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South East Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference 1991

"Current Themes and Problems
in Industrial Archaeology"

Saturday 23 March 1991, hosted by GLIAS

Science Museum, South Kensington, London

0945-1025 Registration and Coffee
                Session 1 Chair: Dr Neil Cossons, Director of the Science Museum
1025-1030 Opening remarks
1030-1115 Keeping IA Alive. Some Cases - Pam Moore, Southampton University IA Group
1115-1200 Protection and Management of the Industrial Heritage:
                The Role of English Heritage - Dr Anthony Streeten, Inspector of Ancient Monuments
1200-1245 Our Railway Heritage: The Approach of the Railway Heritage Trust -
                Leslie Soane, Chief Executive, Railway Heritage Trust
                Buffet Lunch
                During Lunch a GLIAS video of the Haringay Dog Track Totaliser
                (a fantastic 1927 mechanical computer) will be shown
                Session 2 Chair: Dr Denis Smith, Chairman of GLlAS
1400-1445 A National Trust Viewpoint - Rick Poole, National Trust's Adviser on IA
1445-1530 Science Museum's National Responsibilitie: The new role of the PRISM Fund - Dr Tony Wright (Science Museum)
                Session 3 Chair: David Alderton, President Association for Industrial Archaeology
1600-1645 IA: An International Perspective - Dr Dianne Newell (University of British Columbia)
1645-1715 The Future of Our Industrial Past - Dr Neil Cossons
1715-1730 Final Discussion
1815         A Smashing Time for Delegates at Kirkaldy's Testing Museum,
                99 Southwark St London SE1. Over a glass of wine and some snacks, courtesy GLIAS,
                witness the amazing strength of the Friends of the Museum as they break and bend and test on Kirkaldy's
                300ton Testing Machine of 1864.

Synopses of Talks:

Keeping IA Alive: Some Cases
Pam Moore, Southampton University IA Group
The task of preserving Britain's unique industrial heritage is a vast and daunting one. It can - and has to be - approached in a number of different ways, according to circumstances. With increasing frequency, we are faced with the prospect of adaptive re-use, as a means of saving important buildings of the industrial period. This can be a satisfactory solution, if no appropriate alternative exists, and providing care is taken to ensure that the new use is a suitable one, and that a sympathetic design is adopted. Another possibility is what might be termed "Museumisation" and Britain is a world leader in this, with a number of fine examples of what can be achieved by this method of preservation.
This lecture will, however deal principally with "living industrial archaeology". It is rarely economically viable for any concern to continue to rely entirely on traditional methods, machinery and buildings, but some very interesting compromises have been reached, and some of these will be described and illustrated. Industries which have been able to use this option include textile manufacture, flour production, slate processing and brewing.
As we consider policies for Industrial Archaeology in the 1990s and beyond, both imagination and resources will be required, in order to keep the heritage of the world's first industrial nation truly alive. This must, however, be our goal to be achieved by working together for the future of our past.

Our Railway Heritage: The Approach of the Railway Heritage Trust
Leslie J Soane, Chief Executive, Railway Heritage Trust
The presentation outlines the role of transport in the Industrial Revolution and in particular that of the Railways, which in their first 50 years spread throughout this country and then the world. They were the key to the rapid expansion of industry and commerce and from this revolution of transport and the associated built infrastructure has emerged the heritage of the buildings and structures that enrich our environment.
In 1985, the Railway Heritage Trust was formed with the objective of conserving with British Rail and other interested parties the ever increasing number of listed buildings and structures in B.R.'s portfolio which now stands at well over 1,000. Slides illustrate some of the schemes tackled so far, ranging from major stations to the mean sized and small wayside halts together with viaducts, bridges and good sheds, which are a small selection of this immense railway heritage.

