The Association was founded in 1908 the inaugural meeting being held on March 26th of that year at which a provisional committee was formed. By May 11th the Constitution and By-laws had been agreed, a committee formally elected and Mr W.F.Pettigrew installed as the first President of the Association. Subscription were set at 7/6 per annum for ordinary members and 5/- for associate members.


Summer visits were arranged to the Kellner-Partington Paper Pulp Co. and to Horrocks Crewdom & Co. cotton mill in Preston and lectures on "Transport", "Fuels", "Factory Costs", "Modern Foundry Practice", "Boiler Explosions", "Boilers and Their Diseases", "The Manufacture of Weldless Steel Tubes", "The Use of Cast Steel in Locomotive Engines", "The Engineering Text Book" and "Some Problems in the Application of Electricity to Warships" had all been arranged for the winter season. Meetings were held in the Technical School Lecture Theatre in the still existing building on Abbey Road. Papers were also given on "The Direct Current Electric Motor" and "Special Gear Formula", lantern slides were much in evidence.


The Association in its early years published Transactions covering the lectures given and some additional papers. On May 20th 1909 it was resolved that 250 copies "of a quality similar to that of the Transactions of the Mechanical Engineers" be produced with "at least one well bound copy" in addition for the use of the Association, a copy would also be presented to the Barrow Public Library, where a full set from 1911 to 1936 i.e. volumes 3 to 22, is still held. so far as we know there were no more after 1936. (Does anyone know of copies of the first Volumes i.e. 1 and 2 for 1909 and 1910?)


By 1910 the Association was exchanging papers with the other major institutions in the UK and lectures were presented on motor cars, diesel engines, gun sights and recoil mechanisms, battleship protection etc. all of an advanced nature for the time. Membership in the 1909/10 season was 160.


Papers continued to be given on a wide range of subjects, it is intended to produce a complete list in the future, a number on electricity and the first one on "Wireless Telegraphy" on March 14th 1913. Summer visits to firms, laboratories etc. were also continued.


In June 1914 it was proposed to hold a Social Evening to which ladies should be invited, sadly due to the intervention of the Great War all meetings for lectures etc. were suspended, the council meeting about once a year to keep things ticking over though in 1915 the Association was involved with the North East Coast Institution of Engineers in promoting the recognition of Naval Engineers so that they gained equivalent status to officers in other branches of the service.


Meetings were resumed in the autumn of 1919 and a Social Evening with a Concert and Progressive Whist were held on October 3rd with the President providing the refreshments and the Council the prizes. The format of lectures in the winter months and visits in the summer was continued. Subjects ranged from Air Ships and Electric Welding to Heavy Artillery in Mesopotamia. A series of two lectures in each session aimed at Apprentices was inaugurated.


At the Annual General Meeting on September 24th 1920 the subscription rates were raised from 10/- to 15/- for Members and from 5/- to 7/6 for Associate Members. Printing 250 copies of the


Transactions would cost £100 leaving about £26 in the account. Difficulties in persuading all members to pay their subscriptions were evident and the cost of a stenographer to record lectures and discussion afterwards could no longer be tolerated, the Lecture Hall was still available at 5/- per night. It was agreed to give a prize for the best essay by an Apprentice on one of the lectures given for their benefit.


1920 December 10th. "The Problem of the Gas Turbine"


1921 March 4th. J.Pilling, Apprentice won the Sir James McKechnie prize for the best essay on the paper "The Art of Moulding" by Mr J.Parker.


1921 September 27th. It was reported that the lady collector had been very successful in getting members subscriptions.


1921 December 9th. "The Training and Duties of Naval Stokers"


1922 February 10th. "The Reception of Radio Telegraphy" many members stayed behind to hear the Paris time signal at 10.44 p.m.


1922 August 30th. Annual General Meeting subscriptions were reduced to 10/- for adult members and 5/- for juniors.


1926 June 11th. The number of copies of the Transactions was reduced to 100 due to cost. The winner of the Apprentice essay prize from a lecture on "The Making of a Steel Rail" was A.D.Osborne.


