in the world, hence
its Grade I listing. It produced uniforms for British soldiers during the
Napoleonic Wars. Another six buildings are Grade I or II. It was a flax mill
until 1886, then converted for use as a maltings until 1987, since when it has
stood empty and deteriorating. A ‘Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings’ was set up.
The planned restoration scheme involves ‘mixed use’ for the listed buildings,
such as offices, apartments and public access areas, while some of the 20th
century buildings will be cleared for redevelopment. John said that there are
no known pictures of the building in its mill phase 1797 - 1886.
to Ditherington was with ‘hard hats’. The Main Mill building was covered in
scaffolding outside with some scaffolding inside as well, supporting the walls.
We had a circuitous tour of the buildings, starting outside with John
explaining various features and the uses of the buildings. After passing the
back of the Main Mill, the next building facing us was the Cross Mill (Grade
II*), the eighth oldest iron-framed building in the world. The original from
1798/99 had been burnt down and was rebuilt in 1811. It is believed this was
used as a hackling (combing) shop for the flax. The adjacent North Silo for
malt, of 1961, is due to be retained for apartments. Next to that was the
Apprentice House of 1812, which is Grade II*, built to house pauper child
workers sent by their parishes. Male and female apprentices were separated
inside, but the owners took seriously the welfare and moral upbringing of their
younger employees. There had been a gasworks on an area in front of the
Apprentice House in 1810: this area and subsequent structures have been
entered the Flax Warehouse and went up to the second floor which gave us a view
into the Grade I Kiln of 1897, used for the maltings. This was filled with
scaffolding. Then we retraced our steps to enter the Cross Mill, eventually
reaching the top floor. Each floor has many supporting cast iron columns with
the floor supports being wrought iron. From each floor of Cross Mill there is a
door through to the Main Mill, where we reached the roof storey, then down to
the ground floor for access into the 1799 engine house. Many of the windows
have been bricked up to create the dim lighting necessary for use as a malting.
Time was pressing so we only had a brief time to go inside the Dye House (Grade
II*) of 1800-1850, which has skylights in the recently restored roof.
Ditherington, we then went on to Mill Meece water pumping station which is west
of Stone in Staffordshire (OS 1:50,000 Sheet 127, g.r. SJ 830 339), built in
1912. It has two horizontal tandem compound rotative steam engines; the first
one installed in 1914 was by Ashton Frost of Blackburn, running at 16rpm, and
the second, of 1927, was by Hathorn Davey of Leeds
running at 19rpm. These were last used on December 22nd 1979, and the building
is now leased to the Mill Meece Pumping Station Preservation Trust which
officially took over the station under the auspices of the Severn Trent Water
Authority on May 31st 1981. The Trust runs the engines under steam on a few
dates each year but they are open most Sundays for static viewing.
evening we had dinner at the Green Wood Centre’s café in Coalbrookdale,
followed by an illustrated talk by David de Haan on The 1851 Exhibition - a Guided Tour. This was a fascinating
insight, using contemporary coloured drawings, of all the main exhibits in the
morning saw us back at the Ironbridge Institute where we had a briefing by
Shane Kelleher from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust about a row of terraced
cottages on the main road nearby which are falling into disrepair. Called
‘Carpenter's Row’, these cottages had been workers’ housing for the ironworks,
and are still mainly in original condition. Most are owned by the museum and
they are trying to decide what use they can be put to if restored. We had a
quick look round the outside, but the planned interior visit had to be
abandoned due to workmen having just moved in and putting up scaffolding. Some
still have cast iron chimney pots. Many of us inspected some quite
extraordinary brickwork in walls near these buildings.
coffee break at the museum’s café, we drove individually to Blists Hill
for a guided walk led by David de Haan. We entered through the new entrance
building which leads into a large, darkened space with audio-visuals all
around, depicting what it would have been like when the ironworks was operating.