Protection and Management of the Industrial Heritage: The Role of English Heritage
Anthony DF Streeten, Inspector of Ancient Monuments
While protection and management of the industrial heritage may now be seen on the wider canvas of conservation for the historic environment as a whole, it is worth remembering that many of the industrial sites and buildings which have been selected for statutory protection were still in use at the time when the first Ancient Monuments legislation was passed in 1882. Some protected industrial structures are of more recent origin than the earliest legislation from which their designation now derives.
It is an achievement of the last 30 years or so that the material remains of industrial history can be recognised for their technological, economic and social significance and may now be accorded equal status to the monuments of earlier periods.
An important distinction must be made between protection and management since protection is not synonymous with 'preservation'. Effective management leading to preservation of the industrial heritage often depends upon the successful integration of statutory controls with the commitment of public and voluntary agencies.
Among the current legislation relating specifically to protection of the cultural heritage, the principal designation of scheduled ancient monuments, areas of archaeological importance, listed buildings and conservation areas are derived respectively from the ancient monuments and most recent legislation. Recognition of the industrial heritage however features increasingly among the wider planning issues of both policy and development control. Conservation of the historic environment also benefits from legislation the variety of protective and indicative landscape designations such as National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and others.
English Heritage has an active role in both protection and management of the industrial heritage. Professional staff identify and recommend ancient monuments for scheduling and historic buildings for listing, while English Heritage is also consulted on all applications for scheduled monument consent and certain of the most significant classes of application for listed building consent.
Research and technical advice can often contribute to decisions on the feasibility and methods of repair for historic structures while planning advice is an increasingly important aspect of relevance to conservation of the historic environment as a whole. Industrial monuments also feature in the portfolio of Properties-in-Care.
Working in partnership with national and local agencies, owners and others, assistance may be provided for important conservation projects through advice and through several grant schemes. It is invariably necessary to take a long term view and to establish a sound basis upon which the commitment to future maintenance of a site or monument may best be assured.
Priorities have to be defined carefully both in the choice of buildings and monuments for statutory protection and in the selection of conservation initiatives which can be pursued. Working with other interests is often the key to success, yet this presents a different kind of organisational challenge.

The National Trust and Industrial Archaeology
Richard Keen, The National Trust's Adviser on IA
In 1940 the National Trust acquired first great house under the Country House Scheme. Perhaps the image of the Trust has been dominated by the 'great house' since then, but it is not without significance that prior to that watershed date it already owned 8 properties that today might be termed industrial monuments. These included water mills, wind mills, lime kilns and the Styal Estate.
Behind their acquisition lay the basic tenet of the Trust to preserve 'places of natural beauty and historic importance'. Herein lies one of the greatest strengths of the National Trust, perfectly exemplified by the acquisition of Styal. The Trust deals with conservation of landscapes and great importance is given to the wider context of location and social role. When Styal was taken on, its importance was the fact that it represented a nearly complete 18th century estate set in lovely surroundings.
In 1964 a paper "The Trust and Industrial Archaeology" was presented to the Executive Committee. The minutes of the meeting recorded that 'the Trust should continue to preserve industrial monuments, provided that the highest possible standards - aesthetic, historic and financial - were observed'. This still holds true today, although the acquisition of industrial monuments has been slow and the importance of natural beauty has been an influencing factor.
The major constraint has and continues to be that of finance, not necessarily the capital costs but the vitally important revenue funding to ensure that preservation can continue in perpetuity. The designation of inalienability by the Trust carries a heavy responsibility.
The Trust has responded cautiously to the pressures of industrial archaeological preservation with its ownership of the Cornish Beam Engines and Aberdulais. It still has to tread this very cautious path as dictated by costs and expertise.

Science Museum's National Responsibilities: The New Role of the PRISM Fund
Dr Thomas Wright, Assistant Director: Collections Management, Science Museum
The purpose of this talk is to examine changes in the outlook of the Science Museum as it endeavours to redefine the notion of 'National Museum' in the last decade of the twentieth century. These changes are discussed within the context of the fund for the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material managed by the National Museum of Science and Industry on behalf of the Museums and Galleries Commission.

IA: An International Perspective
Dr Dianne Newell (Associate Professor of History, University of British Columbia, Canada, Past President of the Smithsonian based Society for Industrial Archaeology (SIA) and former editor of its journal lA, currently on TICCIH Council) Senior author with Ralph Greenhill of Survivals, Aspects of Industrial Archaeology in Ontario (1989)
This presentation traces the growth of Industrial Archaeology internationally and discusses the current practice in the United States (where the first Society for Industrial Archaeology was formed) and in Canada and Spain (where the field is still relatively new).