Notes and news — April 1978
In this issue:
It seems they've at last found a use for the Floral Hall at Covent Gardens, it is to be turned into a museum by the GLC and will house the London Transport Road and Rail collection from Syon Park.
Ford's blast furnaces are closing in April, the coke ovens closed on 29 March. We may be able to arrange a visit in June after closure is completed.
Some museums to visit
THE BRIGHTON & HOVE ENGINEERIUM at Goldstone Pumping Station. Open every day except Christmas holiday from 10.00 to 17.00 and the beam engines are in steam every weekend. Considered well worth a visit by a group of GLIAS members who were there recently (GLIAS Newsletter February 1977).
The Wanlockhead Museum Trust has a fascinating museum of the Scottish lead mining industry at the evocative address of Goldscaur Row (the valley was first exploited for gold), Wanlockhead, Dumfriesshire. The museum is open quite a lot in the summer, but it might be worth checking if you're going far out of your way to visit it.
THE NATIONAL COAL BOARD have a museum at Lound Hall, Retford, Nottinghamshire which is open the first Sunday of every month; from April to October it is open from 14.00 to 17.30 and the rest of the year from 14.00 to 16.00. The phone number is Mansfield 860728.
A small but interesting museum has been created by some enthusiasts in the Colne Valley at Cliffe Ash, Golcar, near Huddersfield where some 1845 weavers cottages have been set out to display weaving relics and a complete clog-making workshop of 1900. Open Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 14.00 to 17.00. Telephone Huddersfield 659762.
In case you think the Darbys were the only ironmasters in the Telford area a museum has been opened dedicated to John Wilkinson which should help to set the record straight. It is open Saturdays and Sundays from 14.00 to 18.00 (telephone Telford 032557) and is in the Broseley home of the "King of the Ironmasters" The Lawns, Church Street.
The Wilkinson Society also hope to provide a two-hour guided tour of the area given reasonable notice — an interesting idea.
Another interesting idea, Barry Johnson found the original mould of the major bell of Norton Priory in the casting pit where it had been since the bell was cast in the 13th century. He put the 250-odd bits together and had a bell cast from the mould last year. Now he is working on reproducing a stone sarcophagus using medieval methods and he produces tiles in a medieval kiln that are sold for £1 each. Norton Priory is at Runcorn and I understand it is open to the public, but have no further details.
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© GLIAS, 1978