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James Capper objects at KTM
Part of Merge Festival 2013

three objects smallThree prototype objects after treatment in the machine
wiggles 1One pulled during the arts festival
wiggles 2Another pulled
BrokenThis one broke when pulled

A happy group of visitors

Wansdsworth Historical SocietyA group from the Wandsworth Historical Society 3rd Nov 2013

Spotted in Prices Street
1st November 2016

Thrust SSCThrust SSC on a sponsorship outing

News 31 May 2017

Museum Activities

31st May 2017: Evening opening for London History day. We had around 25 visitors and did a machine run.

May 2017: As part of the MERGE Festival a very special event was held at Kirkaldys from 17th to the 21st May. See the MERGE website for details.

April 2017: Museum ground floor ceiling reboarded and painted. Ground floor displays reorganised.

20th November 2016: Some Work to upgrade the fire protection facilities was done by a construction company, Laing O'Rourke. We thank them for their contribution to the future of the museum.

16th July 2016: The museum opened as part of the Festival of Archaeology with GLIAS having a bookstall. There were a number of visitors but as far as we could tell they were just people who were passing rather than anyone who had come because of the festival advertising.

15th June 2016: The BBC TV programme on Karl Marx was shown on BBC4. The museum was used as a background location at about 20 min in, with symbolic work being done by two of the volunteers in a Victorian setting. Note that there is no known historical connection between the Kirkaldy Testing Works and Karl Marx.

5th March 2016: We have held the first training session for 6 new volunteers.

5th December 2015: The Museum is used as a background location for a section of the recording of a BBC TV programme on Karl Marx.

October 2015: Merge Arts Festival. The museum hosted a specially created artwork 'Chain Reaction' by TROPE. There were well over 1000 visitors in the 4 weeks with more than 150 on the final day.

7th June 2015: The highlight today was a visit by members of the Ordinary Bicycle Club riding Victorian Penny Farthing type machines, and a rare early safety bicycle.
Some pictures here.

3rd May 2015: A big thankyou to GLIAS for opening the museum because the usual KTM crew were not available.

20th September 2014: London Open House day, lots of visitors as always.

June 2014: Piano Smashing - photos and link to the video.

October 2013: Merge Arts Festival. James Capper stretching objects - photos and link to the video.

26th September 2013: Concert by OSCILLATORIAL BINNAGE "Music at Breaking Point" Watch a video.

The Future Of The Museum

28th November 2015: We have a new lease so are secure until June 2024.

June 2014: Listing upgraded to Grade 2* by English Heritage.

Kirkaldys is unique - there are no other preserved Victorian testing machines in their original building, in full working order and with all their original fittings.

If anyone is able to help with funding or fund raising then please get in touch at info@testingmuseum.org.uk


January 2017: Southwark Blue Plaque

Kirkaldy's Testing Works reached the final four in the search for the 2016 'Southwark Blue Plaque'. The nomination for Kirkaldy's, was made by the former borough archaeologist, follows Historic England's recognition of the huge importance of both the Testing Works and the Universal Testing Machine by upgrading the listing to Grade II*.

Southwark Blue Plaques celebrate being "Voted by the people" and recognise the lives and importance of a huge diversity of people and places across the borough. The scheme is administered by Southwark Heritage Association and Southwark News.

We came second. Thankyou to everone who voted for us.

1st December 2016: The museum is saddened to hear of the death of Stephen Humphrey, former Southwark Borough archivist and good friend to the museum over many years. More about his life can be found here.

10th May 2014: Two page feature article in New Scientist magazine.

1st December 2013: David Kirkaldy was featured in the BBC program "Britain and the Sea". Unfortunately there was no mention by David Dimbleby of the fact that Kirkaldy went on to become a pioneer of materials testing. Also the name is not pronounced like the town in Fife. It should be "Kir kal dy" Not Kir cuddy.

We have since contacted The Scottish Maritime Museum at Dumbarton but the material shown belongs to the National Maritime Museum. Dumbarton have no Kirkaldy items.

However Glasgow Museums have a small (but very good) collection of about 30 drawn and printed plans from Robert Napier & Co, in addition they have yard note/sketchbooks for individual vessels, smaller drawn plan sections and vessel specifications. Of these items only one drawing and one collection of plans are directly attributable to Kirkaldy.

Surrounding Area

11th February 2016: Better Bankside and Southwark Council marked the completion of the works in Prices Street they coordinated. The museum was open too, throwing our doors open literally to make the most of our new accessible entrance.

3rd January 2016: Prices street pedestrianised area is now complete with benches, trees and floor lettering with 'Kikaldy's Testing and Experimenting Works' and 'Facts Not Opinions'. The cobbles in front of the double doors into the museum have been laid and raised to make a level entrance. The museum may open this in good weather.

'Kikaldy's Testing and Experimenting Works'

'Facts Not Opinions'

Click here to see 1977 and 2016 pictures.