1927 November 18th. "The Generation of Power by Mercury Vapour and Steam". This sounds like fun!!


1928 October 12th. H.Taylor wins apprentice essay prize.


1928 November 9th. Mr B.N.Wallis of The Airship Guarantee Co. Ltd lectured on "Airships".


1930 January 10th. "Some Solved and Unsolved Problems Relating to Mercury vapour Power Plants".


1930 March 14th. Mr J.S.Redshaw on "Safety of Life at Sea".


1931 October 9th. "The Gyroscopic Stabilisation of Ships" at which film was used to illustrate the lecture.


1931 November 13th. A Faraday lecture on "The Life and Work of Michael Faraday" was given by D.Jardine Professor of Electrical Engineering at Liverpool University. The Apprentice Essay prize, based on a lecture "The Semi-Diesel Oil Engine", was presented to A.Sanchez.

1933 October 6th. Annual General Meeting there are as ever problems with collecting outstanding subscriptions.


1933 October 13th. Apprentices Essay prize to J.R.Marsh on the lecture "Non-Ferrous Alloys".


1934 October 5th. Annual General Meeting, Mr H.A.J.Stanton treasurer since 1921 retired and was replaced by Mr J.D.Sky.


1935 September 27th. Annual General Meeting subscriptions reduced to 5/- per annum for members and 2/6 for associate members. J.Harper won the Apprentice Essay prize based on the lecture "Forging and Heat Treatment of Steel".


1937 March 12th. Mr C.G.Pullin of Messrs G & J Weir Ltd of Glasgow, lectured on "The Autogiro".


1937 September 20th. Apprentice Essay winner J.D.Wootton.


1938 October 14th. The new season opened with a social event, despite the "disturbed state of the Continent". A 1/- refreshment menu was served in preference to that at 9d per head. The Chatsworth Quartet provided the music.


1939 October 6th. Meetings suspended due to the war.


1944 October 6th. Mr J.D.Sky was elected secretary replacing the late Mr.J.W.Osborne who had been secretary since the inception of the Association. Mr.Sky's position as treasurer was taken up by Mr.R.N.Arrand.


1945 October 19th. Annual General Meeting. Mr.R.M.Robertson who had been elected President for the 1938/39 session and had continued in that position due to the war relinquished his position and Mr.J.S.Redshaw was elected in his stead.


1945 December 7th. A lecture on "Television" by Mr.W.P.Kempster of Ulverston.


1946 December 6th. Annual General Meeting. Mr.R.H.Stanswood elected treasurer on the retirement of Mr Arrand.


1950 February 2nd. The Transactions of the Association had not been published since before the war and due to the cost it was agreed that this should not resume. It was agreed that the Apprentice lectures and essay competition should be re-commenced.


1950 March 17th. A lecture on "The Development of Mechanical Principles in Punched Card Accounting Machines".


1951 October 19th. Annual General Meeting Mr.J.Hay elected secretary in place of the late Mr.Sky. Treasurer since 1950 Mr.J.Kay.


1952 October 17th. Annual General Meeting. Mr.W.O'Brien replaced Mr Kay on his retirement as treasurer. The Apprentice Essay prize was won by R.H.Shuttleworth.


The great variety of lectures continues with subjects ranging from soap and leather to gas turbines, welding research and measurement, covering working practises and management in between. The Apprentice Essay however appears to have been dropped around this time.


1954 October 29th. Annual General Meeting. Membership 160.


1956 April 27th. Annual General Meeting. Reference was made to a successful ladies night held during the 1955/56 season.


1958 April 25th. Annual General Meeting. Association now 50 years old. Membership 169 and funds £165.8.0


1958 December 11th. A ladies night was held in celebration of the Association Jubilee.


1959 April 25th. Annual General Meeting Mr.N.S.Robinson elected treasurer in place of the retiring Mr O'Brien.


In addition to the winter lecture series, summer visits were also arranged and the ladies night continued. In the 1960/61 season at The Old Mill.


