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  • in reply to: Gas production – Producer Gas #1439
    in reply to: The carbon foot print of industrial heritage #1441


    Further to your question about skills (nothing to do with fuels).

    We are proposing that technological skills should be recognised as legitimate intangible heritage alongside songs, dances and pizzas.

    There are two categories:
    1. Those requiring formal regulation and certification (usually those involving hazardous work practices).
    All certificated training must be to an accredited course by an accredited trainer from an accredited training organisation. Only large organisations can afford to follow this path.
    Other organisations are relying on “old-timers” with legacy qualifications.
    2. “Other” skills – the thousands of skills required to keep heritage machinery operating.
    These tend to be learnt from others within heritage organisations.

    Mainstream technical training organisations no longer teach heritage skills – for example panel beating is no longer taught, only how to bolt on a new panel. Some sectors, like motor vehicles, are fairly well serviced because there is a critical mass and people can afford to pay for service.
    Other smaller sectors struggle because they don’t have the volume and are sparsely spread across the country. These operating organisations are the last habitats for these intangible skills and do their best to pass them on but they are not ideal training organisations.
    Realistically, the heritage organisations are the only places with the knowledge and equipment to be able to provide practical training on heritage items but they don’t have the expertise to train effectively or efficiently. There are some examples of the two components coming together but they are large capable organisations with centralised facilities.

    The Association of Tourist and Heritage Railways Australia has, after years of trying, succeeded in having their in-house train driving (including steam) and assistant (fireman) courses approved by the national regulator.
    The Historic Aircraft Restoration Society has the largest and most complex collection of flying heritage aircraft in Australia and has teamed up with an accredited training organisation (owned by an aviation heritage enthusiast) and have become an accredited training site. They have also developed and deliver accredited training programs – they have followed the official path.


    in reply to: Gas production – Producer Gas #1440

    The link to video mentioned in my previous post didn’t show up so I am trying again.

    See the link below.

    Neil Hogg

    in reply to: The carbon foot print of industrial heritage #1062

    The situation in Australia is that the large publicly funded “institutional” museums lost interest and expertise in technological heritage long ago and now generally retain iconic items and some “moving” exhibits driven by hidden electric motors or compressed air.
    The overwhelming majority of industrial/technological heritage from vintage radios to motor vehicles , railways and aircraft conserved in operating condition is owned by individuals or community organisations. Around 500,000 people from a population of 25 million are directly involved and 99% of funding comes from members or visitors.
    The threat of external donors withholding money is not a major concern for these owners and organisations.
    The most serious concerns for operating heritage in Australia (defined as items preserved in original form and performing their original function) are:
    1. Requiring heritage items to comply with 21st century regulations. Carbon emissions will fall into this category but more pressing issues are safety standards (guards on moving parts, infant capsules in veteran cars, etc.), general environmental standards (air and water quality) and the need for infrastructure to meet 21st century load and speed standards (eg. rail and tram permanent way). A study sponsored by Alison (another topic on this forum) is aimed at investigating this situation.
    2. Increasingly high public liability insurance policies (a symptom of society’s increasing tendency to sue each other) are now the major cost for volunteer heritage organisations.
    3. Access to intangible heritage trades and skills to maintain and operate heritage items.
    Access to coal is probably the highest profile concern and the threat of a bureaucrat declaring a total ban is possible.
    Perhaps more insidious is the likely difficulty in obtaining processed mineral fuels in the future such as diesel fuel, motor vehicle and other internal combustion motor fuel and aviation fuels because it will no longer be economically viable to produce them.
    Availability of fuels is not the only concern – incandescent light bulbs, electric valves and high-quality structural timber are now becoming increasingly rare.
    It is now possible to convert a vintage Volkswagen beetle to battery/electric drive – but is an electric VW beetle really a VW Beetle?
    Finally, environmental rating systems in Australia consider the operating cost of a building in tonnes of CO2. We are quite comfortable with the concept of life-cycle cost (capital plus operating cost) of an investment measured in $, £ or € but don’t adopt the same concept for emissions costs. Too often we see heritage industrial buildings demolished and replaced with modern structures in the name of environmental efficiency without considering the “capital cost” of the concrete, steel, glass, plastics, etc. used in construction.

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