Welcome to England‘s Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society (MRIAS)

THE SOCIETY aims to advance education of the public in the subject of industrial archaeology.

We are interested in:

› Developing a greater understanding of the industrial history and archaeology of the Manchester region.
› Recording, interpreting and where possible preserving the physical remains of industrial artefacts and sites in their social, cultural and historical contexts.
› Promotion and research into the industrial history & archaeology of the Manchester region of England.

Our passions are the history of industry, technology and transport.

2022 Committee: Steve Rhodes (Minutes Secretary and Online Distribution Officer), Walter Payne (Membership Secretary), David George (Honorary Life Member & Archivist), Tony Wright (Treasurer and Newsletter Editor), Sarah Baines (Committee Member & Special Projects Officer) and Committee members Dr. Mike Nevell, Dr. Peter Mohr, Julie Mohr and Dr. Albert Rooms.
Chairman; Mr Gordon Browne

The Society continues to be friends of the South Pennine Archaeology Group. Check out their website digspag.org.uk The South Pennines, including Rossendale has much offer those with an interest in our heritage. LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) images are now revealing probable prehistoric remains covering large swathes of the area. Of equal interest are the remains of early industry, water powered mills, quarries and other remnants of the industrial past.

******* PROGRAMME 2022 ( Click on View All Events - scroll right down to the lower left right at the base this screen for details)

Thursday 10th February ‘History of Bricks’ Dr. Moira Wilson to be confirmed
Thursday 10th March 'Reflections on 30 years of Industrial Archaeology investigations in Greater Manchester’ by Norman Redhead.
Thursday 14th April ‘Collieries of the South Lancs Coalfield’ by David George.
Thursday 12th May ‘The Restoration of Manchester Science and Industry Museum’s Power Hall, Part 2 by Sarah Baines.
Thursday 13th October The Interface of Engineering and Medicine’ by Dr. Peter Mohr.
Thursday 10th November ‘The Manchester & Birmingham Railway 1837 to 1846’ by Tony Wright.
Thursday 1st December AGM and Members’ Miscellany.

Our talks are held at the Castlefield Hotel, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4JR at 2pm.

www.mrias.co.uk email info@mrias.co.uk

Membership Secretary: Mr Walter Payne, 27 Brompton Road, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancs FY6 8BW (01253 894150)

Chairman: Gordon Browne (0161 445 9124)

***** MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2021 *****

The Society’s 2021 AGM was held on Thursday 2nd December 2021 at 2.00 p.m. at the Castlefield Hotel, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4JR.

1. Chairman's welcome
• The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.
• There followed a few words and a minute’s silence in memory of our late Chairman, Neil Davies and our late member Alan Douglass.
2. Apologies for absence
• Apologies were received from Clare Bone, Frances Watson, Brian Watson, Mike Nevell and Peter Bone.
3. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and matters arising
• The minutes of the last AGM, held on Thursday 5th December 2019, were agreed and there were no matters arising. Proposed by Albert Rooms and seconded by Peter Mohr.
• The minutes were accepted and signed.
4. Treasurer’s report
• Copies of the audited Statement of Income and Expenditure for the year ended 31st August 2021 were circulated and Tony Wright took members through the figures.
5. Membership Secretary's report
• Walter Payne reported that, having started the year with 77 members, net membership was now down to just 71 members.
6. Hon Archivist’s report
• At this juncture David George reported that the MRIAS archive was now closed due to pressure of space and that no new deposits could be accepted. He emphasised that the archive remained accessible and that the Society had deposited, inter alia, 175 archaeological reports.
7. Alan Douglass Award
• Gordon Browne presented this year’s award to Tony Wright in recognition of his outstanding series of ‘occasional essays’ which had entertained members throughout the year and especially during the recent lockdowns. Members were encouraged to submit any contributions for the coming year.
8. Nominations for committee and officers
• The Chairman asked if there were any nominations for the Officers or Committee. Walter Payne nominated Albert Rooms, who indicated his agreement.
9. Election of committee and officers
• Two committee members had left the committee during the year. In addition four members had been co-opted during the year. All had agreed to serve for another year and this course was proposed by Tony Wright and seconded by Albert Rooms.
The Committee is therefore be as follows:
Steve Rhodes (Minutes Secretary and Online Distribution Officer), Walter Payne (Membership Secretary), David George (Honorary Life Member & Archivist), Tony Wright (Treasurer and Newsletter Editor), Sarah Baines (Committee Member & Special Projects Officer) and Committee members Dr. Mike Nevell, Dr. Peter Mohr, Mrs Patience Julia Mohr and Dr. Albert Rooms.
Chairman; Mr Gordon Browne.
10. Any other business
• The programme of 2022 planned talks and visits was discussed. Booking forms for two visits were handed out.
11. Date of the next Annual General Meeting • Thursday 1st December 2022.

