Damien Bruneau: "No buildings were harmed": royal dockyards' industrial heritage at risk

 By their early industrial history and their, often exceptional, dimension, the British royal dockyards – and buildings that are part of them - compose a specific landscape and an almost invaluable industrial heritage. Responsible for manufacturing, maintaining and repairing ship, they also provide operational support to the Royal Navy, including supplies. Furthermore, these military sites have known and still know development cycles different from the other industrial activities. However, royal dockyards' industrial heritage is confronted to equivalent issues as the following ones: neglected heritage or museumfication, demolition or re-use, burden or urban regeneration’s tool…

This study will concentrate on Royal Navy’s industrial legacy in Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth, in particular their historic area. Contrary to the former royal dockyard near the Thames, the two others are still active as “Her Majesty’s Naval Bases” with variable intensities. This choice should permit an analysis in time and space of multiple interactions between industrial past and contemporary military challenges. The urban environment, from some 70,000 inhabitants for Chatham to approximately 250,000 for Plymouth, puts partly these sites' industrial heritage at risk.

This maritime heritage, by his variable protection, conservation and conversion, generate competitions and conflicts because it is located at the crossroads between, among others, urban, industrial and military topics. For example, waterfront tourism and maritime industry do not seem easy to reconcile, especially when it comes to military secure access. These evolutions contribute to the implosion of the industrial landscape, to make it much less homogeneous: abandoned buildings, underused or on the contrary so multiple use that they no longer remind anything of their past. The emergence of economic dynamics from this outstanding industrial heritage, on which UNESCO and Historic England have focused, can hardly prevent some buildings from being “harmed”.


Damien Bruneau, agrégé de géographie (2011) est professeur en lycée (Ille-et-Vilaine). Ses recherches s'orientent en particulier vers le Royaume-Uni : d'une part sa  représentation géographique à travers Agatha Christie ou James Bond et, d'autre part, sa géohistoire militaire depuis les projets français d'invasion au Moyen-âge jusqu'à l'architecture actuelle des bases navales britanniques. Elles portent également sur la reconversion patrimoniale dans des petites et moyennes villes françaises.


Isabelle Cases: Post-industrial landscapes on film: British specificities

This paper will address the question of post-industrial landscapes in recent British film - documentaries, features and series. The decline of traditional British industries has provided a large number of filmic explorations which often focus on the social cost industrial communities had to suffer. However, in the 21rst century, it is obvious that post-industrial landscapes have also become interesting in themselves to photographers and film-makers at the same time, as new theory on the aesthetics of ruins (Edensor, 2005) or decay (Trigg, 2006) has developed. Through a number of chosen examples, I intend to focus on recent British film production in order to approach recent perceptions and reappropriations of post-industrial landscapes.

How did such landscapes evolve in their filmic uses and representations from imposed and endured backgrounds to favourite settings or even sometimes new types protagonists in the film action, as post-industrial areas tended to become popular film locations? I will first be particularly interested in the (re)definition of the notion of ‘post-industrial landscape’ as used by film professionals, critics and viewers. On the other hand, I will try to analyse the way in which these landscapes can become heritage through filmic representation and how the characteristics of this particular process of patrimonialization can be outlined. The study of industrial landscape on film, though still largely unexplored,  opens very interesting perspectives on the relations and tensions  between industrial settings and creativity, decline and regeneration, representation and transmission, national and international heritage.

Isabelle Cases – I am a senior lecturer in British history and culture and currently head of the English department at Université de Perpignan Via Domitia (UPVD). My phd was entitled L'archéologie industrielle et la survivance des valeurs victoriennes (1998). My research has ever since focussed on the debate on architecture and industry in the Victorian period as well as on the question of industrial heritage in the UK in the 20th and 21st centuries. One of my recent articles on the subject is « From Victorian Buildings to the Victorian Built Heritage: Victorian studies and the Re-interpretation of 19th-century architecture», Cahiers victoriens et édouardiens, 83 Printemps 2016. I have organized several pluridisciplinary daily conferences in Perpignan on the subject of industrial heiritage, among which Fringe Lands, Regeneration and Singular Landscapes(June 2013) and Industrial Heritage and the New Generations (April 2017). I am also one of the organizers of British Screen Film Festival in Nîmes and have in recent years been very interested in the representation of the Victorian period and industrial settings on film.


