Summer Meeting
Central Belt of Scotland

10th - 14th July 2017
4 nights, full board, from GBP 575
This tour is now fully booked
The Central Belt of Scotland is the area of highest population density within Scotland having a population of about 3.5 million and covering an area of approximately 10,000 km2, including Greater Glasgow, Ayrshire, Falkirk, Edinburgh, Lothian and Fife.

By the start of the eighteenth century, the political union between Scotland and England became politically and economically attractive, promising to open up the much larger markets of England, as well as those of the growing British Empire. Although the economic benefits of union were slow to appear, some progress was visible, such as the sales of linen and cattle to England, the cash flows from military service, and the tobacco trade that was dominated by Glasgow after 1740. Merchants who profited from the American trade began investing in leather, textiles, iron, coal, sugar, rope, sailcloth, glassworks, breweries, and soap works, setting the foundations for the city's emergence as a leading industrial centre after 1815.

The linen industry was Scotland's premier industry in the eighteenth century and formed the basis for the later cotton, jute, and woollen industries. After the cutting off of supplies of raw cotton from 1861 as a result of the American Civil War Scottish industry was forced to look in other directions. With its large stock of easily mined coal the country diversified and became a centre for engineering, shipbuilding and the production of locomotives.

This year’s Summer Meeting includes visits and talks which cover some of the history of Scottish Engineering and some modern developments.

Places are limited – book early to avoid disappointment.

Non-Newcomen members are welcome.

Some of the visits listed below are still subject to confirmation. We cannot at this time guarantee that they will all be included but we will make every effort to do so. The order of visits may also change.

Monday 10th July
Group members make their own way to our hotel in central Glasgow.

Optional afternoon visit:
14:00 Coach pick up at the hotel for the Riverside Museum of Transport.
Jim Mitchell ACR FIESiS BA (Newcomen member), will talk on bringing SAR3007 home from South Africa for the museum. The loco is a Class 15F 2-8-4 the “Mountain Class” known for their great traction and climbing ability, built by the North British Locomotive Co in Glasgow.
Followed by free time to tour the museum.

At 18:00 you are invited to attend the President’s Reception at the hotel.

Dinner with the group (included)

Tuesday 11th July
In the morning we will visit the Biggar Gasworks and the Bonnington & Falls of Clyde Hydroelectric stations.

Lunch at the Mill Café New Lanark (included)

In the afternoon we will have a specialist guided tour of New Lanark with Andy Dimond, Head of Facilities and Property, covering New Lanark's background in technology and history.

After the special tour members of the group may take the ‘Annie McLeod ride’ and/or tour the site at their own pace.

Dinner with the group (included)

Evening talk: Members of the “Celebrating Watt Group” will discuss the life and times of Scotland’s most famous engineer.

Wednesday 12th July
In the morning we will travel east for a look at the Forth Replacement Crossing for a presentation on the design and construction of Scotland’s newest road bridge (and we may be able to see something of the older crossings)

Lunch (included)

In the afternoon we will visit the National Mining Museum of Scotland and enjoy the “Pithead” Tour and the “Big Stuff” Tour which will include the most powerful steam winding engine in Scotland and hopefully the Lancashire Boilers (depending on Health & Safety!)

Dinner with the group (included)

Evening talk: Lecture by Prof. Gordon Masterton on the unique Falkirk Wheel and its associated structures and the challenges of their design and construction.

Thursday 13th July
In the morning we will visit the Falkirk Wheel including a boat ride on the wheel.

Then a short visit to view “The Kelpies” (sculptures) near Grangemouth where the Forth & Clyde Canal joins the river Carron.

Lunch (included)

After lunch you may join EITHER Group 1 OR Group 2 (first come, first served, numbers are limited on both visits) :

Group 1: A visit to the Glengoyne Distillery for a “Wee Tasting Tour” which includes a tour of the distillery and two drams!

Followed by a ride to the top of the Clydebank Titan Crane

Group 2: A visit to see the “Maid of the Loch” on Loch Lomond, the last paddle steamer built in the U.K, which is about to receive a large lottery grant for restoration and a demonstration of the last working steam slipway in the U.K.  Fully booked

Newcomen Dinner (included)

Friday 14th July

Optional morning visit:
09:15 Leave the hotel for a trip “Doon the Watter” on the World's Last Seagoing Paddle Steamer Waverley.

We depart from the quay by the Science Centre and sail down the Clyde to Kilcreggan where we will be picked up by the coach again and enjoy a ride round Gare Loch (passing HMNB Faslane, home of the UK’s nuclear submarines)

Lunch (included) in Helensburgh overlooking the Clyde

15:00 Coach drop off at Glasgow Central Station

We will be staying at the 4-star Jurys Inn in the centre of Glasgow just 5 minutes’ walk from Glasgow Central station. All rooms are en-suite, fully air conditioned with free Wi-Fi, and tea & coffee making facilities.

