Posts Tagged ‘Industrial Archaeology’

Lumsdale and Matlock

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

We had a day before we left Matlock when we were not looking after grandchildren and went on a walk. I’d been to Lumsdale before on my own at the end of 2018, but Linda hadn’t so we decided to walk up there .

The beginnings of our Industrial revolution were driven by water power, before the age of steam, and valleys like Lumsdale were where it began. The Bentley Brook which runs down the valley is a relatively small stream, but the valley falls quite rapidly and its water flow could be harnessed by a series of mills on its descent.

Importantly, its flow was pretty reliable through the year, and could be maintained at a pretty constant level by damning its flow to build ponds at the top of the valley, two of which are still there, though the top pond above them is now dry.

We climbed gradually up the valley, going past the derelict structures of several mills. This picture is looking down from the top of the falls in the picture above, which was taken from roughly where you can just see a person in a red jacket. There are few places with any guard rails and the rocks were damp and slightly slippery, and I was hanging onto a small tree but still didn’t feel too safe, and had to move back from the edge.

Higher up things seem rather safer, and the flow of the river more a result of man-made activities, including a dam to create a large holding pond. There is a second pond a little higher up the valley, and higher still I photographed the remains of another dam, which burst in 1947 and has not been repaired. There are useful explanatory boards at key points on the extensive site, but it remains for the most part open and unchanged for people to walk around, unlike some other ‘heritage’ sites.

We walked across from Lumsdale to Matlock Bank, stopping for lunch at the Duke of Wellington on the Chesterfield Rd before going down Rockside Steps and past the old tram depot to Bank Rd and down to the river.

It wasn’t a very long walk, but was full of interest, as I hope the pictures at Lumsdale & Matlock on My London Diary show.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


GLIAS 50

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

I think I joined the Greater London Industrial Archaelogy Society (GLIAS) in around 1979, forty years ago, but it had then been going for 10 years. I’ve not been the most active of members, particularly in recent years when I’ve been too busy with other things, but over the years I’ve been on numerous walks, several outings, attended talks and lectures and even made some tiny contributions. I still enjoy reading the newsletters and occasional publications of the group.

The various walks usually took me back to areas of London I’d already explored when taking photographs, and they often made me much better informed about buildings I had already photographed. I’ve not been on any lately as they almost always take place when I’m now working. But in previous years, the walks were often followed by the publication of small walk leaflets giving the route and pointing out the IA features.

The first of these walk leaflets was for Tower Hill to Rotherhithe and this anniversary event more or less retraced its steps, led by one of the two original authors, Prof David Perrett, now Chairman and Vice-President of GLIAS. It was a walk I’d first taken – without the aid of the leaflet – in the opposite direction back in 1983 (though I’d photographed parts of the area previously) and quite a few pictures from that are now online on my London Photographs site.

This area on Bermondsey Wall has changed considerably since then, though the riverside of Wapping seen at the top of the image still looks much the same. Of course you can’t see it from this same point, which I think is now occupied by expensive flats.

Inspired by these walk leaflets I went on to produce one of my own, a folded A4 sheet printed on thin card by my laser printer, largely as an exercise in Desktop Publishing which I was then teaching a course on.

Over the next few years I made and sold over well over 500 copies, charging I think 20p for each of them, though I never got the cash for some that were sold locally in Bermondsey (it rankled though the money was insignificant.) My best paying customer was a local historian who used them for several years for the guided walks he did on the local area. I think it is now seriously out of date, but ‘West Bermondsey – The Leather Area‘ has for a long time been available as a free download. (PDF)

The first time I put images from the area on line was in a site called ‘London’s Industrial Heritage‘, designed for me by my elder son, and you can see some pictures from this area from the links on the Southwark page.

I haven’t put many of the pictures from the walk on My London Diary, but there are a few more at GLIAS 50th anniversary walk. If you live in or around London and have any interest in industrial archaeology you would find GLIAS worth joining – and it has a very reasonable annual subscription of £14 (£17 for family membership.)


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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