Industrial Archaeology Recordings

Putting industry on video - an archive for the future

Snippets

Short Clips from the Archive

Snippets
Short Clips from the Archive

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Over the years we have recorded a wide range of interesting crafts, industries and activities. Some are released as Productions or Compilations, but these are but the tip of the archive. We have a number of fascinating recordings that are relatively short but deserve a wider audience, so we decided to release them online as short two-minute "Snippets from the archive". We hope you will find them interesting - if you do you can see more clips online on our Vimeo channel.

 International Early Engines Conference 2020 (IEEC2)  - Sadly this conference at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley has had to be postponed until 2021 due to the current Coronavirus situation. IEEC1 in 2017 at Elsecar heritage Centre was very enjoyable, so we have put together some snippets to keep you going until next year - recapping on IEEC1 and featuring the BCLM Newcomen engine. Enjoy!

Snippet 22: Bratch Pumping Station

The 1895 Bratch pumping station, Staffordshire was built by Bilston Urban District Council to supply water to Goldthorn Hill reservoir, Wolverhampton. The grade 2* listed building has exuberant gothic fantasy castle pinnacles and Moorish brickwork decoration showing the justifiable civic pride of the time. It houses 2 large inverted vertical triple expansion steam engines 'Alexandra' and 'Victoria', both had Corliss valves with their trips driven by eccentrics.

Building of the engines was started by James Watt & Co. but completed by Messrs Thornewill & Warham of Burton on Trent. They operated for 65 years raising water from 50m deep boreholes in the Bunter sandstone aquifer until replaced by electric pumps in 1960. In 1991 a team lead by Len Crane restored 'Victoria' for Severn Trent Water. 'Alexandra' is still in situ but minus many fittings and is displayed painted in red oxide.

This Snippet shows 'Victoria' in steam for the first time since restoration during an open day in December 1995.

Recorded 1995, 696 x 566 SD

Snippet 21: Elsecar Newcomen Engine

The 1795 'Great Engine' is the only Newcomen-type atmospheric beam engine in the world still in its original location. It pumped water from Elsecar New Colliery from 1795 until 1923. In 1836 a new beam was cast and parallel motions fitted at both ends.

In 1972 it was scheduled as an ancient monument and thanks to Barnsley Museums and the Heritage Lottery Fund the engine was restored to working order in 2014, it is now operated hydraulically in a very subtle way.

Recorded 2016, 1920 x 1080 HD

Snippet 20: IEEC1

The first International Early Engines Conference IEEC1 was held at The Ironworks, Elsecar Heritage Centre in 2017. The theme was "Thomas Newcomen and colleagues’ achievements untainted by the smokescreens of Watt”.

There were several visits to relevant local sites during the conference including Elsecar Heritage Railway, the preserved 1795 Newcomen-type atmospheric beam engine, Hemingfield Colliery and Wortley Top Forge where some 'late' engines were seen!

This Snippet shows some of the highlights of the visits.

Recorded 2017, 1920 x 1080 HD

Snippet 19: BCLM Newcomen Engine

The world's only full-size working replica Newcomen atmospheric steam engine is at the Black Country Living Museum in the English Midlands.

We made a very detailed HD recording of the beam engine, starting with setting and lighting the fire in a cold boiler, and thoroughly checking all the equipment. Then when steam was raised, the engine was operated manually as must have been done with the earliest prototypes.

Technical details of mechanisms, the hot and cold water circuits and the techniques and tricks needed to work with it safely and efficiently were seen, including how to shut down the engine quickly in the event of low water in the boiler!

This Snippet is a short edited excerpt from the introduction section of our 46 minute DVD "On Mighty Arms"

Recorded 2009, 1920 x 1080 HD

Snippet 18: Ironbridge Stone

In 2000 the stone abutments of the world-famous 1779 Iron Bridge in Ironbridge, Shropshire needed restoration. It was decided to use exactly the same stone as the original, which had been quarried very near by - high up on the south side of the gorge.

We were asked to record the work, and this excerpt is a glimpse of the specialist masons in the quarry and under the bridge, using a clever mixture of traditional and modern techniques.

Recorded 2000, 702 x 576

Snippet 17: Watson Shaft Exploration

In 1997 the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club winch built by Club President Alan Taylor was used for the 44m descent of Watson's Shaft at Tankerville lead mine. We got off the winch on a pile of debris next to a level which we explored.

When we checked the shaft 15 years later, what we had stood on had dropped into the rest of the shaft and revealed the water table! Using an underwater camera housing also built by Alan Taylor, we found what was below the surface.

