Brian Draper – Ironbridge and its Environs.
94 Members of the History Group were present at the March meeting for Brian Draper’s illustrated talk on Ironbridge and its environs. Brian, a well known local historian entitled his talk: ‘Coalbrookdale and the Ironbridge area’.
Brian encouraged us to visit the whole World Heritage Industrial Site area and not just the large Blists Hill Victorian Town. He pointed out many other interesting sites connected with the Industrial Revolution and its pioneering families, the Darby’s of Coalbrookdale and the Reynolds among others.
He explained how the importance of the River Severn, the burgeoning canal system, the vital raw materials found locally and the technology and skills of the local population all contributed to the explosion of pioneering techniques known as ‘The Industrial Revolution’. The geological and geographical features of the Severn Gorge area, between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth, also played a significant role.
Brian gave a lively, down-to-earth presentation with a great deal of humour. He used maps, anecdotes, diagrams and photos to illustrate his talk, whilst also promoting the whole Heritage area as a significant tourist attraction. He certainly whetted many appetites to make a visit to this very interesting region.