Ivanhoe Ashby de la Zouch U3A Group Logo

The Industrial Heritage Group

Leader:  Mike Stow - indhist@ashbyu3a.co.uk - phone 01530 469152

The Industrial Heritage Group is for members who have an interest in our industrial heritage of trains, cars, planes, bikes, early manufacturing etc. to visit museums, railways, factories and other places related to our industrial past. We occasionally take a quite broad view of what constitutes "Industrial Heritage" if it is of interest to us!

Travel arrangements vary depending on how far we have to travel, but generally we meet in Ashby to car-share.

Our trips are normally on Wednesdays unless otherwise stated

Future programme

Wed 27th JunNational Museum of Computing near Bletchley ParkJohn HowlettSee the history of computing including Colossus the world's first electronic computer plus much, much more. Alternatively, visit Bletchley Park itself if you missed the last trip there.
Wed 25th JulBattle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Conningsby + Tattershall CastlePaul McKayVisit Tattershall Castle before lunch then take a 90 min guided tour around the hangers to see the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster of the BBMF.
Castle £8.00 (free for NT members, discount for 15 or more non-NT members).
BBMF £6 approx. (price rise due in April)
Fri 17th AugGreat Western Railway awaydayColin EllisFriday & Saturday. An overnight trip to visit STEAM - the museum of the GWR at Swindon plus Crofton Pumping Engines, the oldest engines in the world still doing their original job (unfortunately not in steam the day we visit). After a night in Newbury and dinner, hopefully by the canal, we shall visit Didcot Railway Centre where the trains will be in steam and carrying passengers up and down the line, followed by a visit to Pendon Model Railway - one of the largest and most beautifully modelled railways in the country.
Total entrance fees approx £27 + £60 per car for fuel and parking + overnight lodging. Newbury Travelodge is currently £27 per room for August but prices may rise before booking
Wed 26th SepCadbury World and Bourneville villageAvril & Bill WilsonA visit to Bourneville Village and a guided tour around Cadbury World
Wed 17th OctTriumph Motorcycle museum and factory tourRay HarrimanA 90 min guided tour of the state of the art Triumph factory plus a visit to the Triumph Experience - the complete story of all things Triumph. The history, design, manufacturing, racing, record-breaking, the famous riders plus see the most famous Triumphs of the silver screen
Wed 28th NovAmazon fulfilment centre, RugeleyBob BaxendaleAmazon only do tours Feb to Sept so this will be postponed to next year. Looking for alternate venues

Thursday 24th May. Bristol docks, Temple Meads Station and Clifton Suspension Bridge

This month we joined the History Group for the coach trip to Bristol.

A full turnout of more than 50 members assembled at the Royal Hotel car park at 7.50 am on a chilly morning (after all the previous hot weather) for the coach ride to Bristol to see some of Isambard Brunel's finest works. Despite the rush hour traffic around Birmingham and a comfort stop on the way, we were no more than a few minutes late getting to Clifton Suspension Bridge. The threatened torrential rain held off to allow us to walk over the bridge and up to the view point overlooking it. However the overcast skies did not give us as good a view as it could, but the bridge spanning the gorge is still spectacular.

A short drive took us on to the SS Great Britain where we were booked in for a guided tour. Some took the opportunity (rarely missed) to grab a coffee or bite to eat. As we were such a large group we went round in two parties. Our guide told us of the construction, history and eventual preservation of the ship and was excellent at describing the conditions aboard for both the 1st and 3rd class passengers on Great Britain's many Atlantic crossings. It was also used for many years to carry immigrants to Australia, as a troop transport in the Crimea War and as a bulk coal carrier.

Some stayed to investigate the newly-opened Brunel museum whilst others took the bus or ferry-boat into Bristol city centre whilst yet others visited Brunel's original Great Western Railway terminus building at Temple Meads which is no longer used by Network Rail. Unfortunately for the last group, access to the main train shed was not possible as it was being used for university exams. However whilst Colin was giving us a guided tour of the outside, we were offered the chance to see into the cellars under the station which used to house the ash pits and are now used as a music, arts and theatre venue.

A guided tour of the engine shed and GWR offices concentrated mostly on the start-up companies working there now, and less on the building itself, but we did get to sit in Brunel's board room and visit the rarely seen attic space.

We all met up at back at the Great Britain for an uneventful coach trip back which returned us to Ashby by 8.45pm.

Photos by Mike Stow

Previous trips