Week 2 // Analytical // History is written by the victor
Although the site has no national historical significance, the area itself has seen dramatic change. Maps from around 1870 show that the site originally hosted a scythe workshop, Smithy Wood Bottom. Power was provided by a water mill that was fed from Smithy Wood Dam. This wheel possibly drove a drop hammer in the workshop, however that can’t be confirmed. In 1920 it was joined by abbeydale iron foundry, sited where the current Robert Sorby workshop resides.
The area drastically changed during the 1900’s with the introduction of engineering works. These eventually took over the entire site, with the demolition of the scythe workshop occurring sometime in the 1950’s.
It’s a shame that something specialist like a scythe workshop was razed to make way for generic engineering works. After the lecture about Portland Works and Mesters works working hard to rekindle old manufacturing techniques, it seems it would be beneficial to try and champion that kind of production in this site. Perhaps it could be recovered?
Week 2 // Propositional // Energy production // WIP
In response to the old Mester energy production, where a collective of works use a singular source of power, I propose looking to the historic precedent of a water wheel. However with a 21st century acknowledgement..
Week 2 // Experiential // It sounds like // WIP
Reviewing my material from previous visits, I remembered I had recorded various elements around the site. Listening to them again refreshed my memory as to how industries the site is. It would be interesting to see if people can guess where the sounds were from..