One note of criticism here – the exit from this room is via a downward spiral
staircase with very low lighting which I would imagine could be extremely
difficult for people with poor sight. A heavy shower took us all into the top
floor of the ‘Post Office’ where David explained the most recent additions to
the museum, after which we went outside to view and smell the fish & chip
shop opposite, though Tony Yoward made a bee-line for the Chemist’s Shop.
then free until 2 so Nigel and I, along with Ron Martin, walked along the
towpath of the almost-dried-up canal as far as the new do-it-yourself incline
lift which goes down to the far end of the village near to the restaurant. We
found it was ‘do-it-yourself’ by accident, as initially we thought it wasn’t
working. After a look in the new railway depot for the ‘Clay Mine Experience’
while there was a shower, Ron left to return to the village and Nigel and I
went back up the incline lift and walked along the rest of the ‘canal’ to the
Hay Inclined Plane, down part of it then back along the Miner’s Walk, taking in
the Mission Church (complete with parson) and Toll House (with welcoming fire)
on the way. Nigel had asked David if there were plans to put the canal in
water, but it appears there are too many major leaks to repair it.
lunch we all reassembled outside the bank near the entrance to the site and
carried on to the Clay Mine Experience where there was due to be a ride behind
the electric loco “through the tunnel into the mine”. As Nigel and I didn’t
fancy a ride through a corrugated steel pipe into a shed fitted out for an
audio/visual display, we stayed chatting with David de Haan in the ‘depot’
until the party returned and then dispersed. Many had to make their journeys
home, but we still had another night booked at our hotel so continued looking
round the site, luckily getting on the last tour around the Ironworks building
led by Philip Jones from Wolverhampton.
a most interesting and informative weekend, with useful contacts made.
Ditherington HLF development funding application? They were successful this
time, having failed in a £12.7m bid in 2010 when the rules for funding were
different, so they now have up to 18 months to draw up more detailed
regeneration plans for the Stage Two application for which they are hoping to
add another £12m towards the estimated £58m for the scheme. If successful,
English Heritage said the funding would be used to restore the key historic
buildings such as the main mill, kiln and stove house.
South East Region Industrial
Archaeology Conference 2012, 28th April 2012
Burdekin, see SERIAC
much crossing of “t’s” and dotting of “I’s”, the final HLF application was
submitted on March 1st to conclude an extremely challenging development phase
that had begun in 2010. A full assessment by HLF is under way and a decision is
expected in June. If the application is successful, smoke should again issue
forth from the chimney in September next year and provide a genuine cause for
celebration at the end of 2013’s season of open days. A formal re-dedication is
planned for May 2014 to mark the start of the centenary celebrations for the
Hathorn Davey engine. The importance attached to the application was amplified
in March when the Trust were presented with a Certificate at the Mayor of
Winchester’s Community awards evening in appreciation of its service to the
implementation phase has been divided into a number of projects covering all
aspects of restoration and development of the site with a project leader
overseeing each. The 1906 Babcock boiler and Hathorn Davey engine are key
elements of course and will be complemented by an educational area alongside
the cosmetically restored 1916 boiler. New workshop facilities are planned and
will be located where the containers are presently situated. These will be
reduced in number and moved further into the quarry. More fundamental
facilities have not been overlooked with the toilets due to be modernised and
extended. Later this year, Southern Water will commence a programme of
much-needed repairs to the Engine and Boiler House roofs and improvements to
the electrical supply. The installation of new water treatment equipment will
also take place at that time.
HLF Project application was being finalised, throughout the winter and spring,
new and existing volunteers were engaged literally on more down to earth
matters. A new pond has been created in the far corner of the meadow to enhance
the wildlife aspects of the site. Excavated with mechanical assistance as
weather permitted, a substantial layer of sand was laid in March and covered
with layers of fleece and butyl liner before a top layer of loam was added.
Filling of the pond with water was far easier than expected, courtesy of
probably the wettest drought on record during April.
work carried out or in progress under cover has included the stripping down of
the large Ruston 4-cylinder diesel engine, the sand-blasting and repainting of
the diesel engine air receivers, extensive work to the gas engine including
much needed bearing work, further work to the filter tanks and a complete strip
down and rebuild of the hydraulic engine in the lime-mixing room.
