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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

Sat 23rd FebMeet at Featherbed Lane for 9.45 am departClaymills Pumping Station,Meadow Lane, Stretton, Burton-on-Trent, DE13 0DAPaul McKayNOTE this is a Saturday trip as they will be steaming the beam engines that day. There are 4 large beam engines from 1885 plus, 5 coal-fired boilers, a steam workshop and many other interesting exhibits. There is a cafe on site which can provide hot snacks etc.
Entry is £5.50 including a guided tour at 11 am
Wed 27th MarTBAAmazon Fulfilment Centre, RugeleyBob BaxendaleDetails to follow soon
Wed 24th Apr8.45 at Featherbed LaneTaylor's Bell Foundry, LoughboroughBill DevittTaylors is now the last surviving bell foundry in the country.
We have a guided tour starting at 10am and lasting 90 mins. Parking in the area is difficult so we have arranged to use the car park of the nearby pub, The Three Nuns, where we are also booked in for lunch.
Wed 22nd MayTBABelper North Mill tour.Bill Wilson
Wed 26th JunTBACragside House and gardens, NorthumberlandMike StowPROVISIONAL. The first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. This trip and the dates are still provisional as it will require 2 nights away to get up and back, probably staying in Newcastle. It will also hopefully include a visit to the Newcastle dockside and Discovery museum
Wed 24th JulTBACliffe Hill quarry near MarkfieldMike HardyA guided tour of the quarry
Wed 28th AugTBAGreat Central Railway North, RuddingtonBill Devitt
Wed 25th SepTBAWalsall Leather Museum and Bradley lock gate workshopBob Cornell
Wed 23rd OctTBASoho House, BirminghamMike StowSoho House was the home of industrialist Matthew Bolton and meeting place of the Lunar Society

Wednesday 23rd January. Coventry Transport Museum

13 members ventured down to Coventry, one going there direct whilst the remaining dozen shared 3 cars from Ashby. Despite some finger trouble with the sat-nav in one car, everyone arrived at the park & ride eventually and most of us managed to get on a bus going in the right direction! But we all got there in the end.

The museum is free (as was the car park & the bus for those of a certain age) and well worth the money! It specialises in the vehicle makers who made Coventry famous as the heart of Britain's car industry. It all started with bicycles. Over a 100 yr period there have been 450 cycle makers in Coventry. They came in all shapes and sizes from boneshakers and velocipedes to penny farthings to 4-wheelers. One enormous 'bike' had 7 pairs of wheels and seated 14 soldiers as a means to move troops around quickly!

Someone inevitably had the bright idea of putting an early petrol engine in one and the motorcycle was born. From there it was but a short step to add more wheels and some weather protection and the car was with us. Because of this centre of excellence, Coventry remained the heart of the British car industry until the 70's. Here we saw all the cars that we or our parents owned or at least wished we'd owned. Triumphs, Rovers, Hillmans and Jags.

The final gallery is dedicated to 2 machines - Thrust2 and ThrustSSC, both Land Speed record holders. The latter, 54 ft long, weighing 10.5 tons and powered by 2 Rolls-Royce engines out of a Phantom jet fighter, still holds the record at an incredible 763mph - faster than the speed of sound.

A lovely museum packed with interesting exhibits. And did I say it's free.

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