Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A Group Logo

Home Monthly meetings Ashby de la Zouch U3A Groups About Ashby de la Zouch U3A U3A HQ news Links to external web sites Special protected data






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


date organiser venue details
Sat 23rd SepBill WilsonBarrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Museum, ChesterfieldReopening in the autumn after a major renovation.
See Flying Scotsman, Tornado, Rocket and Deltic etc.
This trip is sold out. Travel details to follow soon.
27 SepBob BaxendaleImperial War Museum, DuxfordSee Spitfires, Lancaster, Concorde, Blackbird and many, many more planes in the various display hangers.
We have booked a 19-seat coach at £220 for the 100 mile journey. If we get a full coach then it will cost £11.60 pp, slightly more if the coach is not full. Duxford group tickets are £12.25 pp. Timings TBA, but coach pick-up will be in Ashby.
The coach is now full and there is a waiting list for cancellations
The following trips are still provisional
18 OctColin EllisGreat Central Railway, Loughborough3 steam and 3 diesel round trips available during the day.
22 NovBob BaxendaleA visit to a London museum
13 DecPlanning Meeting

23rd August.

15 members of the Industrial Heritage Group attended Forge Mill Needle Museum near Redditch.

We were welcomed with coffee and excellent cakes before being introduced to our guide for the morning.

The Redditch area was famous for its manufacture of needles of all shapes and sizes from the middle ages through to the 20th Century. By the 17th and early 18th Centuries, needle making had developed into a cottage industry with many people working in their own homes to carry out some part of the needle making process. Unbelievably there are over 30 different processes required to make a needle and each person or family specialised in one of those processes. As well as making the needles, Forge Mill had a scouring shed in which the black and somewhat dirty needles were transformed into the bright and shiny objects we all know as sewing needles.

After our guided tour there was time to visit the rest of the museum with its display of all types of needles and equipment used for their manufacture. The Redditch area also produced high quality needles for use in surgery, gramophones and sail making. There was also a lucrative business in fish hooks and other angling tackle. The longest needle on display was 6ft long. What do you think that was used for?

Everyone then adjourned to the nearby Beefeater for lunch and afterwards some took the opportunity to visit the adjacent ruined Bordesley Abbey and the small museum next to the needle museum.

previous trips