STAFFORDSHIRE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2015-2016
Once again the unpredictable Spring weather is with us and it is time for my annual report.
With regret I report the death from cancer, of a new member, Liz Muir of Tixall, a few months after joining the society. We also send our condolences to Roger Francis, whose wife, Jill, died returning home from a Christmas & New Year cruise.
The first lecture in September was by Margaret George on transport in Staffordshire and also included slides from her Local history visits which she has run for many years.
The next talk was by Father Michael Fisher, Staffordshire’s Pugin expert on Hardmans of Birmingham. Hardmans were the manufacturers of church furnishings who supplied Pugin with metalwork, stained glass and textiles. Father Fisher is their archivist.
The last lecture before Christmas was by Ned Williams on the Earl of Dudley’s Railway, which he has been investigating since the 1960s.
John Wilcocks, a founder member of the society, gave the first lecture in the New Year on Coal Mining in Staffordshire, contrasting the Staffordshire mines against the National Mining industry.
Another longstanding member of the society, Barry Job, gave the next lecture on Staffordshire Windmills, drawing on his comprehensive studies and his book on the same subject.
Chris Copp from the Staffordshire County Museum, which includes their photograph collection, gave the next talk on McCann of Uttoxeter, Photographer. This attracted a number of visitors from Uttoxeter, including McCann family members.
The final lecture was by David Moore entitled: “Sandfields Pumping Station – How Lichfield saved Walsall.” Longstanding members of the society will remember trips to Sandfields at Lichfield to see this South Staffs Pumping Station.
Our thanks go to David Baddeley for organising this varied and interesting programme of lectures.
The informal format of these evenings were again poorly attended, including the free Christmas Buffet. The annual buffet with a talk on Church organs by enthusiast, Paul Geoghan, was slightly better attended. The future of the members evenings will be discussed at the AGM.
The main visit of the year was the joint visit to the area around Longtown in Herefordshire with the Midland Mills Group. This included visits to 5 watermills, not normally open to the public.
Journal No.24 was published this year with the main article by Roger Francis on “The coming of electricity to the Cannock Chase area.” Other contributors were Anne Andrews, David Wilkinson and Harry Thornton with articles on a Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal Toll Book, the Flint Mill at Stone and Ironworks of the Rising Brook Valley at Rugeley, respectively. This journal continued the society’s reputation as an academic organisation. Many thanks to all the contributors and to Anne & Roger for editing the journal.
I would like to thank all the Officers and Committee members of the Society for their hard work, support and friendship throughout the year.
Last but not least I would like to thank all our members for their continuing support and welcome the new members who have joined us during the year.
Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology Society