There is a Full Scottish breakfast buffet Tuesday – Friday mornings.
Buffet dinner Monday – Wednesday evenings. Drinks may be ordered at your own expense.
The Newcomen Dinner is a 3 course meal with 3 or 4 choices per course with wine and tea or coffee.
Please be sure to note any dietary requirements on the booking form.

The main tour starts at the Jurys Inn Glasgow with the President’s reception at 18:00 on the Monday evening and finishes after breakfast on the Friday morning.

The optional Monday afternoon tour starts from the hotel at 14:00.
The optional Friday morning tour starts at 09:15 and it is planned that the coach will drop off at Glasgow Central Station by 15:00

We leave you to make your own travel arrangements to and from Glasgow to suit your own convenience and use of alternative departure points.

Transport during the visits will be by luxury air-conditioned coach.

In general it is expected that the coach for the visits will leave the hotel at about 09:00 and return to the hotel in the evening by about 17:30 unless otherwise stated. Times will be confirmed when joining instructions are sent to you.

Start and finish times may have to be changed due to operational reasons but you will be informed of any such changes as soon as possible.

All site visits will include some walking which may include stairs - ramps and lifts may not be available.

Note: We recommend sensible, closed toe shoes without high heels for all site visits.

Detailed joining instructions will be supplied about two weeks before the start of the tour.

The cost of the main tour is £575 per person sharing with a single supplement of £180. The supplement represents the additional cost applied by the hotel for single occupation of a double room. The cost includes:
  • 3 full days packed with visits to fascinating sites
  • 4 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
  • Luxury air conditioned coach transport throughout
  • A light lunch on 3 days
  • Group dinner in a private room (3 nights)
  • The Newcomen Dinner
  • President’s Reception
  • Evening talks
  • Entrance fees, driver tip, donations and local guiding
  • Services of an experienced tour manager throughout
  • Research for the visit and professionally produced, comprehensive tour notes
Excluded are:
  • Drinks and any other expenses at the hotel
Additional cost options:
  • The Monday afternoon optional visit is £13 per person
  • The Friday morning optional visit (including lunch and Clyde Cruise) is £48 per person
All costs are in Pounds Sterling (GBP) and are based on present accommodation and transport costs, exchange rates and other taxes. Any change in these may necessitate a price change

For this unique itinerary we believe the price represents excellent value for money.


Please note that cancellation charges will apply from 15th May 2017 and, although these will be modified to the extent that costs are not actually incurred, you are strongly advised to insure against the need to cancel and to cover medical treatment and repatriation charges in the event of illness etc. Participants who do not have travel insurance must nevertheless accept full responsibility for these eventualities.

If you do not already have travel insurance then you may like to contact Avanti Travel Insurance, who specialise in providing cover tailored for those with pre-existing medical conditions and with no upper age limit. For both single-trip and annual policies, quote reference “Heritage of Industry” for a competitive quote. Website:  Email: Telephone: 0800 888 6195

Booking and management of this tour has been entrusted to Heritage of Industry Ltd which is run by Bill Barksfield, a long time Newcomen member, who will accompany the tour.

Bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to space availability. Booking is subject to a minimum of 32 people. Book as soon as possible and by 15th May 2017 to ensure a place but please feel free to enquire after that date if a place is still available.

Demand is sure to be high for this trip: Book early to avoid disappointment!

We will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the booking. An invoice for the balance of the price will be sent about 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the tour. A non-refundable deposit of £60 per person is required on booking. Bookings can be made definite only when the booking details and deposit are received and accepted in writing by Heritage of Industry Ltd. The company's standard terms and conditions apply.

The balance of the price is to be paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd on presentation of the invoice.

All monies paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd will be held, in accordance with government regulations**, in a customer protection account until the tour is complete so that your money is safe no matter what happens.

If you give an email address on your application then confirmation and all subsequent communications with you will be by email.

Payment should be made via your bank’s online banking facilities, the necessary details are shown on the booking form and in the confirmation email. Please send an email note when you have made payment. If you are unable to use electronic banking please send a sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank. There is no extra charge for using cheques at present.

We are sorry that we are unable to accept payment by credit/debit card or PayPal. Non-UK customers may like to email me about payment options.

Booking is closed

Enquiries about this tour should be directed to:
Bill Barksfield
Managing Director
Heritage of Industry Ltd, The Gables, 20 Main Road, East Hagbourne OX11 9LN 
Tel/Fax: +44 1235 352275 

** The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 3288)