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This newsletter showcases STICK resources on the conservation of large objects.

The next newsletter deadline is 1 July 2021.

STICK object conservation tips

STICK draws members attention to training resources on minimal conservation intervention tips for objects. STICK obtained generous funding from the Museums Galleries Scotland Skills Development Fund to deliver a three day industrial object conservation training course. This was hosted National Mining Museum Scotland by in 2017. The course was aimed at non-specialist museum staff and volunteers who have been tasked with caring for industrial collections with complex needs, and who do not have routine access to conservators and conservation resources.

The aim was to upskill and give confidence to these individuals to enable them to better care for their collections and have confidence in managing and documenting preventative conservation projects in their organisations. Twelve participants from organisations across Scotland took part in the course, which was delivered by Jim Mitchell of Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd. Some of the time was in the classroom discussing what conservation means, ethics, hazards, safety and techniques, among other topics. However, the majority of the course was spent in National Mining Museum Scotland’s large object store where the group got hands-on with seven different items from the collection, applying learning directly, receiving direction from Jim and documenting their work on paper and through photographs and films. Click on the arrow below to see the STICK videos on the work carried out on the seven artefacts at the National Mining Museum Scotland. They cover evaluation, unseizing engine, description of conservation work processes, documentation and more.

Go to: Industrial Object Conservation Training | STICK ( for more information

Recognising Materials

Jim Mitchell leads a discussion on how to recognise and deal with engineering materials found in and on conserved objects at Recognising materials | STICK ( This session was a follow up to STICK’s Industrial Object Conservation Training.

Collecting, Curating and Conserving Large Objects

STICK and Industrial Museums Scotland (GoIndustrial) prepared a paper in 2014 on the Collection, Curatorship and Conservation of Large Objects.

This paper attempts to cover in the briefest form what is a large and disparate subject. However, it is hoped that it can stimulate a new confidence among museum staff and collectors in dealing with their large object collections; both on display and (often) in storage.

Go Industrial: Support Industrial Museums!

Now that restrictions are easing, make it a goal to visit your local industrial museum to show your support. Everything from coal to shale, to ships and looms, there is a world of industrial goodies awaiting you. See GoIndustrial for all you need to know for a ‘rivetting day out’.

The Institution of Engineers in Scotland was founded in 1857 in Glasgow for the encouragement and advancement of engineering science and practice. It merged with the Scottish Shipbuilders Association in 1865 and adopted the name The Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. At its AGM last year the membership voted overwhelmingly to revert to the Institution’s original name, reflecting the very broad range of engineering disciplines represented by its members. It has developed a new website to reflect its new identity. The new website will allow it to promote events from other engineering institutions - very much in keeping with the original aims of the institution.

Odds and Ends

Colonial Connections & North East Scotland Online Conference | University of Aberdeen. This two-day virtual conference, 17-18 June, seeks to explore how individuals from the North East of Scotland participated in Britain’s growing empire during the 18th and 19th centuries. The event will bring together people engaged in rigorous and innovative historical research on the region’s links to colonialism. Bookings link:

Dumfries Fountain was installed in 1882, replacing an earlier fountain which celebrated the piping of clean water into Dumfries after a cholera epidemic in the mid-19th century. Cast at the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, the fountain has fallen into disrepair but is set to be conserved and repaired. See here for more details.

Download information on Scotland’s World Heritage Sites, including the Forth Bridge and New Lanark here.

There has been a fire at the empty former Arrol-Johnston car factory (opened 1913, Truscon/Kahn system) at Heathhall in Dumfries. A Scottish example of the ‘American Daylight Factory’ and a ‘Highland Park in miniature’, it was the best surviving complete UK example of the Trussed Concrete Steel Co. of Michigan, USA system. It was hailed as ‘epoch-making event’ which established Scotland ‘in the position of being a permanent [motor car] producer’ (The Motor, August 1913) on its opening. The Truscon system was utilised by Packard and Ford in Detroit and was enthusiastically taken up by Scottish car manufacturers, as it afforded a cheap, flexible and well-lit production space. Heathhall and the other car factory buildings in Scotland using the system before World War 1 and after, such as the Albion Motor Company in South Street, Glasgow, and Park’s Motor works, Glasgow represented a remarkable period of ambition in Scottish car-building history.

The Brunel Museum, London is looking for Trustees. See here for more information.

The Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology starts 17th July 2021 with its theme ‘Exploring Local Places’: see Welcome | Festival of Archaeology ( for more information.

The STICK Committee.

From all at STICK - KEEP SAFE!

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