SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY GROUP
Issue 1 April 1968
Since the formation of this Group last October, the response, in offers of assistance and reports of matters for investigation, has been far greater than originally expected. This does at last provide confirmation that there is a real need to bring together the scattered activities of a growing body of people whose interests up to now have been largely un-represented within the county.
From the very beginning there has been no definite. and fixed idea as to how such an organisation would develop; discussion and correspondence have now started to show some results in terms of the emergence of a working body, although it is in its early days at present. This being the case, it now seems the appropriate time to issue the first Newsletter. This is primarily an attempt to provide a little background information about the place of Sussex in industrial archaeology, and a few ideas concerning future plans and possibilities.
The last page of the Newsletter (un-numbered) includes some information already circulated in the minutes of the first meeting. This is because it is intended as a brief guide to our activities and methods of recording, so that it can be sent to future enquirers as a single, self-contained item.
A most important position was reached in 1963 when the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, in conjunction with the Council for British Archaeology, began the National Survey of Industrial Monuments. Its job has been to record and to evaluate the visual evidence of technological and economic activities, particularly of the period since the 18th. century. In doing this it has gradually encouraged local fieldwork throughout the country. This is mainly because the Survey depends almost entirely on the voluntary co-operation of local people and organisations.
Stress should be made that industrial archaeology concerns itself primarily with the study of physical remains. This is as distinct from 'industrial history' which is based on literary evidence - on manuscripts and books. In the past records have been examined, and conclusions drawn, quite often in-accurately, and with significant omissions of fact, because there has been little regard for surviving evidence on the ground. Up until a few years ago the Industrial Revolution was being treated very much from the literary point of view. In the case of machinery this has meant that the machines described and publicised by so many economic history writers have been the products of inventors who took out patent rights, the relevant documents serving as the basis for study. With this approach there has been small account of the countless craftsmen and engineers manufacturing for a localised market, often on highly individualistic lines. The only evidence of their work, and about which we treed to know more than we do, can only be located by field work.
The work of recording these physical remains is in many cases of great urgency in view of re-development and road-widening schemes, and the technical changes that are making early equipment and machinery obsolete. These changes are so rapid that it is quite possible a whole period of history, in some places intact and complete at present, is in danger of being destroyed without a trace.
In Sussex attention has already been paid to the iron and glass industries by Messrs. Straker, Winbolt and Kenyon, and a study of the windmills of the county has been made by the Rev. Peter Hemming. Extensive reports on the watermills of the county have been made by Mr. Frank Gregory. It is therefore incorrect to claim that no work has taken place in industrial archaeology in the county; it is correct, however, to claim that, firstly, the scope of recording has been limited, and secondly, that no overall plan on a co-ordinated basis throughout the county has existed for industrial archaeology.
Although Sussex is not an 'lndustrial' county in the usually accepted sense, the county does possess many examples of the type of monument the National Survey is trying. to record. This is for two reasons; firstly, the scope of the Survey is wide (see the list of items at the end of the Newsletter). Secondly, the agricultural counties, being more slow to change than urban industrial areas, still. possess buildings and equipment - still operating in some cases - of an early industrial nature. To mention one example; at Ashbumham there is a small brickyard where rapidly vanishing hand-methods can still be seen. Up until a few years ago the pug-machine was horse-operated, and the kiln, said to date from 1836, is wood-fired, a fuel rarely used today. Soon this too will be closed.
Recognising the need to investigate industrial archaeology, the Sussex
Archaeological Society and Worthing Museum appointed a representative and
correspondent for these mattes in 1967. It was soon quite apparent that it was
necessary to have a county-wide organisation in order to co-ordinate the growing
interest, and thus this Study Group was formed on the 14th. October 1967 at a
meeting held at the Royal Pavilion , Brighton. Mention should be made of the
helpful advice given to the Secretary in the setting up of the Group by Mr. E.W.
Concerning the immediate future, it has become clear that of the items on our list requiring a record, a few do qualify for priority. It is therefore hoped that the surveys mentioned below will be started this Spring and Summer. if you feel able to participate you are asked to return the enclosed coupon, indicating the survey(s) with which you will be able to assist. Then a series of informal meetings for each survey will be arranged at mutually convenient points. Each survey will have its own co-ordinator who will take charge of the individual survey. Members have already offered to do this in some cases, and their names and addresses are added below.
The organising of these specific surveys does not mean that we are excluding an interest in all other items. Where possible, it is hoped that members will bear the other items in mind when engaged in field work, although these items will not form part of a systematic survey at the moment, unless desired. For by their experience and interest some members might feel they would rather help by initiating another survey, not listed below. Please do make suggestions. The main thing is to utilise people's generous offers of help to the full.
The survey will generally attempt to trace the use of the stationary steam engine in the county, and find out when the first specimen was installed. Other aspects of engineering, such as gas works and electrical power generating stations, and their associated machinery, will also require attention. 6" O.S. maps are useful generally; the 1913 edition for Sussex indicates a number of private gas works on the larger estates, and other power plant that made them independent of the general supply.
The survey co-ordinators are F.G. Parker Esq. A.M. Inst. F„ A.M. Inst. Plant .E. Brighton College of Technology, Lewes Road, Brighton 7., and R. White Esq. 4 Argyll Court, Hampden Park, Eastbourne.
'A History of Technology' (Ed. Singer), 5 vols, (Oxford, 1954).
Tollhouses and Milestones
Milestones were at first erected voluntarily by the trusts, and compulsorily by an act of 1766. The finest series are the 'Bow Bells' milestones on the London - Eastbourne/Lewes roads. These are being recorded at the time of writing.
