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SERIAC 2019

South East Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference 2019

Saturday 13 April 2019,
hosted by Kent Archaeological Society

at Dartford Grammar School
West Hill Dartford DA1 2HW

09:00 - 09:30 Arrival and Registration

09:30 - 09:40 Opening & Welcome by Mike Clinch, Vice President Kent Archaeological Society

09:40 - 10:25 Dr Simon Elliot "From Ragstone to Riches"
This talk explains how this industry came to be, how the quarries were operated, how the stone was transported, and finally what became of the industry. From the mid-1st Century AD to the mid-3rd Century AD much of the building stone for Roman London and the south east of the province was provided by five enormous ragstone quarries in the upper Medway Valley. One of these quarries, running alongside Dean Street from Coxheath to Tovil for 2.6km, was a candidate to be the largest man-made hole in Roman Europe. This industry thrived for 200 years, under the management of the Classis Britannica regional navy in Britain.

10:25 - 11:10 Terry Bird "Tutsham Mill"
The mill is a linseed crushing plant on the banks of the upper River Medway which burnt down in 1885. The talk covers: the interchange of technology with the US in the late 19th century (article in Scientific American with details of machinery); the ownership and development by Charles Middleton, Barham (First Sea Lord in 1805); the design by John Rennie (famous civil engineer);

11:10 - 11:25 Comfort Break

11:25 - 12:10 Robert Hall "Sound Mirrors"
Prior to the development of radar, acoustic techniques were the most promising means of detecting approaching aircraft and airships, culminating in the design and construction of 200ft concrete sound mirrors. Whereas the sound mirror sites at Dungeness, Hythe and Joss Gap have been well documented, other sites have had less attention. This talk discusses the sound mirrors at Fan Bay, East of Dover and some recent research on how they fit in with the developments during and just after WW1.

12:10 - 12:55 Tim Allen, Senior Project Manager at Oxford Archaeology
"The excavation and recording of the Castle Hill brick and tile works"
The works is alongside the A21 near Tonbridge, Kent. The study was undertaken in advance of the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury Dualling scheme carried out by Balfour Beatty on behalf of Highways England, and Oxford Archaeology undertook the archaeological mitigation, which for the 19th century brickworks comprised 3 kilns, a making shed, 5 drying sheds and two pugmills, as well as clay pits and ponds.

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch (must be pre-booked)

14:15 - 15:00 Elizabeth Walker "Short Brothers Aviation at Rochester"
The talk is about The Lives and Works of the Short Brothers, Pioneering Aeronautical and Balloon Engineers and Manufactures. It also covers their progress in design and manufacture of aircraft until 1947 and covers many innovative and ground-breaking contributions to aviation history.

15:00 - 15:45 Petra Cox, Learning and Outreach Officer, Crossness Engines Trust "Crossness Engines"
Crossness pumping station features some of the most spectacular ornamental Victorian cast iron work to be found in the world today as well as pumping engines carefully restored by trust members.

15:45 - 16:30 Tim Belcher-Whyte MA CEng MICE Bridge Engineer to the Rochester Bridge Trust "Rochester Bridge"
There has been a bridge crossing the river Medway at Rochester since Roman times. This talk explores the history and construction of the structures that have provided safe passage for travellers and the challenges of maintaining them through the ages.

16:30 Closing remarks by Jim Preston, Chairman of the Kent Archaeological Society Industrial Archaeology Committee.