The Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society’s (SIAS) autumn program of fortnightly evening lectures begins on Monday 25 September with a number of fascinating topics.
On Monday there will be an online conference recalling the history of the Tay Railway Bridge, once the longest bridge in the world.
Its poor construction led to its collapse during an 1879 storm while a train was passing through, with the loss of all passengers, which ended the career of its famous designer, but was it made a scapegoat for the failures of others?
The story of Minehead’s Pier will next be told on Monday October 9 in a live meeting at Silver Street Baptist Church Hall, Taunton.
SIAS members visiting Somerton Mill. (SIAS)
It is hard to believe today that during the Second World War, cannons were positioned in Minehead Harbour.
In order to give them a clear line of sight along the estuary, the pier had to be destroyed.
It was the only pier in the country to be demolished during the war.
Other topics will cover the Manchester Ship Canal, military mining during the First World War and, finally, on Monday 6 November, the history of the Greenwich Peninsula, now home to the O2 Arena.
Since Covid, SIAS meetings have been held both online and live at Silver Street Baptist Church, a mix that caters to members and speakers from further afield, as well as those who like to meet reunite.
All SIAS conferences start at 7:30 p.m. and non-members are welcome for a small entry fee.
There is free parking during live meetings.