Industrial Heritage & Science meetings 

Meetings of the IH&S group are held in the
Westminster Lecture Theatre
@ Farnborough College of Technology 15:00-16:30

Please contact the group before attending if not enrolled as a group member. See the Yearbook for further details of the group.

2023-24 Meetings already held  (programme for 2023 - 24 now complete)

13th October 2023

Not Just For Spies! ~ Chris Shaw

Ever since people developed languages there has been a need to communicate in secret for some messages.  This talk looks at the various methods of sending coded messages in a variety of forms, and the codes we use as a part of everyday life.  It includes examples of coded messages using symbols, objects, letters, codes using plain language, signals, letter substitution and frequency analysis, numbers, the Enigma, Lorenz and Colossus machines, electronic messages, and other forms of ‘secret’ communications.

10th November 2023

Wartime dispersals from the RAE. ~ Doug Bateman

Following a wartime dispersal of defence work from the RAE several country houses were occupied. This is part of their story. After bomb damage in 1940 there were dispersals to several locations, such as Ambarrow Court near Crowthorne and Bramshot near Fleet. The emphasis is on the Ambarrow site with an element of social history in the 1940s, and a description of the large house and huts in the walled garden. There was a remarkable social life. Logically as part of Radio Department much work covered infra-red and electronic countermeasures, and unusually, basic research into atmospheric absorption and semiconductors. Some very eminent scientists started at Ambarrow. The outstation was closed in 1969 with moves back into the RAE.

12th January 2024

The rocks beneath our feet.
                  ~ Ian Pigram BSc (Hons.), MSc, DIC, FGS

Notions of reservoirs and how they are drilled and interrogated. Plus life after hydrocarbon


 The talk will introduce geology and how we make sense of rock layers (stratigraphy) and their shape (structure), before discussing hydrocarbon reservoirs. Methods for investigating the sub-surface will be discussed, mainly focusing on borehole techniques and how data are used. The talk will end by mentioning some of the uses of hydrocarbon technology for non-hydrocarbon projects.

Ian graduated from UCW Aberystwyth (Geology, also studied physics and maths) and Imperial College London. He was employed by ARCO as a numerate geologist, morphing in time to a petrophysicist.   Ian worked on many projects for ARCO and later BP in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  His last role was supporting a carbon capture and storage project.  He retired from BP during the COVID-19 lock-down.  Ian maintains a keen interest in geoscience, meteorology and aeronautics, while not walking, rowing or coaching rowing.

9th February ' 24 

Wandle Industrial Museum ~ Mick Taylor, General Manager of the Museum

In 1805 the River Wandle was described as the hardest working river of its size in the world. With around fifty mills and a number of different industries this talk covers 2000 years of history

8th March 2024

Over 200 Years of Gurkha Service to Britain 

Assistant Curator Doug Henderson MA

The Gurkha Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) Support Battalion is part of 1 (UK) Signal Brigade. The Battalion provides enabling and force protection support to the ARRC NATO Warfighting HQ on all operations. The Battalion is currently at very high readiness, ready to deploy, build and sustain the ARRC HQ anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.