Sometimes all the keyboard bashing seems worthwhile….. and so it was when I heard recently that Built to Brew had been given the Association for Industrial Archaeology’s 2015 Peter Neaverson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Industrial Archaeology. (See details here: Peter Neaverson Award.) It’s a real honour, I’m delighted; thanks to all who were part of the project, especially my publishers (English Heritage) and editorial staff, and the Brewery History Society. I’ll be collecting the award at the AIA conference in Brighton on 5th September (see the award winners). Meanwhile, any ideas on what this little watercolour sketch might be? Certainly industrial, and a bit brewery-like, but maybe an invented scene.
This is Jennymount Mill in north Belfast, or rather a small portion of it, the offices built in 1864 and the chimney behind, which I guess must be about 140 feet high (that’s about 43 metres). The linen mill itself is a complex collection of structures, but the main one is a very handsome tall block of 1891 by the architect John Lanyon. It has lovely bright red brickwork, with the round(-ish) headed windows set back in deep architraves, which broaden out – the brick courses step back – as they near the top of the window; a curious and pleasing effect. Since I was there the day following Belfast’s worst ever June storm, which was still passing through, didn’t have long to look at the gentlemen’s head keystones looking back at me from the old office. It seems they are famous names including Wordsworth, Columbus and Newton; not sure what they’ve ever done for the linen industry but one gets the idea of reflected glory. Belfast was enjoyable but windy; the scale of the structures around the docks is huge, particularly the graving dock where Titanic was fitted out. Having been at Hilden, near Lisburn, to see another mill the previous morning, only fitting I should have a pint of Hilden Brewery beer in the evening, so I chose Barney’s Brew, a wheat beer named after Bernard Hughes who built an enormous flour mill in Belfast. Excellent.