Vacancy: Head of Engineering, The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (IGMT) are currently advertising for a Head of Engineering.

The IGMT are “looking for someone to lead the Engineering team in providing both a reactive and proactive, multi-skilled maintenance service on all plant, equipment and mechanical exhibits at Blists Hill Victorian Town. They will be responsible for providing an efficient Engineering function, ensure all projects, inspections and maintenance are delivered on budget and on time to the highest standard.”

More details can be found at: Careers at The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Big Stuff 2022 is open for registrations – in person and online!

Big Stuff 2022 will be hosted in Seixal in Portugal (across the Tagus River from Lisbon) with the theme of “Working together? Conservation and safeguarding of industrial and technology heritage”.  

The conference will be set in and around the Seixal Ecomuseum (Ecomuseu Municipal do Seixal) and the amazing Vale de Milhaços Gunpowder Factory with its operating steam equipment, water cooling fountain and beautiful forest setting. The organising committee would love to see you in person, but in case you cannot travel at this time there is also an option for online participation.  

To register:

To view the program:

Vacancy: Assistant Curator, The British Motor Museum

The British Motor Museum, Gaydon is looking to recruit an Assistant Curator on a full-time, permanent basis.

As Assistant Curator, you will join the small, proactive and friendly curatorial team in a role that involves everything from the documentation and collections care of the Museum collections, dealing with enquiries, to helping research and deliver exhibitions and audience programmes. The Trust is looking for someone who will share our passion for bringing the fantastic collections even more to life and is willing to be hands-on in this varied role.

More details can be found at:

Vacancy: Engineering Coordinator, Black Country Living Museum

The Black Country Living Museum is currently advertising a vacancy for an Engineering Coordinator. The description is as follows:

37.5 hours a week (full time), £28,000 p.a., permanent.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with solid practical project management skills to join our Site Conservation, Transport & Maintenance Team as an Engineering Coordinator. 

If you have a passion for heritage engineering and have strong experience of coordinating schemes of work, this is the role for you. You will have the opportunity to help shape the Museum’s strategic approach to its historic mechanical, industrial and operational collections as well as coordinate the operational maintenance of working exhibits, which range from steam boilers to coal fired ovens.  

Specifically you will:

  • Coordinate the work delivery of significant programmes of repair, restoration and conservation around the Museum’s historic site.
  • Determine specifications and tender content for the use of external contractors and suppliers.
  • Consider financial resources and the challenges of working in a visitor environment, when prioritising projects.
  • Develop optimum standards and working practices for the care, maintenance and ongoing use of relevant collections.
  • Ensure that relevant collections are maintained in-line with safety management systems, health & safety policies and external regulations as required.
  • Maintain accurate electronic inventories of equipment, materials, and service records.
  • Provide regular and timely written communication on the progress of works to appropriate stake holders

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and organised individual with proven project management/coordination experience. Strong all round communication skills are critical as you will be required to make and present your recommendations. You should also be adept at working independently but ensuring clarity of your outputs.

Whilst a specific engineering background is not essential you must have some experience of working in an industrial setting and be able to evidence your engineering skills and knowledge.

To apply for the role, read the job advert here.

Call for Papers : Big Stuff 2022 Conference

The Big Stuff 2022 conference will be hosted in Seixal in Portugal (near Lisbon)  and online, with a focus on the Seixal Ecomuseum (Ecomuseu Municipal do Seixal) and the amazing Vale de Milhaços Gunpowder Factory . 

Big Stuff are currently calling for abstracts on the theme “Working together? Conservation and safeguarding of industrial and technology heritage”.

Abstracts are due by 5th February 2022 at this link:

Abstracts are invited that address the safeguarding and conservation of industrial and technological heritage from different perspectives, such as:

i) In-situ industrial heritage conservation processes;
ii) Experiences and methodologies for operational conservation of industrial objects;
iii) Agents and processes for safeguarding and conservation;
iv) Training of professionals in conservation of industrial and technological heritage.

For more information, contact details, and registration visit the Big Stuff 2022 website:

IATM Webinar- How do you decarbonise your museum?

The International Association of Transport and Communication Museums (IATM) is hosting a webinar titled ‘How do you decarbonise your museum?’ on the 27th January at 14:00 (GMT).