A Difference” day this year took place on Saturday 28th April and suffered
somewhat from an adverse weather forecast. Consequently the focus was on
cleaning and general tidying of the Engine and Boiler Houses, polishing brass
work and such like. In the Lime Kilns, the main task was the clearing of timber
and accumulated materials from the charging floor to make space to get more railway
items under cover, including a 1962 Lister Blackstone diesel loco taken on
two-year loan from the Hereford Waterworks Museum at Broomy Hill.
Year’s Day and Easter Day guided tours were once again very popular, while
visiting groups over the winter and spring have included bellringers from
Dorset and, most recently, members of the Road Roller Association as part of
their AGM weekend.
Rally held on the first Sunday of May saw many regular exhibitors attending
with the usual mix of steam traction engines and rollers, classic cars, a
miniature steam railway, model steam engines, stationary engines, fairground
organs, craft stalls and demonstrations. The Friends of King Alfred Buses once
again kindly operated a shuttle service from Winchester Broadway. Still more
traction engines would have come en route to the Bill Targett Rally the
following weekend but this event was cancelled late on due to adverse ground
conditions at the rally site. Nonetheless, a near record number of visitors enjoyed
the occasion, making a significant financial contribution to the Trust's
coffers at such an important time.
Diamond Jubilee celebrations taking place on the first weekend of June, the
Railway Gala will take place on the second Sunday of that month as will the
July open day with Miniature Steam Power as its theme. Normal first Sunday service will resume on
August 5th when visitors will have an opportunity to come appropriately dressed
to an Edwardian Waterworks. The Works will also be open on subsequent Sundays
in August for guided tours. September 2nd will see the return of the popular
Emergency Vehicles open day and the season will conclude with an Autumn Rally
on October 7th in much the same way as the Spring Rally started proceedings.
Waterworks Open Days
- The Edwardian Waterworks Day (come
in Edwardian dress): August 12, 19 and 26 - Guided
Tour Days; September 2 - Emergency! (fire engines, ambulances,
police cars); October 7 - Autumn Rally
Open Day (cars, engines, steam, displays and demonstrations). Admission
£5 for adults, £4 concessions, under 16s free. Open 11am to 4pm.
Aeronautica plans for docks heritage
site scuppered by Waterfront Development scheme
have been warning bells sounding last autumn when Associated British Ports
failed to sign the lease for the Trafalgar Dock/Berth 50 site in Southampton
Docks for the Aeronautica scheme. The bad news came in January – the
development plans by Southampton City Council’s preferred developer, Morgan
Sindall, to revitalise the Waterfront area includes relocating Red Funnel’s
ferry terminal to that site. Even if this fails to materialise – after all, it
takes a few years for detailed planning, costing, etc – it has completely
torpedoed the heritage scheme. Solent Sky now plans to extend on its existing
site in Albert Road South,
possibly with the inclusion of other attractions. There may be provision for
some of the heritage ships in the Morgan Sindall plan. The heritage workshop
with the trams and Dunkirk Little Ship under restoration, although not
threatened by the Red Funnel requirements, has no security of tenure. The
Calshot Spit lightship is now in need of a new owner, otherwise there is the
probability of it being scrapped.
Dock Gates under threat of demolition
In the list
of Southampton City Council’s Planning Applications for the week ending April
7th was one from Associated British Ports for “prior approval for the proposed
demolition of three structures, the entrance portals to Dock Gates 8 and 10 and
a single storey workshop building adjoining Berth 101”. The approximate date
for the demolition of the gates was given as May 28th.
maintained that the portals caused an obstruction for larger loads which
currently have to enter the Western Docks via Gate 20 at Millbrook and, with
the increasing numbers of foot passengers using the cruise terminals, are a
safety hazard. Extra security measures could also be put in place to speed up
The two portals
are the 1930s Art Deco style brick and concrete structures, built by the
Southern Railway, straddling the entrance roads into Southampton’s Western
Docks – Gate 8 in Herbert Walker
and Gate 10 in Southern Road (Solent Flour Mills).