The co-ordinator is B. Austen Esq., B.A., 1 Mercedes Cottages, St. John's
Road, Haywards Heath,
In West Sussex are probably unusual survivals of original main line station architecture. Most main line stations have been so extended and modified that there is very little trace of the original nucleus. Lyminster and Woodgate for Bognor Stations (1846) were closed before modifications could take place, and remain virtually as they were when opened. They therefore represent some of the earliest railway architect-ure in the country. The early L. B.S.C.R. signal boxes stood on stilts with pasts for the semaphores passing through them. The last survivor was at Hardham junction, near Pulborough, which was removed last year.
R.H. Clark. 'A Southern Region Chronology and Record', (Oakwood Press, 1964).
Whereas those of the north are grim and severe, it has been said that those in the south and east are much softer and less dogmatic, with more of an affinity to the traditions of Georgian architecture. Can this be maintained for those in Sussex?
J.M. Richards, 'The Functional Tradition'. (Architectural Press, 1958). There is a section 'Warehouses'. Richard Storey, 'Tie Plates', Journal of Industrial Archaeology, vol. 3, No. 4 (1966).
The growth of communications, obvious economies of scale, and more lately mergers, have made the small brewery all but extinct. Thankfully, however, the buildings often have (or have had) a re-use value, and have survived. Some will disappear quite soon, and fieldwork, mainly in the western half of the county, is urgently necessary. Equipment is being collected and preserved for the Open Air Museum. There have been some very generous donations, which will be listed in the next Newsletter.
Mr. White is the co-ordinator for the survey, Inspectorate of Ancient
Monuments, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, S.W.1,
Edward Dobson, 'A Rudimentary Treatise on the Manufacture of Bricks and
Tiles', (Crossley Lockwood &Sons, 1921)
There are numerous limekilns, especially on the Downs. Many farms had their own. Some farmers developed this into a profitable side line, such as Thomas and Herbert Floate who sold lime from four kilns on Washington Bostal. The kilns survive intact, with their own wagon-loading bay. In 1808 Arthur Young commented that the Earl of Ashburnham was "the greatest lime-burner in the kingdom". In a valley near the centre of orchard Wood, Dallington Forest, there was a lime mine at the foot of an 80 foot shaft. There was an underground wagon-way, and a horse-gin for raising the barrels. The Earl shipped the lime from Hastings. Since the second half of the 19th century the two most important centres have been Amberley and Glynde. Two types of kiln will chiefly be distinguished: i, flare kilns in which there is a barrel-arched tunnel, and a chimney at one end. These were intermittent. ii, running kilns, for perpetual use. They are round, and filled through the open top, whilst the lime is taken out from the bottom.
The co-ordinator is A.W. Rule Esq., Mill House, Westbourne, Emsworth, Hants.
Brighton and Hove
The co-ordinator is J.A. Mudge Esq. , 50 Lustrells Vale, Saltdean, Brighton.
THE OPEN AIR MUSEUM FOR THE WEALD AND DOWNLAND.
INSTITUTE OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS, HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY GROUP.
F.L. Veale Esq., C.Eng., F.I,E,E„ Cornerways, 54, Friston Avenue, Eastbourne.
WEALDEN IRON RESEARCH GROUP
WORTHING HISTORIC VEHICLES GROUP.
Their Group has been founded since 1962, concentrating on early commercial vehicles at first. Lately it has branched out to include all types of early road transport. With 160 members throughout the south-east, the Group owns nearly 100 vehicles. The Secretary is A.C. Regan Esq., 101, Sompting Road, Broadwater, Worthing.
West Sussex County Council
Bognor Urban District Council
It is the third degree of permanence that is of greatest interest, but the fairly elaborate requirements are not readily available to the private individual. Such photographic records will normally consist of black and white negative and print materials (film and paper), photostat copies of drawings, and colour positives (transparencies) , together with colour negatives and prints. Many of the requirements for permanency are common to all these materials and among the more important precautions are the following:-
(a) Prints and negatives should be thoroughly fixed, and washed to the
maker's instructions. Use of a hypo eliminator is worth consideration. A spot
test for residual sulphur compounds should give a negative reaction. Black and
white prints have greater permanence if toned
(b) Storage should give protection from noxious gases, such as formaldehyde, hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, coal gas, car exhausts, mercury vapour, and turpentine and similar vapours. X-rays are also damaging.
(c) The relative humidity is important - possibly more so than temperature - and if possible should be in the range 40 - 60%, with temperatures not above 500 F.
(d) Mounted prints should be on best quality boards, dry mounted, and envelopes should be non-hygroscopic, with suitable adhesive.
For most of the above information the writer is indebted to Messrs. Kodak Ltd., Kingsway, London, W.C.2. The subject is dealt with in far greater detail in their data sheets CL-4, (The Storage of Colour Materials): RF-6 (The Storage of Photographic Materials and Photographic Records): and FY-6 (Toning Formulae), all of which are obtainable without charge from the above address.
In the case of existing photographic records - particularly black and white - which have been processed by the ordinary commercial developing and printing houses, it is a little more difficult to decide on what,, if any, precautionary steps should be taken. Probably a close examination of the negatives from time to time is advisable, and if obvious staining or fading deterioration is apparent, a further period of fixing and a very thorough washing is indicated. Provided the original negatives are intact, faded prints can, of course, be reprinted, every care being taken.
How best to store and catalogue prints is probably best left to each individual's own ideas on filing and classification: in the case of negatives a suitable album with semi-transparent sleeves is not only essential for easy classification, but necessary for the physical protection of the irreplaceable and delicate negatives.
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