Recorded 1997, 698 x 566

Snippet 16: Ramsden Shaft Descent

The I.A.Recordings MineCam followed the first winch descent by the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club of the 120m deep Ramsden shaft at Bog baryte mine in 2007.

At 74m depth, dangerous protruding timbers had to be removed before exploration could continue to reach stopes and levels connected to the Boat Level (a deep drainage level for several mines in the area).

This is a short edited excerpt from the DVD "Ramsden Shaft (MineCam No.6)"

Recorded 2007, 700 x 572

Snippet 15: Röhrigschacht copper slate mine

Röhrigschacht in Wettelrode, Saxony-Anhalt is in the middle of the historic mining landscape of the southeastern Harz. Copper slate and schist was mined in this area from 1200 to 1990, with over 1,000 shafts in the Mansfeld depression and 270 shafts in the Sangerhausen district around the mine.

A mining museum since 1987, an extensive underground tour was added in 1991. Visitors are taken down a 283m deep shaft, then ride an old mine train for a 1,000m to see mining tools in operation and a variety of workings.

The 1888 mine headframe is one of the oldest in Europe still operating.

Find out more about Röhrigschacht Wettelrode mine on their website.

This is a short edited excerpt from just the Röhrigschacht section of our 115 minute long DVD "Historic Mines of the Harz" based on visits to many sites in 2003

Recorded 2003, 720 x 576

Snippet 14: Isle of Man Railways

In the Isle of Man, one cheap ticket lets you use four different historic railways in series!

We board a steam train in Port Erin and change to a horsedrawn tram in Douglas which links to the Isle of Man Electric Railway to Laxey. We continue to Ramsey, then return to Laxey to take the Snaefell Mountain Railway to the summit and back.

There's a surprise peek at the second Laxey waterwheel (Lady Evelyn) on the way. This wheel also known as the Snaefell Wheel is on the washing floors in Laxey Glen Gardens, near the famous Laxey wheel.

Recorded 2006, 1920 x 1080

Snippet 13: Rammelsberg Mining Museum

Rammelsberg silver, copper and lead mine worked continuously for over 1000 years.

This is a short edited excerpt from just the Rammelsberg section of our 115 minute long DVD "Historic Mines of the Harz" based on visits to many sites in 2003

Recorded 2003, 720 x 576
[Snippet taken from "Historic Mines of the Harz"]

Snippet 12: Two Ruhr Blast Furnaces

On a visit to the Ruhr, Germany, in 2002 we were privileged to see two working blast furnaces beside the Rhine in Duisburg.

This Snippet shows just a few of the highlights, including skips being hauled up to charge a furnace, work around the casting floor to prepare it for casting - including warming the channels with small fires, and views around the works.

Recorded 2002

 InterNAMHO April 2020  - if like us you were disappointed at the cancellation of the Conference in Cornwall due to Covid-19 and missed your mining fix we've make a few snippets of Cornish mining activity from some of our productions and compilations. Hope you enjoy them.

Snippet 11: Wheal Jane Processing Mill

During the excellent InterNAMHO mining history conference in 2000, we visited the famous Wheal Jane mine for a tour of the site and the intact processing mill. The highlight was a demonstration of tin smelting in the assay office.

This is just a tiny edited highlight from the Wheal Jane section of our 4½ hour 3-DVD set 'Mongst Mines and Mine Explorers. There is a great deal more about the mill and the rest of the Wheal Jane site.

Recorded 2000, 704 x 566
[Snippet taken from Disc 2: "Machinery - mine equipment"]

Snippet 10: Geevor Mill

In 1987 we visited Geevor tin mine in Cornwall while it was still working and had a normal guided tour which included the processing mill.

It wasn't a planned visit so we only had a Hi-8 camcorder, but the result is a historic recording of the site as it was over 30 years ago.

This is just a tiny edited highlight from the Geevor section of our 4½ hour 3-DVD set 'Mongst Mines and Mine Explorers.

Recorded 1987, 704 x 566
[Snippet taken from Disc 2: "Machinery - mine equipment"]

Snippet 9: South Crofty deep mining

In 1993 during our visit to South Crofty tin mine in Cornwall we were lucky to see the mine still working at depth (following an exciting descent in the cage - see Snippet 7, below).

This snippet includes rocker shovels working at the 400 fathom level 730m below adit, and a ride on the conveyor belt back to the 380 fathom level.

This is just a tiny highlight from the 4½ hour 3-DVD set 'Mongst Mines and Mine Explorers.