was reported at the SHF’s Bargate Group’s meeting on April 12th (other aspects
of Southampton’s heritage are looked at as well as the city’s most historic
building) and group convenor, Mike Hammond, contacted Marian Hubble of the City
of Southampton Society – which keeps an eye on such matters – to ask if they
knew of this application, which they didn’t. Jeff Pain, at the meeting, tried
to telephone Keith Hamilton of the Southern
Daily Echo and found he was not available, but did manage to phone him
shortly afterwards. Wheels turned very quickly after that and, at the SHF’s
half-year meeting on April 18th, Marian reported that CoSS had objected to the
having been told by her one of her contacts, emailed Kevin White, SCC’s
Conservation Officer, who replied that, while Gate 8 was on the 2009 Local List,
Gate 10 was not. Kevin wrote “The application is a prior notification for
demolition. As ABP are Statutory Undertakers they do not require planning
permission for demolition of Undesignated Heritage Assets, only for Listed
Hamilton published an article about the gates’ imminent destruction in the Echo of April 21st in which the CoSS
vice-chairman, SHF member Arthur Jeffery, was quoted as saying “It is our
heritage and matches nearby buildings from that era.” The online Echo site received an enormous number of
supportive readers’ comments.
application was due to be heard by SCC’s Planning Committee on May 2nd and, in
the list of ‘Decisions’ for the week ending May 5th, the application was
following this are not clear, but CoSS submitted an application to English
Heritage for the Listing of the two gates only to be told that one had already
been lodged. Imagine my surprise to be told on May 21st that both gates had
been listed Grade II and were no longer to be demolished. A further Echo article by Keith Hamilton on May
22nd commented that Southampton City Council had recommended the gates be
listed, describing them as “a rare and evocative survival of inter-war maritime
port structures of clear special architectural and historic interest”. But I
have been assured that the application did not come from the City Council.
spokesman said that they will respect the decision and “will take the existing
infrastructure into account when planning any future developments”.
Memorial Plaques in Ocean Village
Federation’s February committee meeting, City of Southampton
Society member John Avery
said that the society had raised concerns over the future of the two memorial
plaques attached to the former Continental Booking Office in Ocean Village.
This small end section of the Southern Railways’ 1920s ferry passenger shed, at
what was originally the Outer Dock and later renamed Princess Alexandra Dock,
became the entrance to the Ocean Village Mall in the 1980s. This attractive
brick-built survivor is now due to be demolished in the final phase of the
development for more luxury apartments.
photograph of the building was taken a few years ago when it became the
Marketing Suite for the first phase of the development. I took the photos of
the plaques in 2007 when I also had concerns over their future. CoSS has now
been assured that they will be found a new site when the development is
about the building, though. The recent TV series about relocating heritage
structures shows what can be done when funding is available and there is the
will to conserve.
Some news from the Portsmouth area
Compiled by Quentin Lang
A Trio of
which runs Amazing Retreats – a privately owned company which aims to find
unique and unusual properties that it refurbishes to a luxurious standard for
renting out – has recently purchased two more of the Solent
sea forts to add to Spitbank Fort which they bought in 2009 and which has
recently undergone a £3m restoration. These are No Man’s Land Fort and Horse
Sand Fort, and the trio have been listed under ‘Solent Forts’, a specialised arm
of the business to provide “memorable and upmarket corporate events and special
occasions in truly unique and historic settings”.
the first time the forts, which are listed as Ancient Monuments, have had a
sole owner. No Man’s Land Fort (over 35,000 sq ft) was converted into a luxury
hotel in the 1990s and Clarenco, working with English Heritage, plans to
carefully restore it to include 30 bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, games
& billiards room and several meeting and dining spaces. Planning has been
approved for a helipad and a marina/harbour area.
