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Industrial Heritage Group
Leader Mike Stow 01530 469152

The Industrial Heritage Group is for members who have an interest in our industrial heritage of trains, cars, planes, bikes, early manufacturing etc. to visit museums, railways, factories and other places related to our industrial past. We occasionally take a quite broad view of what constitutes "Industrial Heritage" if it is of interest to us!

Travel arrangements vary depending on how far we have to travel, but generally we meet in Ashby to car-share.

Our trips are normally on Wednesdays unless otherwise stated

All venues and dates are provisional

date dep. time venue organiser details
24th Jan9.30 amPickford's House and Derby Museum & Art GalleryMike Stow'Beyond the velvet rope'. The schedule has had to be re-arranged as there is another party visiting the house in the morning and so we will first visit the Art Gallery to see Joseph Wright's extraordinary paintings of the 'Age of Enlightenment' and the start of the Industrial Revolution. After lunch at one of Derby's historic pubs we shall visit Pickford's house. This was the professional showcase and family home of Georgian architect Joseph Pickford. A member of the museum team will be in traditional 18th century costume to give a guided tour of the house. There will also be an opportunity to go beyond the velvet rope and examine the beautiful rooms up close. Pickford House £48 per group, Art Gallery is free.
28th FebBritish Motor Museum, GaydonReg PreeceSee the world's largest collection of historic British cars. Visit both the museum and the storage warehouse with over 250 cars not normally on display. A private guided tour may also be available. Tickets £12. Group discount for 12 or more.
28th MarTriumph Motorcycle factory tour and museumRay HarrimanTour the state of the art factory and visit the brand new museum of all things Triumph
25th AprBlists Hill Victorian Town and Coleport PotteryKevin GreenFree entry for those who have kept their tickets from last year's visit to Ironbridge
24th MayBristol coach tripColin EllisIn conjunction with the History Group, enjoy a trip to Bristol and walk over Clifton Bridge, take a guided tour over the steam ship SS Great Britain, visit the newly opened Brunel museum and take the ferry boat into town. This trip is now fully booked but there is a waiting list for cancellations.
27th JunNational Museum of Computing near Bletchley ParkJohn HowlettSee the history of computing including Colossus the world's first electronic computer plus much, much more. Alternatively, visit Bletchley Park itself if you missed the last trip there.
25th JulBattle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF ConningsbyPaul McKaySee the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster of the BBMF
17th AugGreat Western Railway awaydayColin EllisFriday & Saturday. An overnight trip to visit STEAM - the museum of the GWR at Swindon plus Crofton Pumping Engines, the oldest engines in the world still doing their original job (unfortunately not in steam the day we visit). After a night in Newbury and dinner, hopefully by the canal, we shall visit Didcot Railway Centre where the trains will be in steam and carrying passengers up and down the line, followed by a visit to Pendon Model Railway - one of the largest and most beautifully modelled railways in the country.
Total entrance fees approx £27 + £60 per car for fuel and parking + overnight lodging. Newbury Travelodge is currently £27 per room for August but prices may rise before booking
28th SepCadbury World and Bourneville villageAvril & Bill WilsonA visit to Bourneville Village and a guided tour around Cadbury World
24th OctLion Salt Works, Cheshire and Stretton WatermillTony SmithVisit the last open-pan salt making site which only closed in 1986. Trace the production of salt in Cheshire for the last 3000 years. Also visit the historic working water-powered corn-mill at nearby Stretton
28th NovAmazon fullfillment centre, RugeleyBob BaxendaleSee how Amazon picks and packs all those parcels which you order online

22nd November. Leeds Royal Armouries

A dozen members braved the trials of the M1 to visit Leeds on a cold and blustery day. Fortunately, or possibly well-planned, our November visit was to an indoor site. And a free one at that.

The museum was formed when many of the exhibits from the Tower of London where moved to Leeds as the London site was too small to show them all. There are displays of arms and armour from around the world and from ancient times to the present. The latest included a display of the mobile defences used to create Fort Bastion in Afghanistan. (The HESCO bastion was originally developed by Jimi Heselden, a Leeds entrepreneur and ex-coal miner, who founded HESCO Bastion Ltd)

The museum stretches over 5 floors and is a warren of rooms showing tableaux ranging from famous battles such as Agincourt and Waterloo in miniature to full size displays of horses and even elephants in full battle armour.

Some of us had a go on the crossbow range with the chance to be William Tell for a few minutes, although his son would have been a lot more worried if we had been firing at an apple on his head!

There is apparently a full size tiltyard where they hold jousting contests annually. Unfortunately not on the day we were there.

The highlight of the museum though were undoubtedly the Gallery Talks. I was expecting a somewhat dry explanation of various battles, but we were treated to one of the staff in full Royalist Officer costume recount 'his' story of a fight against a fully armoured opponent during the Civil War (apparently that was the last time a soldier took to the battlefield in full armour) complete with much declamation and sword-waving. The same member of staff (in 19thC costume) later explained the ins and outs of the Battle of Waterloo and allowed us to handle the swords, muskets and rifles. Finally he told a moving tale of an English archer fighting the Scots at Flodden Field in Northumberland in 1513

His knowledge of all things military, and particularly of horses, was amazing and he answered all the awkward questions thrown at him. Well worth the trip to Leeds alone.

The lowlight of the trip was undoubtedly the café which served some of the worst food we've ever come across on our travels. However it didn't outweigh the excellent museum and its staff.

Photos by Mike Stow

previous trips