In closing the meeting the Chairman wished everyone a merry Christmas. The meeting was followed by fascinating talks by five members:-

• Tony Wright on JMW Turner;
• David George’s topic was Bob Kay on the Rochdale Canal;
• Next was Richard Roberts who spoke on the Troubled Bridges over the waters of the River Irwell;
• Peter Mohr spoke on the Iron Lung, Morris Motors and Alvis Cars - a note on medical engineering;
• and finally Sarah Baines on the Castlefield Viaduct.

PREVIOUS 2020/2021 PROGRAMME
(disrupted by the 2020 Pandemic)

13th February -‘Munitions Manufacture at Hawkshead Mill, Old Glossop’ Paul Beckmann of the Manchester Military History Society.
12th March - ‘Recent Industrial Archaeology Research’ Norman Redhead from the University of Salford. Joint meeting with Salford Archaeology.
9th April - ‘ The Restoration of the Manchester Science Museum’s Power Hall’ Sarah Baines. Curator of Engineering. CANCELLED. Now 11/02/2021.
8th October - ‘Alcock and Brown – the Manchester Men Who Made the World’s First Non-stop Transatlantic Flight’ Tony Wright. CANCELLED New Date tba
12th November - ‘The History of Bricks - 8000 years’ Dr. Moira Wilson. CANCELLED New Date tba
3rd December - ‘ Members’ Miscellany - following the AGM. (N.B. This is the first Thursday in the month to allow for Christmas commitments). CANCELLED New Date tba

11th February 2021 - ‘ The Restoration of the Manchester Science Museum’s Power Hall’ Sarah Baines. Curator of Engineering. CANCELLED. Now 11th November 2021.

WALKS AND VISITS 2021
2pm Thursday 22nd July 2021 Meet at the Oldham King Street Tram Stop Oldham OL8 1DQ. Guided Walk around the Centre of Oldham led by Steve Roman.

WALKING TOUR OF OLDHAM TOWN CENTRE ****RE-SCHEDULED DATE
Thursday 22nd July , 2021
The tour of Oldham town centre will commence at Oldham King Street Metrolink stop (OL8 1EU) at 2.00 pm

The walk will include the Greek revival Oldham Town Hall (1841, J. Butterworth; extended 1879-80, G. Woodhouse and E. Potts), Oldham Parish Church (1823-27, R. Lane), George Street Chapel (1816), Oldham Lyceum and Art School (1856 and 1881) and Hilton Arcade (1883). We will also see work by Edgar Wood, Alfred Waterhouse and a stained glass roof by Brian Clarke.
 
Sean Baggaley, Curator at Gallery Oldham (OL1 1AL), will show us the Oldham Panorama (1879), the original plans for the Town Hall and current plans for OMA, the transformed 1883 stage of the Cultural Quarter. We will finish here around 4.00, near to Oldham Central and Mumps Metrolink stops.
 
Lunch beforehand can be taken at one of the numerous cafes around Parliament Square. Notes and maps will be provided. Oldham is a couple of degrees cooler than the Lancashire plain, and there will be some gentle uphill slopes. For parking, see www.visitoldham.com

AGM 2019

Minutes of the 2019 Annual General Meeting
The Society’s 2019 AGM was held on Thursday 5th December 2019 at 2.00 p.m. at the Castlefield Hotel, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4JR.
1. Chairman's welcome
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.
2. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Albert Rooms, the Watsons, the Makepeaces and Margaret Berry.
3. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and matters arising
The minutes of the last AGM, held on Thursday 6th December 2018, were agreed and there were no matters arising.
The minutes were accepted and signed.
4. Treasurer’s report
Copies of the audited Statement of Income and Expenditure for the year ended 31st August 2019 were circulated and Tony Wright took members through the figures, highlighting the following:-
Alan Douglass’s donation;
the lower costs of the new meetings location had led to reduced door money and zero door money at the AGM;
the income derived from moving to a new bank;
it was now possible to pay membership fees by bank transfer.
The Treasurer was thanked and his report accepted.
5. Membership Secretary's report
Walter Payne reported that net membership was now down to just 70 members.
6. Hon Archivist’s report
At this juncture David George reported that the archive held a deposit of 150 members’ reports, plus 30 new reports making 180 in total. He reported that books were not held and that details of holdings could be found on our website and in newsletters.
7. Nominations for committee and officers
The Chairman asked if there were any nominations for the Officers or Committee. None were forthcoming.
8. Election of committee and officers
The current committee members had agreed to serve for a further year and this course of action was proposed by Margaret Browne and seconded by Peter Mohr. In addition Peter Bone had indicated that he could re-join the committee and this was agreed.
The committee would therefore be as follows.
Neil Davies Chairman
Gordon Browne Vice-Chairman
Tony Wright Treasurer
Walter Payne Membership Secretary
Richard Pink Projects and Publicity
Steve Rhodes Minutes Secretary
David George Hon. Archivist
Peter Bone.
9. Any other business
The first Alan Douglass award was presented by the Chairman to Derek Brumhead for his piece on the Torrs in New Mills.
David George proposed that Alan Douglass be made a life member of the Society and this was seconded by Gordon Browne. The Chairman was to write to Alan informing him of this.