Fort is an almost exact replica of No Man’s Land with multiple floors fully
armour-plated with 15ft thick walls all round. This fort is to be transformed
into a unique time capsule museum showcasing the artefacts and history of the
reach the forts by Clarenco’s own flotilla of boats from the Royal Clarence
Marina in Gosport.
Lines were originally built in the 1750s, rebuilt in the 1860s, and long
considered to be the poor relation of the open space at the other end of
Portsmouth but were intrinsic to the military defence of the city. With the
forts on Portsdown Hill, they provided a man-made bastion against any French
attack from the north 200 or so years ago. Lord Palmerston wanted a ring of
fortifications but, as the French never came from the north or the south, they
have gone into legend as “Palmerston‘s Follies”. Large chunks of the Lines were
removed in the 1920s to improve access to Portsea Island.
Lines is a place of both natural and historic importance to the city. A grant
of £20,000 from the Forestry Commission will improve accessibility to the
woods, improvements to paths as well as new interpretation boards, seating and
a woodland walk. (taken from The News, Portsmouth, January 24th)
Historic Dockyard tours
historic dockyard has tours during the first week of September including
Boathouse No. 6 and HMS Victory below the waterline, and again Block Mills
where HMS Victory rigging is said to be stored.
MoD Heritage at Risk items
a phone call to Alan Johnson, Historic Buildings Architect from English
Heritage, about Heritage at Risk items outside the Historic Dockyard element at
Portsmouth Naval Base, I received an email putting me in contact with Paul
Cooper from the MoD. Alan had also heard from Peter Goodship, CEO of Portsmouth
Naval Base Property Trust which has aspirations for at least one listed
building beyond the current boundary of the Historic Dockyard. Alan also
access the three most recent biennial conservation reports of the Government
Historic Estates Unit, covering performance across the central government
historic estate in England, through the EH website: www.english-heritage.org.uk . Entering ‘biennal conservation
report’ in the ‘search site’ slot top right takes you to the list of the three
PDFs which are free to download from this page. Our most recent report covers
the years 2009-11”.
From The News, Portsmouth,
Saturday 5 May 2012
Barry’s restoration dream for old
horse-drawn tram (author unknown)
14 I asked if anyone knew of a former Portsmouth
horse-drawn tram, formerly No 58, that ended up on the Isle
of Wight. Barry Cox, the author of Portsmouth Trolleybuses, is
researching a new book and was looking for it. The Remember When readers have come up trumps. The tram was in a garden
at Denmead for 70 years and in 1970 the council, assisted by naval personnel
from HMS St George Special Duties Officers’ School at Eastney, moved it to the
city museum store at Hilsea. At the time it was hoped that a museum of
transport would be built but that never came to fruition.
believed the tram was originally used as an extra bedroom and summerhouse,
bought by William Chamberlain of Denmead and set up in his garden on brick
pillars. The local Home Guard used it as a bedroom and mess room during the
war. Its final use was as a greenhouse. Portsmouth Council purchased the tram for
£50 in 1970 but somewhere along the line it ended up in Brickfields Horse
Country on the Isle of Wight. It remained
there rotting away over the years and even had a tree growing through the roof.
Somehow Barry and his associates are hoping to either restore it or make a
Developments at RAF Ibsley control
A future role
for the World War Two control tower at the former RAF Ibsley in the New Forest looks secure. The owner, Bournemouth Water,
has agreed a lease with the RAF Ibsley Airfield Heritage Trust, formed in 2010,
which will take over responsibility for the building with the aim of restoring
it. The Trust plans an ambitious role for the control tower as a heritage
centre. Of some 50 towers of the type built in the country, the Ibsley tower is
believed to be the only example whose floors and balcony were formed entirely
from concrete. (Aviation News, March 2012, via Jeff Pain)
by Pam Moore (from
the Hampshire Mills Group summer 2012 newsletter)
is being undertaken to replace the 25ft windshaft which, in some places, is
rotten. The sails and stocks were removed as a first step at the end of March.
