The Industrial Heritage of the East Midlands

Trail prepared and written by East Midlands Museum Service. Images courtesy of EMMS. | 07 May 1999

The museums in this trail have been arranged alphabetically, by place in county order. The selected museums have collections that illustrate best the industrial heritage of the East Midlands. The trail is theme based and it is not suggested that they be viewed in the order presented here.

The National Tramway Museum (a designated museum)

A fully operational vintage tramway offering visitors tram rides through period townscape to open countryside giving a detailed experience of the tramway heydays. Visitors even use genuine old pennies and ha'pennies to pay for their journey.

Derby Industrial Museum

The Museum is on the site of a former silk mill, Britain's first factory. Today the museum houses collections that examine the local industries of textile, lead, coal, iron and clay as well as the finest collection of Derby-built Rolls Royce aero-engines.

Caudwell's Mill and Craft Centre

A grade II* listed 19th century water-powered flour-mill with early roller milling machinery, interpretative exhibitions and old stable courtyard with working crafts, mill and gift shops.

Caudwell's Mill, Rowsley, Matlock, DE4 2EB Tel: (01629) 734374

Peak District Mining Museum

Large exhibition on 2500 years of lead mining with displays on geology, the mines and the miners, their tools and engines. Climbing shafts make it suitable for children as well.

Snibston Discovery Park

Science and industrial heritage museum with colliery tours, over 40 "hands-on" experiments, nature reserve, sculpture trail, gift shop and cafe. New attraction "Plugged In", with hair-raising electricity experiments to solve.

Abbey Pumping Station

A Victorian sewerage works built in 1891 which is home to working steam engines. Displays including public health, electricity and early cinema, all of which have interactives. New exhibition "Transport of Delight" opening in Sept.

Bellfoundry Museum

John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Freehold Street, Loughborough, LE11 1AR Tel: (01509) 233414

This museum forms part of the John Taylor Bellfoundry where bells are still manufactured today. The museum illustrates the history of bells and bellfounding. Displays explain the manufacturing process, the means by which bells are hung and details about their decoration.

Great Central Railway

The whole of this magnificent preserved railway, one of the largest in Britain, forms a living museum with steam-hauled passenger trains operating between restored period stations. Memorabilia in the museum illustrate the past glories of railway travel.

Great Central Station, Great Central Road, Loughborough, LE11 1RW. Tel: (01509) 230726

The Five-Sailed Windmill

A six-storey working windmill situated on the edge of a market town. Still in commercial use, visitors can see the stone-grinding process. Large range of organic flours, cereals, home-made cakes, preserves, pottery and gifts on sale.

The Five-Sailed WindmillEast Street, Alford, LN13 9EQ Tel: (01507) 462136

Museum of Lincolnshire Life

The history of agriculture, the single most important factor in the history of Lincolnshire, is one of the stories told by the collections of this museum. Artefacts range from a First World War tank to working steam engines, ploughs and agricultural equipment.

Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery (a designated museum)

Here you will find an outstanding collection of footwear through the ages and details of the Leathercraft industry in Northampton. The museum also tells the story of Northampton from earliest times to the present day using objects, sound and film.

Canal Museum

Traditional decorated items, model boat horse, cabin replica, boat engines, photos illustrating history of Britain's canals and waterways.

Canal Museum,Stoke Bruerne, near Towcester, NN12 7SE. Tel: (01604) 862229.

Newark Air Museum

Aircraft, parts and memorabilia. Book and model shop, exhibition hall. Examples of Anson, Prentice, Swift, Provost, Vulcan, Vampire, Meteors, Varsity, Sycamores manufacture.

Green's Mill and Science Centre

A fully restored working windmill with displays on the history of mills and milling. There is also an interactive science centre on site.

The Museum of Nottingham Lace

The city of Nottingham is famous for its lace industry and the Museum audio tour explores its history, the people, fashions and the machines. In addition there are Lace machine demonstrations and a self-guided audio tour of The Lace Market is also available.

The Museum of Nottingham Lace,3-5 High Pavement, The Lace Market, Nottingham, NG1 1HF. Tel: (0115) 989 7365.

Papplewick Pumping Station

A steam pumping station powered by James Watt's steam engine built in 1884, one of the finest, working period waterworks in Europe, with wonderful Victorian architecture, 7 miles north of Nottingham.

Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum

Experience the sight and sound of working machinery and gain a fascinating insight into the life and work of a 19th century framework knitting community. The collection of handframes can be seen working daily and there is also a collection of circular sock knitting machines.

An open-air museum of industrial railways with particular emphasis on local ironstone quarry railways. There is a steam-hauled railway passenger coach on a half-mile demonstration line.

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