10. Date of the next Annual General Meeting
Thursday 3rd December 2020.

In closing the meeting the Chairman wished everyone a merry Christmas. The meeting was followed by fascinating talks by six members:-
Tony Wright on Railways Queer and Quaint;
Neil Davies appealed for information about a series of cast iron plaques installed along the River Medlock;
Photographs of the Ordsall Chord were shown by Peter Bone;
Peter Mohr spoke on the Methylating Company Ltd.;
Roger Holden’s topic was Stott and Sons and the Linotype Works, Broadheath;
Photographs of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal taken some 50 years ago, were shown by Martin Arthur.

*****

AGM 2018

The Society’s 2018 AGM was held on Thursday 6th December 2018 at 6.00 p.m. in Room 301 of the Business School Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH.

1. Chairman's welcome
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance
2. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Albert Rooms and Stuart Cairns.
3. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting and matters arising
The minutes of the last AGM, held on Thursday 7th December 2017, were discussed. Members were advised that David George had relinquished the chair in the summer and that Neil Davies had taken on the chairmanship for the remainder of the year. David George had reverted to the post of Hon. Archivist.
The minutes were accepted and signed.
4. Treasurer’s report
Copies of the audited Statement of Income and Expenditure for the year ended 31st August 2018 were circulated and Tony Wright took members through the figures.
A Gift Aid submission was to be submitted early in 2019.
Income from membership fees had reduced, as had door income, but sales of books had increased.
Insurance costs had increased due to including additional equipment.
Room charges had increased due to us holding more lectures and to having part paid in advance of a slight increase in the nightly charge.
The Post and Publications figure had decreased due to the trial use of generic printer inks.
The Treasurer was thanked and his report accepted.

5. Membership Secretary's report
Walter Payne reported that we had started the year with 83 members and that we currently had 75. The reduction in membership was due to 4 members having passed away and a number had resigned, whilst 2 had rejoined.
6. Nominations for committee and officers
The Chairman asked if there were any nominations for the Officers or Committee. None were forthcoming.
7. Election of committee and officers
The current committee members had agreed to serve for a further year and this course of action was proposed by Neil Davies and seconded by David Higginson.
The committee would therefore be as follows.
Neil Davies Chairman
Gordon Browne Vice-Chairman
Tony Wright Treasurer
Walter Payne Membership Secretary
Richard Pink Projects and Publicity
Steve Rhodes Minutes Secretary
David George Hon. Archivist.
8. Any other business
The Chairman thanked Tony Wright and David George for manning our stall at the Greater Manchester Archaeology Day, which had raised almost £100.
David George provided members with a list of books and archived reports available at Chetham’s and listed on our website.
He also advised members of some 30 monographs which were available to download from the Manchester University website.
David Higginson reminded the meeting that Richard Hill’s excellent new book was available on Amazon.
Members were advised that due to concerns over falling numbers, a poll of members’ preferences re the time of day and days of the week of meetings and visits may be introduced in the new year.
9. Date of the next Annual General Meeting
Thursday 5th December 2019.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY

Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society (MRIAS) was founded in 1964 by the joint initiative of staff in the Department of Extra-mural Studies, University of Manchester and the Centre for the History of Science and Technology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Initial recruitment of members was from the Adult Education Courses provided by these two bodies. There was the usual program of monthly talks with an early venue being the new NW Museum of Science and Industry where Society volunteers helped with demonstrations and catering on open days. When the Museum moved to Liverpool Road Station in the 1980s MRIAS members acted as guides for students and adult groups.

Owen Ashmore and David George were appointed field secretaries and the recording of standing industrial structures began through the medium of photography assisted by members of the Manchester Amateur Photographic Society. Details were written up on the then current CBA record cards and through notes and articles in the Society’s quarterly newsletter. This material formed the basis of the MRIAS archive which is now housed at Chetham’s Library in Manchester and contains, inter alia, a collection of 175 archaeological reports by members and other bodies. We have always contributed to Industrial Archaeology News and currently publish a series of occasional papers through the Northern Rail Community Fund on sale at meetings and conferences.

With the advent of industrial archaeology excavation activity in the region from the 1990s members have lent their expertise to important digs such as the Ashbury's Carriage and Wagon Works site in east Manchester on the Arkwright Mill at Shudehill – Manchester's first cotton mill (these latter two in co-operation with the University of Salford Centre for Archaeology and contractors). Visits to museums and industrial walks are regular features of our programme and for many years we organised study holidays in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Northumbria, Norfolk, Birmingham, Derbyshire and elsewhere. Committee members were prominent in the organisation and presentation of the AIA conferences in Manchester in 1977 and 2000 and more recently at Preston and Chester. Although membership has declined slowly from about 120 to 75 we have carried on with monthly talks, visit to sites and walks and are recruiting new blood to the committee for the future.

Our aims for the future? : we are preparing for our 60th Anniversary in 2024. We will continue to work with like-minded people who are interested in the history of industry, technology and transport. And also to be true to our founding aim of advancing public education in the subject of Industrial Archaeology.

*******