Oxford House Industrial History Society
Oxford House Industrial History Society was formed in 1971 following a course of lectures given by the late Ray Bowen on industrial archaeology at Oxford House Adult Education Centre. The museum displays its collection of artefacts, memorabilia and photographs illustrating some of the industrial history of the area: coal mining, the iron industry, tram roads, railways etc.
The Society meets every Friday evening :-
September to May, in the museum, 7.00pm for 7.15pm
May to September, visiting places with an industrial history background.
Members have a general interest in all aspects of industrial, social and local history (although we are not a society specifically for the study of local history). Members' contributions are informal short talks on any interesting subject, maps, documents, photos or slides.
Visitors and friends with an interest in industrial history are always very welcome.
Download our Membership Form here :- Membership Form
Some of the excellent talks we've had
When the evenings draw in, we've been very lucky to have enjoyed many entertaining and informative guests over the years. Here's just a few of our recent visitors and their topics.
Dualling the A465, Gilwern to Brynmawr with Phil Baker
How do you get a dual carriageway through the narrow Clydach Gorge full of ecological and historic sites? Phil Baker provided the answer as he described the modern road engineering used on this project. From the practical road-building through the social elements to the historic issues (how do you move a graveyard?), Phil explained it all with photos, artist's impressions and maps.
Clifton Rocks Railway with Peter Davey
Did you know that there was a funicular railway at Clifton? Well, actually, we did - but this was a fascinating insight into a unique Bristol transport system with a very varied history. Peter guided us through the railway's use as a people-mover to it's later life as 'Broadcasting House' and finally it's current derelict state. Peter's talk certainly whetted our appetite for more - so much so that he has kindly arrainged a site visit for the Summer!
The Bristol Coalfield with David Hardwick
Staying in the West Country, David Hardwick surprised us with the extent of the Bristol coalfield and particularly how much of the infrastructure still exists. Illustrating his talk with many photos and maps, he shoed us how the collieries connected with the river and railways and how many modern routes had their origins in C19th coalmining.
and the fascinating places we've been.
Spring has sprung and it's time to put our wet-weather gear on to venture beyond the museum to see some of the sites and sights on our doorstep. There are a great many 'leftovers' of the Industrial Revolution dotted around the country and we had better visit them before supermarkets or housing swallow them up.
Abercanaid – A canal village
Luckily the weather is dry for our visit to Abercanaid, astride the canal just outside Merthyr. This small mining village has escaped the redevelopment projects and retains it's very old terraces and rows, along with an engine house, a shaft, a short stretch of the canal and an incline from Gethin Colliery. Modern industrial relics from the Hoover factory contrast strongly with this much older site. Finding an old boiler once used as an air-raid shelter is quite a novelty!
The Blaen-y-Cwm Railroad
A few of us tried this walk last year in the rain so this year our return visit was at least dry. We followed the route of a narrow-gauge steam railway up past Tirpentwys Colliery and then onto the Blaen-y-Cwm Railroad to probably the last working small mine in Monmouthshire - Black Barn. The working area is easily traceable and a brief reminder of what was once a coomon sight in the valleys. Retracing our steps, the Railroad ran along the hillside to Pantygasseg where it crossed the ridge to an incline to Old Furnace, all to be explored another day.
plus the interesting conferences we've organised.
South Wales and West of England Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference, 2017
The Society was very pleased to host the 48th South Wales and West of England Regional Industrial Archaeology Conference, held at the Llanhilleth Miners Institute, Llanhilleth, Blaenau Gwent.
The conference took place on April 29th 2017 and was attended by over 110 guests who pronounced it a great success. Here is a link to the
Llanhilleth Miners Institute
The Delegates gather
The M4 River Wye bridge
Hughesovska before the Welsh
Hughesovska after the Welsh
Clydach Gorge tramroads
The Spiteful yesterday
The Spiteful today
Our display stand
The display hall