East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference

EMIAC 94: Electricity from Coal - 19th May 2018

What is EMIAC?

EMIAC, East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference, comprises societies from across the East Midlands region. In addition to NIAG, the other members are (see the Links page for contact details):

  • Derbyshire Archaeology Society
  • Leicestershire Industrial History Society
  • North-East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society
  • Railway & Canal Historical Society - East Midlands Group
  • Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology

Each of the societies takes it in turn to organise a Heritage Day in their locality.

Heritage Days are held twice a year and are open to anyone with an interest in IA or related historical subjects. The first meeting was held in 1970 with the idea of enabling industrial archaeologists in the East Midlands to get together in different locations to consider topics of mutual interest. No formal organisation exists; the secretaries from each of the organisations meet on a regular basis.


Notes of recent events can be found on the EMIACs Past page.


Cooling towers at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

Cooling towers at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station.


Image courtesy of Ian Mitchell.

Conference Programme

The next Heritage Day is being organised by Derbyshire Archaeology Society and will be held on Saturday 19th May October 2018 in Long Eaton.

The conference programme is:

09:30 Registration and coffee

10:00 The Early years of electricity generation

10:40 Long Eaton's municipal electricity supply

11:00 Break

11:15 Trent Valley power stations of the CEGB

11:45 Merry-go-Round coal trains

12:15 Lunch

13:15 The heritage of post-war power generation

13:45 EMIAC Business Meeting

14:00 Walk through Long Eaton Lace Factories Conservation Area and along the Erewash Canal looking at the Long Eaton electricity generating station buildings and the factories that were its first consumers.

There will be a stop for tea in one of the old lace factory buildings.

16:30 Close of conference.

Cost of event: £16.00.

Click here for the booking form.

In the 20th centuray, power stations along the River Trent were the backbone of the UK's electricity supply. They ran with a remarkable thermal efficiency 24 hours a day, burning locally mined coal, transported from thecolleries in merry-go-round trains that could be loaded and unloaded without stopping.

Today the local mines have all closed and the the few surviving power stations operate for a few hours a day to supply peak load in winter. Friday 21 April 2017 was the first coal-free day in the history of electric power generation in the UK and it is expected that by 2025 there will be no more electricity from coal in the UK.

This heritage day will look at the history of electricity generation in the Trent Valley, from the first small scale local plants of the 1880s to the CEGB giants of the 1960s.