Industrial Archaeology

The Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society was founded in 1969 to promote research into London's industrial past. In its early years it did lots of work recording buildings and machinery before things were closed and scrapped. Back in the 1970s and 80s it was possible for a volunteer organisation to do that. However greater professionalisation of such activities and more stringent security and health and safety issues put a stop to this in the 1990s.

GLIAS was very much involved in the original preservation of the Kirkaldy Testing Works in the 1970s and is still a major supporter of the museum. Dr Denis Smith (1930-2017) was chairman of both organisations until 2012.

Today GLIAS organises a lecture series, in the months of January to May, and walks from June to October. It also acts as a point of contact for those concerned about planning applications affecting the remaining industrial infrastructure in London. 2019 to 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the organisation but it will not be able to continue for much longer unless it can find new volunteers to take over the running.

GLIAS is part of a wider national and international community of people with similar interests, although in Britain things are more likely to be done by volunteers than in other countries where the state is expected to take a greater role.

The Association for Industrial Archaeology is the nationwide organisation for the British Isles. It works closely with heritage bodies and government as well as being an organisation for individual members. The annual conference is the main event each year, this visits a different region each year, (usually a region defined in terms of a county).

GLIAS Members looking at Maida Vale station at the start of a walk around Kilburn in June 2016.


GLIAS Bookstall at the museum 16 July 2016.