Joana Etchart: Contrasting the memorials dedicated to the Titanic in Belfast and Liverpool

Since the 1980s, industrial heritage has greatly contributed to tourism in Belfast and Liverpool. In both cities, the industrial past has left obvious traces, especially in the waterfront area, where shipyards have now fallen into disuse. Such vacant spaces are now gradually transformed into new places, starting with the regeneration of the Albert Dock in 1990s in Liverpool and the more recent creation of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

Interestingly, heritage has been instrumental in the provision of these new spaces through the reference to the Titanic – through the Signature building in Belfast and the Titanic hotel in Liverpool. The Titanic, as a historical and fictional object, has efficiently helped to build a sense of place by enhancing industrial and maritime aesthetics. The former even proposes to re-live the Titanic ‘experience’ by walking the decks of the ship and by exploring the shipyards where it was built. These large-scale representations of the ‘story of the Titanic’ have come to dominate the urban landscape, particularly as they are intended to attract tourists and investment into these cities.

However, many other memorials dedicated to the Titanic also exist in the surrounding urban landscapes, albeit less visibly so. What sort of narrative do they convey in contrast to the dominant representation?

This paper will offer to study some memorials which were erected in memory of victims immediately after the disaster, such as Belfast Men memorial (1920), the Engineers and Musicians memorials in Liverpool (1912) and the Thomas Andrews hall in Comber (Co. Down, 1915). They tell stories of men – depicted as ‘heroes’ – who were emblematic figures of the industrial society of the 1900s and 1910s. What do they say about the way in which the industrial society was perceived at the time?

In 2012, for the 100th anniversary of the sinking, new memorials were erected praising the Workers (Titanic Workers, Belfast, 2012) and Yardmen (Yardmen 401, Belfast 2012) of the shipbuilding industry. All the victims were also listed in bronze plaques in a new Memorial Garden in Belfast City hall. Do these offer a reinterpretation of the heritage of the shipbuilding industry in the city?

By looking at these different urban reminders, this paper will thus examine the multiple, co-existing narratives on the Titanic and on the industrial character of the two cities.


Joana Etchart est Maître de conférences en études britanniques et irlandaises à l’université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4). Elle est membre de la SOFEIR, la SAES et ECPR (European Consortium of Political Research). Ses projets de recherche portent sur l’étude des politiques publiques dans le domaine de la réconciliation en Irlande du Nord, avec un intérêt particulier pour les programmes développés par les autorités municipales et la société civile. Elle s’intéresse également aux projets de développement urbains dans les villes portuaires post-industrielles au Royaume-Uni et en Irlande, plus précisément à Belfast et Liverpool.


Laurence Gouriévidis: Safeguarding Ayrshire’s coalmining heritage: the case of Barony A Frame, Auchinleck

Scotland’s pride in her industrial history is displayed through an array of heritage institutions and sites, two of which achieving international accreditation - New Lanark’s 18th century mill village and the Forth Bridge, respectively included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2001 and 2015. More specifically, the preservation of Scotland’s coal mining past, with which this paper is concerned, has been the focus of considerable heritage work, be it through national institutions such as the National Mining Museum, located on the site of Newtongrange colliery, in Midlothian - ironically opened in 1984 on the year of the miners’ strike, three years after its closure - or more local initiatives.

The focus of this paper is on the conservation and memorialisation of the mining past of the Barony colliery in Auchinleck, East Ayrshire, closed in 1989. The collapse of the mining industry and the closure of major pits and operations in the 1980s not only left deep scars on the region’s landscape with its disused open cast mines, but also on the social imaginary of many communities, whose identity had intricately been woven with the experiences, traditions and expectations of the mining world – working men’s clubs, miners’ rows, industrial relations. From hives of industrial activity, many Ayrshire villages have become socially deprived zones, earmarked for European social fund.

