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Notes and news — March 1972

In this issue:

Threatened Buildings and Plant Committee

At a recent Executive Committee Meeting it was agreed that now is the time for a special committee to be formed to deal with this most important aspect of GLIAS's work. The Committee will be responsible for finding out which important IA items are threatened with destruction and expressing GLIAS's view in all the right places. It will also co-ordinate preservation projects in which GLIAS is concerned. The Committee, under the secretaryship of Caroline Kenward (2a Eccleston Square, SW1), will have three or four permanent members and co-opt others as required. We look forward to more news soon of this committee.

In the meantime, if members are aware of any Industrial Monuments which are threatened, please advise Caroline.

Markfield Road Pumping Station

Restoration of the magnificent ornamental beam engine (GLIAS Newsletter April 1971) is due to commence shortly and volunteers will be most welcome. Members interested in participating are invited to attend a site meeting on Sunday, 26 March at 11.00. (Ten minutes walk from Seven Sisters Tube Station). Alan Spackman would like to hear from members who hope to attend and also those who are interested but cannot make this date. It is hoped that a general visit can be arranged for later in the year.

Q-Stock Preservation Appeal

The London Underground Railway Society still need more donations for their Appeal Fund if they are going to save the Q27 motor car No. 4361 and Q35 trailer car No. 08063. These 1927 Birmingham Carriage and Wagon Co. cars are already living on borrowed time, so the matter is urgent.
Donations should be sent to: TLURS, Q-Stock Appeal, 203 Pope's Lane, Ealing, London W5 4NH. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to: "TLURS-Q Appeal"

Museums No. 2: Bressingham Steam Museum

This collection of stationary steam engines and steam locomotives was begun in 1961 by Alan Bloom. In ten years it has grown to be virtually the largest museum of its kind in the country, housing 35 engines, many of them on loan from British Rail.

Among the stationary engines is a double-crank compound, "Black Prince", made by Burrell in 1904, once a famous showman's engine in the London area. This was retrieved in 1962 from a scrapyard, where it had been since 1942. The "Princess", a 9½-inch gauge steam locomotive, runs on a 750-yard track. Other locomotives include the "George Sholto", an 0-4-0 Hunslet; the Beckton No. 25 0-4-0 gasworks shunter; "Wm. Francis", the last remaining Beyer-Peacock Garratt in Britain; the 4-6-2 "Oliver Cromwell"; an 1892 Neilson.

In 1971 the Transport Trust undertook to act as guardians of the museum, to ensure its preservation as a live steam museum.

Bressingham Steam Museum is 2½ miles west of Diss, Norfolk. It is open from 1.30pm to 6.00pm on Sundays from mid-May to mid-October and on Thursdays from the end of May to mid-September and on the Spring and Summer Bank Holidays.

I.A. items wanted!

Taylor Woodrow Properties are seeking items of I.A. interest to embellish certain public and semi-public areas at their St Katharine Docks redevelopment (GLIAS Newsletter August 1969), where two 19th-century warehouses are already being retained. They particularly want an eye-catching piece of machinery or other equipment to place at the entrance to the Trade Centre. Other requirements include a footbridge of a little over 50ft span to cross the entrance of the Western Dock, cast-iron paving plates, spiral staircases, general dockland ironwork, etc.

If any member knows of suitable items, ideally with dock or waterside connections, which are currently threatened with destruction and deserve a good home, could they please get in touch with Malcolm Tucker, 91 Hornsey Lane, N6 , who will collate and pass on information.

Inland Waterways Association Meeting

A meeting of the IWA was held at Kingsway Hall, Holborn, on Saturday, 4 March and wholeheartedly rejected the Government's proposals for dividing up the canal system between individual Regional Water Authorities (GLIAS Newsletter February 1972).

The principal points raised at the meeting were as follows:

1. Navigation would be bottom of the list of priorities of authorities primarily concerned with water supply and sewage purification. On the maintenance of canals to navigational standards depend many other amenities such as plentiful-angling and visual attractiveness (not to mention industrial archaeology).

2. Outside the amenity-conscious South-East of England, local authorities could well be unwilling to pay for the necessary maintenance (let alone the provision of further amenities), once Exchequer Grants are withdrawn and would be continually pressing for closure of parts of the system. Such closure might be effected by the stroke of a minister's pen. ('Statutory Provision' says DoE circular 92/71)

3. The Government has refused to accept that there is any future for commercial carrying by inland waterways in this country, despite its continuing expansion on the Continent and the recent development of containerised lighters (LASH, BACAT systems), which can be carried aboard ship across the North Sea or the Atlantic. British Waterways are considering inter alia the improvement of the Grand Union from Brentford to Watford where a transshipment depot would be established close to the M1 — this scheme would become a non-starter.

A resolution was passed that an Inland Navigation Authority should be established to further the development of all inland navigations, including those currently administered by river authorities. It was envisaged that this body would take over the maintenance of all the BWB's artificial waterways and would co-ordinate navigation matters on other waterways not under its direct control. Malcolm Tucker

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© GLIAS, 1972