Events Programme

2019/20 Winter Programme starts on 11th October: History of Brickmaking in Bedfordshire

Winter Programme 2017/18


13th October
History of Railway Signalling Control Centre Development
Ian Mitchell
At the end of the 19th century there were over 10,000 signal boxes controlling the railways in the UK using lever frames mechanically linked to points and signals. The introduction of electrical technology allowed larger areas to be controlled from a smaller number of locations. This talk will describe how the method of control evolved during the 20th century from levers to push buttons to computer workstations. Ian Mitchell worked on some of these developments at British Rail’s research department and its privatised successor.
14th October
EMIAC 93 - Engineered in Northampton
The programme looks at three Northampton-based companies in the engineering sector from three diff erent centuries. Nineteenth century iron founder EH Barwell’s products can still be found in southern England. In the twentieth century the Express Lift Company’s lift s were to be found across the world and their innovative testing tower is once again being used for development work. Alongside their train care facility, Siemens have recently opened a new training facility for the railway engineers of the 21st century. Contact the organisers direct - see the EMIAC page.
10th November
NIAG Annual General Meeting
this will be followed at approximately 7.45 pm by
History and Renovation of Wicksteed Park
Tracey Clarke
Charles Wicksteed developed his play park at Kettering in the 1920s, with its novel playground equipment, its lakeside railway and its water chute (recently listed by Historic England). This talk will tell the history of the park from the time Charles Wicksteed came to Kettering and will include recent developments to modernise the park as well as future plans.
1st December
Roger Brown
As we approach the festive period, what better reminder of our childhood than a talk on toys by Roger Brown from Cogenhoe who had a career in the toy industry. His visual aids will be a tableful of toys from the past, many familiar, some not so, including one or two made in Northamptonshire.
12th January
Members' Evening
Our annual presentation by members of NIAG will as usual cover a diverse range of topics. There should be something to suit everyone! Members wishing to make a contribution are invited to contact Peter Perkins beforehand.
9th February
History and Operation of Steam Trams 1880-1926
Tony Taylor
The first attempts to adapt street (i.e. horse) trams to steam power occurred in both Britain and abroad in the 1850s but the railway acts were not amended to allow such vehicles to operate on public roads in the UK till the early 1880s. By the 1890s 563 steam powered trams were registered in Britain on 51 different routes. However few survived beyond World War 1 and the last to operate a regular service was the Stony Stratford & Wolverton tram in 1926. Our talk will look at history and development of this now almost forgotten mode of transport in Britain and elsewhere and the particular history of the Stony Stratford tram.
9th March
All Change at King's Cross and St Pancras
Terry Waterfield
NIAG has had three visits to look at the changes that have been, and still are, taking place to redevelop the former goods yards and surrounding areas of these two London railway stations.  This illustrated presentation will describe the loss or reuse of transport infrastructure and the progress to date in bringing new business and dwellings to the area.

Winter Programme

The Committee has organised a number of talks for the winter months catering for a wide range of interests.

These meetings will be held on a Friday evening in the Garden Room at St Matthews Church Hall, off Kettering Road Northampton (car park entrance in The Drive). Meetings commence at 7.30 pm and are free to NIAG members.

We welcome visitors to all our meetings; there is a charge of £2.00 per person per meeting.

Potential new members are always welcome at any of these meetings when you can join on the night.


Archived winter programmes


Summer Programme

Details of the Summer Programme will be available in the new year (April).


Archived summer programmes

For a summary, including images, of the summer events click here for the Photo Gallery page.

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