In 1997 the Barony A Frame Trust, a charitable organisation initiated by the local community, was established to restore the ‘A Frame’, an iconic steel headframe and landmark dominating the surrounding countryside, and transform it into a heritage and memorial space dedicated to mining communities and to the miners who lost their lives in a mining accident in 1962. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the wide-ranging and often ‘dissonant’ (Turnbridge and Ashworth, 1996) aspirations attending the heritagisation of this industrial structure. It will bring to light the multi-faceted functions of heritage work and the inevitable conflicts this produces. In Auchinleck, heritage is essentially used as a resource in memory work with its emotional and personal entanglements, for economic regeneration through the promotion of tourism or cultural activities, and for social purposes not least to promote local knowledge and the sense of a shared past through education and the involvement of youngsters.

 Turnbirdge J.E. and Ashworth, G.J., Dissonant Heritage. The Management of the Past as a Resource in Conflict, 1996, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.


Laurence Gouriévidis (Ph.D. St Andrews, Scotland) is Professor of Modern British History at Clermont Auvergne University, Clermont-Ferrand (France). As a cultural and social historian she focuses on the interaction between history and memory, looking at the ways societies construct their past, their heritage and the discourses surrounding these processes. Her research explores the memorialisation of the Scottish past (in particular - but not exclusively -the Highland Clearances which mainly affected Northern Scotland) in museums, commemorative practices and monuments. She has also examined the ways in which museums have engaged with the history of migration. Her publications include The Dynamics of Heritage: History, Memory and the Highland Clearances, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010; Museums and Migration: History, Memory and Politics (ed.), London: Routledge, 2014.


Paul Jones: A Theoretical Framework for Successful Urban Heritage Regeneration Projects Involving Private Sector Development Companies

The use of heritage buildings in regeneration projects has been a key urban regeneration initiative in the United Kingdom promoted by central government. This is due to their potential to regenerate inner-city sites and thus stimulate economic activity in the immediate locality. Recent changes to governance have resulted in a lack of funding for such heritage led projects creating a plateau in public and private sector investment into heritage led regeneration projects.

The research is concerned with heritage-led regeneration projects in the North West of England between 2008 and the present day. This thesis develops a theoretical framework to encourage private sector development companies to become involved in urban heritage regeneration projects. It provides an examination of successful regeneration projects and evaluates the value of heritage regeneration. A critical analysis of current governance of urban heritage regeneration is presented along with the identification of key opportunities and constraints, affecting participation in these projects by private sector development companies.

Adopting a pragmatic ontological stance and using the research approach of mixed methods research; a single embedded case study is provided. This is pursued by semi structured interviews with practicing professionals based in the north-west of England, triangulated with documentary reviews and a fixed online survey, as methods of data collection. The data has been analysed using qualitative content analysis and findings presented as a theoretical framework. The framework has been verified by completing a review of existing theory in order to corroborate the findings and place the thesis within the existing body of knowledge.

The paper identifies that undertaking heritage regeneration can generate financial and economic value to both public and private sector participants. However the current governance of regeneration is affecting engagement, namely a lack of funding and assistance from the public sector to bridge the conservation deficit. The implementation of effective evaluation and measurement of heritage regeneration would establish the true value of the heritage dividend.


Paul Jones is currently a research practitioner working with Dr Julian Holder, University of Salford and is in the final stages of completing a professional doctorate at the School of the Built Environment, University of Salford. He is also employed in a development management capacity at an urban regeneration company, Urban Splash, since 2002.


 Anne-Lise Marin-Lamellet: The East End Regeneration in British Cinema (1962-2012)

 British cinema has often relied on its best-known housing estates to give an immediate sense of place to viewers and portray its industrial history (Red Road, Heygate). The East End has therefore unsurprisingly been chosen by many films to represent working-class London throughout the decades. Its evolution can be traced from the old terraces symbolising a vanishing traditional working-class community through the slum clearance and construction of new estates associated with the rise of a so-called affluent working class in the 1960s to their subsequent decay and regeneration in a context of deindustrialisation since the 1980s.

