Testing Works calls for conservation trustees etc for care of GII* London engineering

Testing Works has asked the IHBC to post a notice to members and readers who might be interested in helping with the governance of its small volunteer-run charity, caring for and celebrating the work of Victorian engineer David Kirkaldy.

… both the building and – unusually – the working machine, are listed Grade II*….

Sarah Jarvis, Director and Trustee, writes:

… Kirkaldy’s Testing Works is a rare survivor in Southwark’s Bankside – built and opened 150 years ago this year as the world’s first purpose-built commercial independent testing works housing Kirkaldy’s patented 47-ft Universal Testing Machine. The machine is still in working order (it still pulls metal apart) and both the building and – unusually – the working machine, are listed Grade II*. Much more info here https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1385928 and here https://www.testingworks.org.uk.

Although we have pretty good knowledge on engineering, materials and education, we do not have any in-house expertise on the conservation side – and this is increasingly apparent as we are currently in lease negotiations for a new and longer lease, on more favourable terms, to ensure the Testing Works has a viable future.

… We are not an Accredited Museum but see ourselves as a heritage site and education space and hope, once the lease is secured, to build further on this with a funding application to National Lottery Heritage Fund. We know this will require a substantial understanding of conservation issues and management planning, and while not looking for a trustee to do this work themselves, we would be glad to have that understanding and expertise to help us commission (and find funding for) the necessary work in future.

We would be very pleased to talk further with anyone who… feels they could help us and would like to find out more about Kirkaldy’s and our mission and vision.

Hopefully our website is a good place to start but please do direct anyone who would like to, to get in touch with me directly.

Testing Works writes:

A small team of trustees and other volunteers continue this work, keeping the Testing Works open for regular monthly visits and demonstrations as well as encouraging experts and non-experts alike to discover this remarkable place in the heart of London’s Bankside.

Our trustees are:

  • Caroline Jones
  • Mark Whitby
  • Tim Crichton
  • Sarah Jarvis
  • Colin Jenkins

For more information see testingworks.org.uk

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