We’re delighted (and exhausted) to say that the 2nd International Early Engines Conference successfully took place over three days at the Black Country Living Museum from Friday 8th October to Sunday 10th October. This post is an initial opportunity to thank all of our delegates, our speakers, our host venue, and especially our Sponsors – The Association for Industrial Archaeology, The Northern Mine Research Society and The South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group.
A warm welcome awaited delegates on Friday as the Conference was introduced by Steve Grudgings and delegates received a facsimile copy of Henry Davey’s classic 1903 paper on the Newcomen Engine.
We were also fortunate (and indeed unfortunate given the cause) that the pandemic postponements had given us time to prepare an initial volume of Transactions from the earliest completed papers for IEEC2.
Ay up from Elsecar
On Day 1 we were pleased to have an update from Elsecar, hosts of the 1st International Early Engines conference in 2017. Elsecar in Barnsley South Yorkshire is home to the fabulous 1795 Newcomen engine the only such engine still on its original site. Tegwen Roberts, Heritage Action Zone Project officer provided details of the range of archaeological, creative and community engagement work which has been underway at Elsecar since our visit, including details of the award-winning archaeology and art delivered as part of the Digging the Earl’s Great Engine programme of activities around the engine’s boiler house. Work which has continued in 2021.
The talks began in the afternoon, but the morning provided time for some group tours of the replica 1712 Newcomen engine housed at the BCLM. Thanks to the Collections Manager delegates were taken behind the scenes into the engine house and the details and progress in running the engine were discussed.
To provide a flavour of the day, here we present Steve Grudging’s talk on the Travels of Pentrich Engine, now found in the Science Museum in London.