Interestingly, most films present a rather critical view of these mutations. Characters’ feelings are quite mitigated, mingling a sense of loss, possibly nostalgia, resignation and/or anger. Each time, the change is seen as a sort of aggression towards the working-class residents who are deprived of their habitat and as such their identity, especially as later cases of regeneration are always synonymous with hyper-gentrification.

Even more significantly, when films include the figure of a property developer, the latter is always presented as a shady dealer if not an outright gangster, the embodiment of Thatcherite housing policies although sometimes with some qualms (as the gangster who rose from the gutter ironically destroys what he wants to save). The message is therefore clear enough. Through the ongoing gentrification of these areas, public authorities and the private sector have jointly declared a sort of class war to Eastenders in a process of social cleansing (though the sanitisation of the area is only superficial since regeneration projects fuel on crime/money-laundering).

However, British cinema could be accused of relishing in ambiguity since its concurrent depiction of unregenerated estates can of course be interpreted as a call for action (i.e. resident-friendly regeneration) but sometimes verges on scaremongering thus giving credit to the social mixing theses put forward by gentrification supporters. Sink estates have been used as location for many urban and horror films like the hoodie cycle. Moreover, period pieces and genre films build on and indulge in the infamous reputation of the East End as a nest of hooligans and/or gangsters (mainly due to the Krays) although there has recently been a string of gangster “Mockney” comedies whose success signals a potential fixation on an archetypal image of an “eternal” East End.

So there seems to be no alternative for the Eastender/working class hero (either embourgeoisement or proletarisation) as films seem to deny the very concept of industrial heritage other than through the production of period pieces about a now vanished world.


 Marin-Lamellet Anne-Lise, MCF (Anglais) à l’UFR d’Arts, Lettres et Langues de l’Université Jean Monnet – Saint Etienne. Membre du Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Etudes et de Recherches sur l’Expression Contemporaine (CIEREC, Equipe d’accueil n° 3068).

Thèse soutenue en 2011 : « Le Working Class Hero ou la figure ouvrière à travers le cinéma britannique de 1956 à nos jours »                                                 


Dr. Heike Oevermann:   Best-Practice in Heritage Management: Joined Conservation and Urban Development: The Case of the UNESCO Industrial Complex Zollverein, Germany

 The integration of concerns of conserving a listed heritage site with urban development planning is one main task of heritage management and is assessed through best practices. My contribution suggests definition and documentation of an exemplary industrial heritage management, which is not worked out so far. It will be introduced an approach to define categories identifying best practice, and a collection and critical reflection of best practices, displaying the heritage management of Zollverein. The contribution will include findings and experiences from the national and international discussion on heritage management, especially from UK. Additionally, extension option with regard to further industrial heritage sites will be considered.

As a scientific feedback it is aimed to deepen knowledge about (sustainable) urban transformation processes through the industrial heritage conversion. Specific objective is to research into how to integrate heritage management and (sustainable) urban development planning in the context of urban transformation processes.

Case study is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Industrial Complex Zollverein. Since the IBA Emscher Park (1989-1999) Zollverein has been holding a pioneer role in setting standards for industrial heritage management from a national and international point of view. There can be found a multi-perspective constellation of actors working on heritage conservation and urban development. The conversion is deeply interwoven with various programmes and instruments in urban and regional planning. Actually, I am running a two-year research project on the introduced subject which is founded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). First findings will be presented.


 Dr. Heike Oevermann is researcher in urban and heritage studies. She works at the Georg Simmel-Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, where she coordinates a two-year research project on conversions of industrial heritage sites in Europe (founded by the DFG). Her academic background is architecture and heritage studies. Her main interest in research is: urban built history, heritage conservation, industrial heritage, urban transformations, and community involvement.


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