Management of Wortley Top Forge
Our priorities for Top Forge are, in this order:
- To secure and maintain the historical buildings and features of the site, especially those covered by listing and/or scheduling, but also including the general setting of the Forge
- To encourage visitors and volunteers by, amongst other things, providing proper facilities and displaying equipment & information at its best. Also providing demonstrations, activities and events as possible.
- To manage the collection of items and equipment stored or on display, that is owned by or in the custody of the Society/Trust, by collecting, storing, restoring and /or disposing of items. A focus is to be made on ‘Water Power’ and ‘Iron Working’ but not at the expense of useful engineering tools, engines, etc. that have become associated with the Forge Museum, and items that add to the general interest in the site.
- To provide a focal point for information, interest and education associated with local industries, in particular Water Power and Iron Working, but not at the expense of other important or otherwise neglected subjects.
- To work with other societies, trusts, authorities and groups of local, national and international origin, to safeguard historic items and information, and to jointly publicise the cause of Industry Archaeology and Industrial History.
Access for the Disabled to the Top Forge Site
Access for disabled people at Top Forge in the past has been more by accident than by any particular planning. This has now been changed such that all development and improvement works are adapted to provide proper disabled/wheelchair access.
A disabled toilet (with baby change facilities) is now being planned and where ever possible, wheelchair access is being made where only minor work is required.
All weather paths, suitable for wheelchairs, etc. are being planned to connect all major features of the site.
At Top Forge we try to operate a policy of recycling where ever possible. Plastic, glass and drinks cans are collected separately for commercial recycling off site. Timber and steel is reused where ever possible. All wood from trees pruned or chopped down on site, and a quantity of wood brought in by individuals, is cut and sorted. Large branches are either used as fence posts, etc. or chopped up for firewood. Small branches and brush wood is kept for the annual Bonfire Night party. Winter heating for the comfort of volunteers is provided from the firewood collected throughout the year.
All other rubbish is disposed of via the local authority.
As electric lights need replacement, we are using low energy fittings and lamps where ever possible. This, in the long run, is saving us money and reducing the inconvenience of frequently changing lamps. Mean, while in one of our storage containers, we are experimenting with a solar powered electric fan for ventilation.
Future buildings may include solar heating systems, although this is dependant on the site not being in the shadow of trees or other buildings. We are also considering using the water collected and stored in the dam for the generation of hydro-electricity, but this is a very long term project.
Top Forge is set in a rural area with much plant and wildlife diversity within the museum area. We wish to keep this but must walk a fine line between protecting the environment and properly displaying the exhibits as is expected at museum.