Open Meetings

Industrial Archaeology group have rescheduled their programme of meetings to the provide additional open group meetings to supplement the existing programme of Monthly Meetings, providing a meeting almost every fortnight.

Initially all meetings will be "virtual" via ZOOM - but we hope to revert to "real" meetings when Covid guidance allows. Check the website prior to each meeting for venue.

Future programme of Monthly & IA Meetings :

Monthly Meetings are shown on a blue background, IA on a grey background

click here for details of the next meeting, inc. Zoom logon details

March 9th (via Zoom). Arthur Kearse: Technical Aspects of the Dambusters raid.

The talk covers the Upkeep weapon system development process and operational employment. It includes discussion of target defeat and the use of scaling and similarity to analyse weapon effects. The importance of spin in the weapon concept is explained, as are the problems that this introduces. It is hoped that Arthur will mention Farnborough’s involvement, and the strategic implications.

March 30th (via Zoom) Brian Freeland Richelieu the Cardinal and his City

In 1585, when Armand-Jean du Plessis (later Cardinal de Richelieu) was born, France existed only as a geographical area: neither language nor law provided any unity. Loyalties were feudal, religious and/or regional. Richelieu dictated both the military strategies which provided France with new defensible borders, and inaugurated the unifying reforms which moulded the state’s own national cultural identity. In the process Richelieu discovered the power of cultural propaganda, and sought control of the country’s literary and artistic activities and institutions.

April 13th (via Zoom). Chris McKay: Iron and Steel: A historical review of production from early times to 1900.

Chris McKay is a practical horologist as well as author, teacher and historical researcher. To delve deeper into his passion of turret clocks he has studied the production of iron and steel from the earliest times up to the present time. The presentation will cover technical and social issues and will be well illustrated, often with examples of turret clocks. Chris has spoken to the IA group in the past on large turret clocks (as in churches and other towers).

April 27th (via Zoom) Dan Allen The VC Facts and Fantasies

The talk looks at the origins of the VC and some of the more unusual stories that surround it.

May 11th (via Zoom) Chris Shaw: A Sign of the Times.

Traffic signs are essential in providing information to all of the different types of road users, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists etc. This talk explains the system used for the design of traffic signs, the various types of signs, and how they are used. It includes a selection of the more unusual and rarely seen signs, examples of how not to do signing, the importance of maintenance and cleaning of signs, and a light hearted look at some of the alternative meanings that the public have given to some signs. Chris has also spoken to IA in the past, and we can look forward to an in-depth study of signage.

May 25th (venue tbc) Tony Strafford Bishops, Sex and Money

Medieval Bishops had their money in many pies and you will be amazed at how many of these you will already know about.

June 15th (via Zoom). Eric McLoughlin: title and summary tba.


June 29th (venue tbc) Tess Burrows Grannies can do anything

Tess took part in the sledge race to the South Pole in 2009 with James Cracknell and Ben Fogle as filmed by the BBC.

July 13th. (via Zoom) Paul Ross: Silver City Airways, summary tba.


September 28th (venue tbc) Richard Elsey The Golden Age of Radio

Looking at the growth of radio through the 20s and 30s. Then at the effect of the war years through the 40s and ending with the 50s and the impact of TV.


October 26th ~ AGM

November 30th (venue tbc) Ian Keable
The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in the Eighteenth Century

The 1700s was a period when the people of England seemed to be especially gullible. They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; a man could climb inside a two pint bottle and sing inside it; and where a blond-haired European could write a book claiming that he was born in Taiwan. These hoaxes weren't just written about extensively in newspapers and journals but also brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray. In this entertaining talk Ian demonstrates how 18th century hoaxes are memorable not only for their imaginative nature but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters


Meetings already held :

most recent at the top.

February 23rd (via Zoom) Jane Lewis Fashion and Folly

This talk focuses on the alarming and bizarre things that people have done over the years to enhance their beauty and be regarded as fashionable. It may surprise you to know just how dangerous our ancestors’ clothes and makeup were and the extraordinary lengths they were prepared to go to just be al la mode. Let this be a cautionary warning from history!

January 26th (via ZOOM) John Harrison Human Factors

During the last century the discipline of Ergonomics (aka Human Factors) has come to play a vital role in ensuring that our ever more complex and technological world is fit for humans to live and work in. In this talk I will give you some insights into the history of this fascinating subject that spans the divide between people and their environment. To illustrate the problems, I will describe many examples (good and bad) drawn from real life.