Cuffley Industrial Heritage Society

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Cuffley Industrial Heritage Society

2010 Study tour of Sheffield


Mining Museum

A short talk given by a specialist guide will be followed by a tour of the museum. This will give details of the oldest industry in the Peak District-Lead Mining. The tour will be followed by a visit to a real lead mine to find out more about the problems of working underground. Also in the museum is a large section on recycling and re-use of waste materials, especially lead. LEAD is not mined in the UK any more. The Romans exploited the Derbyshire lead mines 2000 years ago. It could be that some of this lead which they mined is still being recycled today. It is therefore very important that as much as possible is recycled. The main source of lead in recycling is found in car batteries. There are approximately 28 million cars on the roads in the UK. Each car requires a lead acid battery to power the ignition and lights. Approximately 95% of the material which is used in the production of a lead acid battery can be recycled. These are primarily ‘lead battery plates and compound’, ‘polypropylene’ from the battery case and 'sulphuric acid' which is the activator.

Lead is melted down and reformed into ingots or strip lead. It is then made into several products, e.g. strip lead for battery plates, rolled lead for roofing and general building purposes, TV screens, computer monitor screens, X Rays, and atomic reactors.

The battery cases are broken down into polypropylene chips which are heated and extruded to form a feed stock material for new battery cases, buckets, plant pots, etc.

The sulphuric acid which was always an environmental problem is mixed with limestone to form gypsum and trials are currently being conducted to use gypsum from this source to make plasterboard and other products


Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills.

Arkwright's imposing red brick Masson Mill is situated on the west bank of the River Derwent in Matlock Bath, near the south entrance to the dale. This mill was built in 1783 and is sited close to Willersley Castle, the house Arkwright built for himself within the parish of Matlock. Willersley Castle is slightly down river on the opposite bank from Masson Mill and the mill is hidden from view. Unfortunately for Arkwright, fire damage meant that Willersley was not completed until after his death.

Masson Mill was Arkwright's third mill and the photograph of it, aside, was taken looking up river. The white bar just discernible in the centre of the picture is the weir that held back the water for both the cotton mill and a nearby paper mill - which was built before the cotton mill. Slightly lower left of centre is where the mill stream returns to the river.

Strutt’s North Mill, Belper

Strutt’s North Mill is the forerunner of the modern skyscraper. The present fire-proof mill was built in 1804 replacing earlier mills destroyed by fire. There will be a DVD introduction and our guide will talk about the history of the cotton industry, the mill and the Strutt family. There will be some machinery demonstration and we will have the opportunity to understand how Strutt, in building his mill, influenced the development of multi storey buildings. Power was provided by a breast-shot water mill.


Crich Tramway Village

Nestling high up in the heart of Derbyshire overlooking the famous Derwent Valley the Crich Tramway Village is a lovingly restored period village that is also home to the National Tramway Museum and its world renowned archives.

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2010 Study tour case notes Page 2

C I H S Study trip notes