The webinar ‘seeks to demystify what decarbonisation means for our museums, with the help of Mott Macdonald, global engineering, management and development consultancy, who made their own organisation carbon neutral in 2020.’

Further information on the webinar can be found on the IATM website.

Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage Survey

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Attitudes and Skills for Heritage (DASH) survey is currently open.

The DASH survey asks UK heritage organisations: 

  • What key digital attitudes and skills their staff and volunteers already have. 
  • What new uses of digital technology they would like to explore. 

DASH data is collected via a short online survey sent to all staff and volunteers. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and the resulting data helps organisations to identify opportunities to improve digital ways of working. It also directly informs work by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Heritage Alliance to shape future support for the sector.

On completing the survey, organisations receive a free report – including benchmark data – to help them understand how best to take their use of digital forward. 

Heritage organisations can sign up to DASH until Wednesday 17th November, with survey responses accepted until Sunday 21st November.

Sign up your organisation here.

Memorial for Andy King

As many in the world of industrial maritime and transport museums may know,  Andy King, Curator at Bristol Industrial Museum and M Shed Bristol from 1981 to 2021 and vice-chair of ABTEM died in July this year following a three-year battle with cancer. An informal memorial for Andy is to be held in the top floor event suite at M Shed in Bristol on Sunday September 26th between 12.00 – 16.00.  

Although numbers are limited, there are some spaces left if you’d like to attend.

There will be some speeches, but the majority of the event will be an opportunity for you to talk, and find out about his professional achievements, his work with other heritage organisations, his work with our local community and other cultural events in the City, as well as what a great bloke he was. Please bring a photo or object that reminds you of Andy and that you are prepared to share with friends and strangers.

Please click the Register button below to go to Eventbrite and obtain a ticket.

Big Stuff Webinar 27th September- The Pros and Cons of Wet Steam Lubrication

Join us in helping the UK’s Science and Industry Museum (Manchester) work out whether wet steam lubrication is right for their steam engines!  

Register here.

The Details 

The UK’s Science and Industry Museum, Manchester (part of the Science Museum Group) has asked the Big Stuff community to help them work out an innovative plan for operating their steam engines in their newly designed Power Hall. They want to create a display that is exciting, informative AND environmentally friendly. However, their steam engines use large quantities of water which get contaminated with lubricating oil and have to be jettisoned as waste. So they are interested in using wet steam lubrication for the engines, but want to how it works in practice and whether it will translate to the museum situation successfully. 

Whether you have experience with this method or are just interested in knowing more please join us for a great debate. More information is here: 

Schematics of the proposed gallery plan and steaming plan are available at: 

Money & Medals Network Zoom Event : Planes, Trains And… Numismatics?

The Money and Medals Network is hosting a Zoom event titled Planes, Trains and… Numismatics? on Wednesday 29th September 2021.

The Money and Medals Network exists to build and develop relationships between UK museums with collections of coins, medals, banknotes, tokens and associated numismatic objects. Training days featuring seminars led by contributors from local and national museums are being provided across the UK with a view to sharing knowledge and expertise. Numismatic support networks can then be set up as a result of these training sessions.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Money and Medals Network is now running online training sessions on a variety of topics.

Session moderated by Henry Flynn, the British Museum

Booking is essential – to register email

Programme of events:

10:00 – Welcome and introductions

10:10 – Introduction to transport-themed numismatic collections and their storage, Henry Flynn, Project Curator: Money and Medals Network, the British Museum

10:45 – Coventry Transport Museum numismatic collection, Megan Nass, Curator (Cycles & Transport Objects), Coventry Transport Museum

11:15 – BREAK

11:30 – An introduction to London Transport Museum and its numismatic collections, Ellie Miles, Documentary Curator, London Transport Museum

11:45 – Coins, medals and the Brunels: telling the story at the SS Great Britain, Tim Bryan, Director of Brunel Institute, SS Great Britain Trust

12:15 – BREAK

12:30 – National Railway Museum numismatic collection, Ed Bartholomew, Lead Curator, National Railway Museum

13:00 – Magnificent mini medals: a community engagement project during lockdown, Daniel Ball, Outreach and Engagement Officer, Army Flying Museum

13:30 – Q&A, Final chance for questions/comments based on the morning’s events

14:00 – END