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The Society

The Manchester Region Industrial Archaeology Society (MRIAS) was founded in 1964. Each year we have a programme of lectures, visits, walks and social occasions. The Society is actively engaged in research and site surveys. We have been involved with steam pumping engines, textile mills, water mills, glass works, metal-working and other industrial sites. We promote the recording and study of the industrial archaeology of England‘s Greater Manchester area.

Activities of the Society include monthly lectures (between October and May) on topics of industrial archaeology and related interests, field visits, site surveys and various social events. We aim to provide members with a newsletter three or four times a year that includes news, reviews and articles of topical interest.

Recent recording and archive projects have included work at a water-powered saw mill, a forge, a canal warehouse, a glass works and a variety of manufacturing sites, a colliery and an early cotton mill site.

By the mid twentieth century historians, engineers and archaeologists were concerned that key relics of Britain‘s heritage were disappearing. By the 1970s interest in Industrial Archaeology had spread to continental Europe and the United States. A number of professional organisations emerged including the Society of Industrial Archaeology based in the Michigan Technological University and the Association for Industrial Archaeology (AIA) in England.

MRIAS is affiliated to the AIA:

"Britain was the first industrial nation. From the late eighteenth century industry has had a major influence on the society, environment and landscape in which we live.
The AIA is the national organisation for people who share an interest in Britain's industrial past. It brings together people who are researching, recording, preserving and presenting the great variety of this country's industrial heritage. Industrial architecture, mineral extraction, heritage-based tourism, power technology, adaptive re-use of industrial buildings and transport history are just some of the themes being investigated by AIA members.

Every year the Association monitors over 200 hundred applications to alter or demolish industrial sites and buildings. We work with other amenity groups to protect Britain's heritage and represent Britain on the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage"