Category Archives: Shows and Exhibitions

British Industrial History in Sculpture

Look out for these striking works of art around the UK, built by the English sculptor Robert Erskine. Combining a passion for engineering and industry with his talent for creative thinking, he has fabricated his own masterpieces around the country to represent our country’s great industrial achievements.

1. Dead Blow (2011) in Openshaw Manchester, UK. To represent the Nasmyth steam hammer first produced on this site.

Nasmyth Hammer 1Nasmyth Hammer 2

 James Nasmyth with the steam hammer he invented. Picture taken in 1856.

2.  Roll Down (1996) in Bilston, Midlands, UK.  Sited on the former Bilston Steel Works No. 1 Furnace. To represent the rolling process of a steel bloom and reflect the thriving steel industry of the Black Country.

British Steel 1

British Steel 2

Nile Street steel works, Birmingham. Picture taken c1905-20.

3. Gloria (1996) in Canley, Coventry, UK. Situated on the historic site of the Triumph cars facility. To mark the centenary of the British car industry and tribute the technique of the wheeling machine used to curve body panels.



An example of an advert for the Triumph Renown showing the signature curves of the wheel arches.

Visit the sculptor’s official website for his full portfolio.

Early Brewer’s Exhibitions on Grace’s Guide

S. Briggs and Co Picture a great hall lined with stands of bottling machinery, cooling contraptions, and brewers lorries, glass enamelled steel tanks and ornate water heaters. This was a common sight in the earlier Brewer’s Exhibitions of Great Britain held at the end of October each year.

The origins of great beer competitions and exhibitions date back to the late 1800’s when brewers, maltsters, wine merchants and distillers came together and showed off their best beer, latest innovations and finest apparatus.

An exhibition strictly of a trade character organised in 1879 in the Agricultural Hall, Islington was to become an annual event for many years to come,  attracting competitors including S. Briggs and Co,  Linde British Refrigeration Co and Leyland Motors.

We have a few of the earlier exhibitions covering the unfolding contraptions of the early competitors on the site, some particularly detailed, in the following Engineer journals:

1879 Brewer’s Exhibition  (p 259)
1893 Brewer’s Exhibition  (p 411)
1898 Brewer’s Exhibition (p 451)
1909 Brewer’s Exhibition (p 421)

Soda Water Machinery