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Notes and news — February 1977

In this issue:

Surrey Archaeological Society conference 'The Fabric of Surrey's Industrial Past', Dorking

In the morning Kenneth Major gave an interesting and well-illustrated talk on the preservation of wind and water mills. He showed how many had been successfully preserved, but warned against wasting effort on those that were too far gone and against expecting much, if any, help from public bodies. Two speakers from the Brooklands Society then described their efforts to preserve this pioneer motor race track and associated buildings. Much remains to be done before its future is assured, but they have cleared a lot of track and got much of it, together with the club house, cafeteria and ticket office, listed. They hope to raise very large sums of money by appeals to industry.

After lunch, the Group's secretary, Francis Haveron, gave a general talk on Surrey IA, emphasising its great variety. Surrey is particularly rich in mills, canal and railway relics and industrial remains connected with great houses (e.g. pumps and ice houses). Finally, Dr. Allen Crocker talked about the group's plans to establish an industrial museum at Cattesford Mill, Farncombe, a former paper mill with a Fourneyran water turbine of c.1870. Negotiations are in progress about the possibility of leasing the premises.

Francis Haveron mentioned in conversation that the group is preparing for publication lists of buildings and sites of IA interest in different parts of Surrey. The first are expected to be for the boroughs of Elmbridge and for Reigate & Banstead. The parent society's terms of reference cover the whole of 'historic' Surrey, including Greater London south of the Thames and west of the old Kent boundary and he did not rule out eventually tackling some, if not all, of this area, but I got the impression that the Group would not be actively involved in recording Southwark or Lambeth IA for example, for a long time yet, if ever. Derek Bayliss

Goldstone Pumping Station, Hove

Sussex IA contains a lot of country house technology — one of their current projects is the water pumping equipment at Buckhurst Park belonging to Earl de la Warr — but there is also the impressive (if oddly named) 'Engineerium' at Goldstone Pumping Station, Hove:

Originally the Goldstone water pumping station, the No. 2 beam engine of 1875 has been restored and is steamed each weekend, using the original boilers. The No. 1 engine of 1866 is derelict, but it is hoped to restore this also in due course. As well as the beam engines there are a number of other exhibits located in what was formerly the coal store. This is more spacious than its name implies and contains a horizontal mill engine with Corliss valve gear, a horse-drawn steam fire engine, a portable steam engine and a large number of various types of model steam engines. The museum is located off Nevill Road, Hove (Map Ref. 285066) and is open daily (although the engines are only steamed at weekends). Alan Goode

Gunnersbury Park Museum

Gunnersbury Park Museum has recently acquired coopers' tools (accession No. 76.33) and barge-building a set of and shipwrights tools (accession No. 76.49) used by Mr. J.W. Rowe of Isleworth. Mr. Rowe was apprenticed at the age of 14 (he is now in his early 70s) to the Hope Lighterage Co. at Goat Wharf, Brentford, later with the River Lighterage Co and subsequently was a shipwright with Thames Launches at Eel Pie Island, Twickenham. This collection of tools sounds very interesting, it already includes coach trimmer's (accession No. 71.2), shoemaker's (accession No. 68.20) and saddler's (accession No. 1042). Anyone wishing to examine any of them should write to The Curator, Gunnersbury Park Museum, W3 8LQ.

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© GLIAS, 1977