WADIHS

Watford & District Industrial History Society

LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 2010 - 2011 

16 September 2010

THE INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF TYNESIDE 
This talk by Freda Thompson describes how the North East's coal reserves provided the foundation for the River Tyne's growth and development. The river's shipbuilding grew from the need to provide quick and cheap transport to carry the coal. At one time the banks of the Tyne resounded to the sound of the riveters' hammers. Shipyards could be seen on both banks of the Tyne down to the sea. Today the Tyne echoes to the sound of kittiwakes and the many revellers enjoying the riverside after the demise of the shipyards.

21 October 2010

THE HISTORY OF PERKINS ENGINES 
This illustrated talk by Steven Perry traces the Perkins family through its time with Barford and Perkins and then to Perkins Engines. It explores the many challenges that Frank Perkins faced in the 1930s and then through the years of World War 2. The story continues with the company expansion in the 1950s and subsequent sale to Massey Ferguson, through the second half of the 20th century and the story ends when the business was acquired by Caterpillar. 

The Lecture will be preceded by the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and will therefore start at the earlier time of 7:30 PM.

18 November 2010

THE GAS INDUSTRY 
Once again Allan Willmott will delve into his extensive film archives and come up with a film programme, this time on the history of the Gas Industry. This will include coal fired power stations, the environment and conservation and the laying of underground pipes across the country. 

16 December 2010

A VICTORIAN MAGIC LANTERN SHOW and our SOCIAL EVENING
Today we are all familiar with lectures illustrated with visual material. For several decades the most common method was the projection of slide transparencies made by photography; now the 'multimedia' projector coupled to a laptop computer is rapidly becoming the norm. Tonight Tony Brown and Gordon Casbeard take us back to the beginnings of visual display using the VictorianMagic Lantern
The talk will be followed by our annual informal get-together when we let our hair down and indulge in a wild orgy of coffee and nibbles.
Cancelled due to inclement weather. In its place, Chris Jordan showed slides of the 
WADIHS North Lincolnshire Weekend. 

20 January 2011

WAR AND PEACE : THE ROYAL ARSENAL AT WOOLWICH 
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, which manufactured warlike implements and stores for the army and the navy, was formed about 1720 and comprised factories and laboratories for the manufacture and final fitting up of almost every kind of arms and ammunition. This talk by Wesley Harry details the history of the Royal Arsenal from its inception to its final closure in the latter days of the 20th century. 
Cancelled. Replaced with the 16 December 2010 presentation (see above)

17 February 2011

ROBERT STEPHENSON : THE RAILWAY MANIA YEARS 
Dr Michael Bailey continues his series on Stephenson's career, covering the years between 1843 and 1847 when the demand for new railways in Britain exploded into a mania. Engineers were at full stretch to prepare the schemes for Parliament and to build the new railways. As the leading engineer, Robert Stephenson's services were in high demand both as a civil engineer and as a partner in his locomotive building factory. The era gave rise to serious national disputes regarding railway gauge and atmospheric haulage in which Stephenson was deeply involved. 
Cancelled. Replaced with BEYOND THE TOWPATH a presentation by Peter Lloyd, some of the things we saw on our way from Burnley to Aylesbury last year

17 March 2011

GASHOLDERS : FEATS OF ENGINEERING 
Storing gas at low pressure to meet daily fluctuations in demand, gasholders grew enormously in size in the course of the 19th century, presenting successive technical and visual challenges and achievements. The high-pressure national gas grid has much reduced the need for them, but some continue to dominate the landscape, notably in London. Malcolm Tucker, engineering historian, investigated the subject for English heritage and will share some of his findings with us.