Presentations ERIH Annual Conference 2010

ERIH Annual Conference 28th October 2010
at the Catalan National Museum of Science and Technology, Spain

What is new in ERIH?
Jonathan Lloyd, UK member of the ERIH Board
Jonathan reported on the growth of the ERIH network from when it began with 3 countries (Germany, Holland and the UK) and 17 sites, to its current position with 15 countries and 150 sites. There are now 77 Anchor Points in 12 countries. ERIH now reaches north to Norway and Sweden, east to Poland and Serbia, and south to Spain, Italy and Greece. Presentation

Can Industrial Heritage be too ‘industrial’?
Camilla Lugnet, Grimeton Radio Station, Sweden
The museum at this important radio station built in 1925 and now a World Heritage Site, relied on past employees to give technical guided tours, but the museum has extended its work to embrace art and events as part of a lively programme of cultural heritage. As a result visitor figures have grown to 60 000 a year. Camilla’s message was strong: use the industrial heritage as a focus for visitor enjoyment by embracing culture in a wider sense. Presentation

Bringing a World Heritage Site Alive: The Role of the ‘Activity Plan’
Sarah McLeod and David Trevor-Smith, The Arkwright Society, Cromford, UK
As the new Chief Executive of Arkwight’s Cromford textile mills in Derbyshire, Sarah explained the criteria for Heritage Lottery funding in England for this site which was under-capitalised and still needs 21m€ for conservation. An Activity Plan is a condition of the grant – a planning approach to reach new markets. This is being done through improved interpretation (information panels, guide books, MP3 tours, website improvement) and fun activities (drama and re-enactment, and education workshops). A 2,1m€ grant has been received for this, including a 5-year volunteer co-ordinator post to manage the development and growth of the 100 volunteers. Visitor numbers are now at 100 000 a year. Sarah saw industrial heritage as a niche market and to survive this UK Anchor Point needs to attract a wider audience. Presentation

Itinéraire de la Culture Industrielle (ICI): Cross-border Industrial Heritage
Daisy van Steene and Karima Haoudy, Ecomusée Bois de Luc, Belgium
Karima gave the background: Bois de Luc established a Mining Society as early as 1685, and in the 19th century the colliery grew with integrated housing to become a small mining town. Karima described a current EU Interreg IV project (2009-2012) to work across the borders of Belgium and France, into Nord Pas de Calais. The project is modelled on the German ‘Route Industriekultur’ in the Ruhr and has the equivalent of Anchor Points and five themed routes. The information is delivered through publications, a smartphone guide, cycle tours, cultural events and exhibitions. Presentation

The mNACTEC System – Industrial Heritage Network in Catalonia
Eusebi Casanelles, The Catalan National Museum of Science and Technology, Spain
Managed from its impressive Modernism headquarters in what was once a textile factory in Terrassa, Eusebi described the network of 20 industrial sites and museum in Catalonia. This network was founded 20 years ago and fits well into the ERIH ethos. A current 1 500 000 € Catalonian project is integrating industrial heritage into tourism, which includes training courses for staff in guiding and in welcoming visitors, and a programme of tourism signing. His presentation showed examples of sites, themed routes and the tourism offer. Two of the museums were visited the following day: the industrial textile complex of Colònia Vidal at Puig-reig, and the mining museum of Cergs 1000m up in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Presentation
Open Days of Industrial Culture Rhine-Main
Sabine von Bebenburg, Kulturregion Frankfurt Rhein-Main, Germany
This Interreg II and Interreg III EU-funded programme started with a 1-day Open Day in 2003, but its popularity has grown so that the Open Days now last 6 days. The original programme included floodlighting of industrial monuments and has since developed into a major cultural event with theatre, gallery exhibition and events, helping to guarantee that the factories it is based around will not be demolished. The funding has also covered signposting and publications. Presentation

The Industrial Monuments Route of the Silesian Viovodeship
Dr Adam Hajduga, Marshal Office of Slaskie Viovodeship, Poland
Centred around Glivice and Katovice, Poland’s industrial route began in 2008 and became an ERIH member in 2010. There are 3 Anchor Points and 42 sites on the route, with 22 more keen to join. A couple of the larger sites have 40-60 000 visitors a year, the total sites welcoming more than 500 000 visitors a year. Information is provided through roadsigns, information panels and a website. Funding is from the regional government. Presentation

Energy Route of Lusatian Industrial Heritage – Tourism and Marketing Network
Antje Boshold, Internationale Bau Austellung (IBA) Fürst-Pückler-Land, Germany
Lausitz, a region south east of Berlin near the Polish border was until recently an area of opencast mining. The disused sites are filling with water and by 2015 all of the shallow brown coal pits will have flooded, so a tourism destination is being created around the lakes. It is an ERIH Regional Route. IBA is a company that creates exhibitions rather like Expos, which celebrate the change and develop the cultural offer. Among the sites is a power station at Cottbus which is now an art gallery. Presentation

The Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Foundation
Andreas Lapourtas, Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, Greece
A network of small thematic museums (for example olive pressing, marble crafts, roof tile and brickworks, and water power) is managed by the Bank Foundation and attracts 84 000 visitors a year. Capital costs came from EU funds while the Piraeus Bank covers the €1m revenue costs per year of the 7 sites, and a further 3 are at the planning stage. Presentation

Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum
Jan-Anders Dam-Nielsen, Norway
Located at Rjukan 185km south of Oslo, the museum is in the 1911 Vermork hydroelectric power station, which was the scene of several sabotage attempts during the War because the Nazis wanted the heavy water it produced for atomic research. The film ‘Heroes of Telemark’ is about this power station. It is a social history museum of the region and the industry, and a location for cultural events, attracting 30 000 visitors a year. Presentation

Cultural History in Pottery Museums
Ilse Schütz, Museo de Alfareria, Agost/Alicante, Spain
In the 1990s Ilse set up a pottery museum in Agost to capture the dying hand craft where the market for traditional storage jars and water coolers was being lost to changes in shopping habits and the availability of modern conveniences such as fridges. It is a microcosm of social history and the running of the museum has now been taken over by the community. Presentation

Houghton Visitor Walking Tour
Allessandra Brignola, Michigam Technology University, USA
Houghton was a mining town in Michigan on the Keweenaw Peninsular which projects into Lake Superior, and the site of the first copper boom in the United States. The last copper mine closed in the 1960s and with the industry gone it became an area of deprivation, but tourism is now a major employer. Alessandra described the new walking tour of the town to celebrate Houghton’s history, and a linked website which provides the map of the 15-blocks along the waterfront and shows before and after views. Presentation

Senje Coal Mine, Serbia
Borislav Šurdić, Senjski Rudnic, Serbia
The Balkans is an area so far thinly represented in ERIH, but Borislav showed some of the richness of the industrial heritage at Senjski Rudnic mine, about 150km southeast of Belgrade, which is on the ERIH Mining Theme Route. The mine opened in 1853 but reserves are worked out and decline of this 19th century industrial community is being addressed by the establishment of an ecomuseum. EU funding supported initial work in 2003-6, and a further rehabilitation project was started in 2009. Presentation

David de Haan
MC at the ERIH 2010 Conference, Terrassa, Spain

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