The shutters are still on site. The mill will open every Sunday during the
summer from 11am to 4pm as usual. During the first stage of work visitors will
be restricted to the stones floor of the tower; later it is likely that normal
access to the windmill tower can be restored. Admission during this initial
period will be free, but donations welcome. On 15th July there will be a
special Victorian Open Day in collaboration with Bursledon Brickworks.
windmill will be restored to full working condition, at a cost of around
£150,000, by 2014 in time to celebrate its 200th birthday.
to launch first coastal heritage database
(BBC News, 18 December 2011)
project looking at the New Forest’s coastal
heritage will culminate in the first archaeological maritime database for the
area. The database was due to be made live in early 2012 and will be used as an
educational resource for schools and universities. Information includes
detailed surveys, maps and photos. Students can find out about discoveries
including a World War II landing craft in the Solent:
James Brown, the New Forest National Park Authority’s education and outreach
officer, said that the serial number matches with two vessels involved with the
embarkation of soldiers on D-Day. “Records show that one was scrapped in America and the other went down off the coast of
Normandy, so it’s a mystery how one ended up
at the bottom of the Solent”.
Scrap metal thieves:
Preserved railways seem to be hit a
lot – recently the Downpatrick & County Down Railway had two buffers
torched off one of their engineering flat wagons but, fortunately, failed to
take a length of steel cabling from a steam crane. The Babbacombe Cliff Railway
in Torquay had 230ft of electrical cable taken, causing a power cut. The
Company is taking measures to prevent a repeat. But, in Ohio,
a locomotive owner took drastic steps when two thieves stole seven copper
cables, worth $7000, which provided electrical connections for coaches. They
were caught on video at a local scrapyard being paid $454.50 for the cables. In
court, facing custodial sentences, they were asked if they could repay the
$7000, and, as they had no money, they were allowed to pay off the debt by
working for him – tidying up the weed-choked yard by hand with no tools, then
he gave them both a paid job.
by Nigel Smith
Industrial Archaeology – a handbook:
Marilyn Palmer, Michael Nevell and Mark Sissons. Published by the CBA, April
numerous illustrations, soft-bound, price £20.00 (plus postage)
previewed this book in the last edition of Focus,
I have now purchased and read this new work which is intended to act as a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone with a
serious interest in Industrial Archaeology, but particularly those individuals
or organisations struggling to find ways to re-use former industrial buildings
and structures. It brings together a wealth of information on research sources,
conservation methods, statutory obligations and bodies which may assist in the
search for a secure future for an industrial structure. This is supported by
many case studies and lists of key sites that reflect everything from
successful re-use to those still seeking a solution (covers sites in the UK and Ireland). Each chapter has
extensive references and further reading lists.
by the CBA with significant input from the AIA and English Heritage, this is an
up-to-date look at the practicalities of researching, restoring and finding a
use for industrial buildings in the 21st century.
gripe is failing to include Eling in the short sample of tide mills listed
(after all, it is the only working example!)
tramway infilling halted:
Work to infill Weymouth’s harbour tramway to
make it safe for cyclists has been temporarily halted due to Condor Ferries
transferring to Poole because of the crumbling harbour walls at Weymouth. The road is
part of Cycle West, a European cross-Channel network of cycle routes, and the
tracks have been blamed for multiple accidents involving bicycles and
World War 1 hangar to be demolished: A rare WW1 Grade II* listed hangar at
the former RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire has been approved for demolition. It was
due to be restored as part of a £3m scheme in 2008 but development was stopped
due to funding issues and, after partially collapsing, was said by English
Heritage to be in an exceptionally poor state.
Medieval barn listed: Harmondsworth Barn in west London,
built by Winchester College in 1426 to store grain from the Bishop of
Winchester’s surrounding manor, has been listed Grade I by English Heritage.
Grants for museums: On January 23rd, £4m in grants was
announced for English museums under the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries
Improvement Fund to help 36 museums and galleries across the country.