STAFFORDSHIRE INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY CHAIRMANS REPORT for 2016-2017
Once again its Spring again and time for my annual report. With regret I report the deaths of John Townsend and Tom Doubtfire who though no longer members, were very active in their time. I also regret to report the recent death of Gordon Bush, who died in hospital after a fall at home.
The first lecture in September was given by Chris Hodrein on The Stationary Steam Engine, which was a comprhensive review of these engines worldwide, and was very well received.
The next talk was by Steve Gale and Graham Maltby on The Titatinc and was illustrated with scale modles, artefacts, slides and film clips. The lecture attracted a large number of visitors from Littleworth as the lecturers fee was given to their car park fund.
The November lecture was given by past SIAS member Tony Bonson, on The Macclesfield Canal. Although Anne & I were away in Chile, it was reported to have been another well received talk with a large number of visitors joining us.
The first talk of the New Year was not as advertised due to an administrative error, but was given by Stephen Dean, the County Archaeologist on the ongoing work on the Staffordshire Hoard. This was an excellent talk, it was just a pity that there were not more there to enjoy it.
The February talk was again altered from the programme as Steve Grainger was not available due to a family bereavement. Anne & I stepped in to give a talk on the Cambridgeshire & Lincolnshire Mills and General Industrial Archaeology of the area, especially the drainage engines and systems.
The March talk was given by John Wilcock, a founder member of the society, our most "capped/regular" speaker. This time on the Stafford Salt Industry including the historic background to the industry and its rapid decline in Stafford.
The final lecture was by Graham Williamson on The Shoe Industry from the management point of view.
Our thanks go to David Baddeley for organising this varied and interesting programme of lectures.
At the last AGM it was decided to discontinue members evenings due to lack of support. However, we did hold the Christmas Buffet with reports by Roger Francis, Anne and myself on the AIA Conference at Telford.
The main visit of the year was the joint visit to Worcester and Shropshire with the Midland Mills Group. This included visits to 4 watermills, not normally open to the public.
Those of us who attended the AIA Conference at Telford were able to go on an excellent programme of visits around Shropshire, Birmingham and North Wales. The next AIA Conference will be based at Northampton from August 25th to 30th 2017.
Some members have been involved with the Chase through time Project, which has included practical field training sessions by Historic England. This has involved interpretation of LIDAR and aerial Photography; Field Surveying and Geophysical surveying on Cannock Chase. An exciting day was had during storm Doris on the Chase.
No journal was published this year as we are waiting for more articles to include.
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