Recorded 1993, 704 x 566
[Snippet taken from Disc 1 "Underground Mine Tours"]

Snippet 8: Blue Hills Tin Streams

Blue Hills Tin Streams in Cornwall gathers alluvial tin ore from the Cornish coast and uses a mixture of ancient and modern techniques to dress, smelt and refine the tin to make Cornish jewellery. We last visited the site in 2007.

This is an excerpt from the Blue Hills section of the 126 minute DVD 'Mongst more Mines.

Recorded 2007, 720 x 576 (16:9 anamorphic widescreen)

Snippet 7: Decending 700 metres below South Crofty

In 1993 we visited South Crofty tin mine in Cornwall and were able to descend the shaft to see some of the underground operations. This snippet shows part of the exciting 3 minute descent in the double-deck cage to the 380 fathom level and is a tiny highlight from the 4½ hour 3-DVD set 'Mongst Mines and Mine Explorers. You can find out more about this prodcution on the 'Mongst Mines and Mine Explorers webpage.

Recorded 1993, 702 x 566

[Snippet taken from Disc 1 "Underground Mine Tours"]

Snippet 6: Babbacombe Cliff Railway

A seaside funicular railway linking Oddicombe beach to Babbacombe, operating since 1926. Recorded in 1993 just before track upgrades.

Since we recorded the Cliff Railway it has undergone a couple of refurbishments with new cars, track, doors and control gear. It now has a different livery and works daily (Coronavirus permitting!).

Recorded 1993, 698 x 570

Snippet 5: Tydd Gote pumping station

Crossley-Premier KO4 heavy oil engines powered the Gwynnes axial-flow pumps at Tydd Gote in Lincolnshire from 1938. They lifted water from the North Level Main Drain into the River Nene to help keep the Fenlands dry.

Before the station was converted to electricity, we recorded the remaining three engines in 2007 driving their pumps at full load. One of the engines has since been dismantled and taken for preservation to the Internal Fire Museum of Power in Ceredigion.

Thanks to John Clifton, Paul Sharman, Andy Rutter, The North Level Internal Drainage Board and www.internalfire.com

Recorded 2007, 1440 x 1080 HDV [Snippet taken from 58 minute version]

Snippet 4: Sentinel steam wagon centenary run

Views of the final stage of the run of Sentinel steam wagons from Glasgow to Shrewsbury to celebrate the centenary of Sentinel in August 2005.

Alley & MacLellan (founded 1875 in Glasgow) began making steam powered road vehicles in 1905. Their chain driven 5 ton vertical-boiler wagon with a 2-cylinder undertype engine similar to those seen in this Snippet was first produced in 1906. In 1915 they opened a new factory in Shrewsbury, Shropshire where steam wagons were made under a new company name "Sentinel Waggon Works Ltd".

At the end of the run the steam wagons and drivers posed in the archway at the Shrewsbury Sentinel works for photographs - just as the wagons did when they first left the factory.

Recorded 2005, 1440 x 1080 HDV [Snippet taken from 9 minute version]

Snippet 3: Filling a coal mine from inside a house!

What do you do when your house is suffering from mining subsidence due to shallow coal workings and the drilling team can't reach them?

Answer: Simply bring the drilling rig into the hall, then drill and grout the workings from there!

Recorded 1991, 690 x 570 4:3 SD [Snippet taken from 26 minute version]

Snippet 2: Casting a Roman lead pig

Following research by members of the Shropshire Mines Trust a project was devised to cast a reproduction Roman lead ingot (a pig) based on the dimensions and weights of Roman ingots found in Shropshire over the years.

Recorded 2003, 720 x 576 4:3 SD [Snippet taken from 28 minute version]

Ingot details:

118mm x 550mm x 175mm (4.6 x 21.6 x 6.9 inches)
Weight: 190lb (86kg)

Inscribed: "IMP HADRIANI AVG."
Emperor Hadrian (Reigned 10 August 117 – 10 July 138)

Snippet 1: Riveting a steam roller boiler

In 2010 the Aveling & Porter 10 ton "BS" model steam roller dating from 1914 needed some refurbishment work. Part of the work undertaken by owner Ian Cooper was to replace the boiler barrel with a new one.

We were lucky to be able to go along and record some of the hot riveting during the fitting of the new boiler barrel to the firebox. To complete the restoration over 150 rivets had to be fitted to attach the boiler barrel, tubeplate, cylinder saddle, the boss for the injector check valve and the strengthening plate around the manhole!

Recorded 2010, 1920 x 1080 16:9 HD [Snippet taken from 16 minute version]

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