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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

Wed 22nd AprTBAMini car factory, OxfordMark GwinnuttA 2hr guided tour of the Mini factory. We will car-share to the factory in Cowley, Oxford. This trip is now FULLY BOOKED with a waiting list . Cost of tour £15
Wed 27th MayTBAQuarry Bank Mill, StyalKevin GreenNational Trust property. One of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution
Wed 24th JunTBATollgate Brewery, AshbySteve JenningsA visit to our own local brewery followed by lunch at a nearby pub!
Sat 18th JulTBARoyal Duchy Train TourColin EllisA weekend away. Saturday; car share to Bristol.
Sunday; 1st class steam-hauled train to Plymouth then over the Tamar Bridge to Par, coach trip to Fowey or Charlestown harbour, 4 course dinner on the return to Bristol.
Monday; return to Ashby. Possible interesting stops on Sat and Mon, to and from Bristol. Full details on the Trips web page
Wed 26th AugTBARed House Glass Cone, StourbridgeTony SmithVisit the musuem of glass working. Possible glass-blowing demo and maybe a chance to make your own glass tile!
Wed 23rd SepTBATBAMike Stow
Wed 28th OctTBAJCB factory, RocesterHelmut RathGuided tour of the museum and factory at JCB
Wed 25th NovTBADerby Silk Mill museumTBAAssuming the museum has actually opened as promised, a first chance to see the newly refurbished Museum of Making housed in what was probably the first fully mechanised factory in the world.

Wednesday 22nd January. RAF museum Cosford

The Group went to RAF Museum, Cosford today mainly for interest in the planes but also because it was a) free and b) needed no booking, so that it could be easily cancelled or postponed if there was bad weather. However we had no snow or ice or torrential rain to put us off and so we were able to car share happily to Cosford. After the obligatory coffee break on arrival we split up to wander the hangers at leisure.

Cosford houses many rare and unusual planes, missiles and engines, mostly from WW2 onwards. The Japanese and German planes, and particularly the German missiles of WW2 were scary to see how advanced they were. And the V2 rocket looks just like every schoolboys drawing of a rocket but bigger than you'd think.

Scarier still are the huge cold-war nuclear bombers - Vulcan, Victor and Valiant. An exhibition of the Berlin airlift and cold-war tensions reminded us how close we nearly came to extinction on more than one occasion.

On a lighter note, the strange and sometimes crazy prototype aircraft of the post-war race for supersonic flight produced some beautiful and strange planes like the Fairey Delta which broke the world speed record by over 300mph at its first attempt and the highly-polished all stainless steel Bristol 188 which should have flown at Mach 3 but ran out of fuel before reaching Mach 2.

The star of the show was though the much-larger-than-expected and ill-fated TSR2. Only 3 were ever built out of a planned 20-odd and only one ever flew; not the one at Cosford. The others were scrapped and three, including the flyer, were used for gunnery practice and destroyed.

Everyone, I think, had a good time with much reminiscing amongst those with any aeronautic history.

Previous trips