Our Industrial Past is a companion to the author’s 2015 book Britain’s Industrial
Heritage, and is presented in the same format, exploring an eclectic mix of
themes covering many aspects of the technologies which powered Britain’s
This time John Hannavy explores domestic topics such as ‘Building Britain’,
‘Putting a Roof over our Heads’, and ‘All Mod Cons’ looking at stone masonry,
brick-making, slate cutting, the art of the thatcher, the histories of fresh water,
flushing toilets, gas lighting and electricity.
Maritime themes including ‘Great Ports and Safe Havens’, ‘The Welcoming
Light’ – the story of the lighthouse and lightship – and the fishing industry pay
tribute to the importance of Britain as a sea-faring nation, while finally, ‘The Arms
Industry’ explores the defence of Britain on land, sea and in the air, from the Mary
Rose to the 1960s.The great weapons systems developed in the early years of the
20th century get special mention – the world’s first tank was built in Lincoln just
over a century ago in 1915.
Once again, a detailed Gazetteer at the end of the book lists many of the
visitor attractions which preserve and celebrate our history and the book is
illustrated with an engaging mix of John Hannavy’s own original photography
and historic photographs and postcards of these industries at their peak.
John Hannavy is a writer, photographer, photographic historian and incurable steam enthusiast.
A retired academic, he now devotes his time to exploring, photographing and writing about how
the advance of technology changed Britain.
This is his fifth book for Halsgrove, following Preserved Steam-Powered Machines,
Edwardian Mining in Old Postcards, The Once-Ubiquitous Paddle Steamer and Britain’s
Imprint: PiXZ, ISBN 978 0 85710 100 6, 210x148mm, 144 pages, Published May 2016.