1962 January 25th. Council agreed that each councillor should have a list of members and by personal contact try to improve the attendance at meetings.


1962 April 26th. 54th Annual General Meeting Mr.W.O'Brien elected secretary to replace Mr Hay retiring after 11 years due to promotion at work.


1962 March 8th. Supper and Social at The Old Mill, Bardsea.


At the start of the 1962/63 season the lecture venue moved to the Alfred Barrow County Secondary School on Duke Street.


1963 March 21st. Presidents night at Michaelson house Hotel attended by 104 guests, members and their ladies, dinner and dancing, games and a whist drive. A presentation was made to Mr Hay.


1965 April 29th. 57th Annual General Meeting. Mr.J.Stringer replaces Mr.O'Brien as secretary.


1966 April 28th. 58th Annual General Meeting Mr.E.Hodgson elected treasurer on Mr.Robinson's retirement.


1966 October 10th. The council agreed to sponsor a prize for the best lecture prepared by a member, such lecture to be given at a date to be agreed. A tie or lapel pin for the Association was proposed. The lecture venue was moved to the Apprentice Training School in Bridge Approach.


1967 April 27th. 59th AGM


1967 October 23rd. Council meeting.


There appears to be a gap in the records of 8 1/2 years


1976 April 9th. Council meeting, secretary J.D.Stringer, treasurer P.Gaydon.


1979 June 20th. 71st AGM Cash £358.10, paid up members 71. C.D.McWhan elected secretary.


1981 November 26th. Extraordinary General Meeting on the future of BDAE due to the very low attendance at lectures poor income from subscriptions etc. It was agreed that the Association should continue. Mr C.D.McWhan resigned as secretary.


1982 February 1st. Council Meeting. Mr.S.R.Taylor elected secretary. The Association however remained in the doldrums until the 1984/85 session. Some lectures were held however and a few summer visits also and interest was maintained.


1984 September 17th. 74th AGM Mr.G.A.Whittall elected to secretary's position on resignation of Mr.Taylor, and Mr.J.W.Waddington was elected treasurer. cash about £430 but subscription income £6.50. Subscriptions increased from 50p to £1.00. Following this meeting a full and varied series of lectures was presented during the session and the membership lists revised and revitalised.


For many years joint lectures were held with the North West branch of the Institute of Welding Engineers on an annual basis and combined sponsorship was often undertaken, particularly with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Marine Engineers. With the advent of Professional Engineers South Cumbria And their links with the Engineering Council Regional Organisation (North West) this has continued on an occasional basis.


1985 April 18th. 75th AGM. Cash £392, paid up members 145. Some changes to the By-laws were approved.


1985 October 17th. Debate on "Trident and Privatisation" with 4 prominent local speakers. This took place at the Lisdoonie Hotel but there was no fixed venue for lectures during this period.


1986 January 23rd. Presentation and discussion on the VSEL Employee Consortium buy out by Rodney Leach and VSEL directors.


1986 May 1st. 76th AGM Cash £520, Paid members 195


1987 January 7th. Council meeting discussed the relationship with PESC who felt that a merger would not be advantageous at this point.


1987 April 9th. 77th AGM Cash £370 paid up members 230. Mr.J.W.Waddington resigned as treasurer Mr.I.Darragh was elected, he is also assistant secretary.


1988 January 5th. Council meeting discussed the relationship with PESC.


1988 May 25th. 78th AGM. Mr.G.A.Whittall resigned as secretary and Mr.P.C.Parnell elected. cash £570 paid up members 206


1990 April 5th. 79th AGM. Little interest in an Association tie. Secretary P.C.Parnell, Treasurer I.Darragh. Cash about £600 & 110 paid up members.


1990 September 6th. Council meeting. The relationship of the Association with PESC should continue as at present with the two organisations working in parallel, it seemed to be satisfactory at present. Lecture venue to continue to be Abbey House Hotel.


1991 November 12th. 80th AGM. Mr.P.Clarke elected secretary in place of Mr.P.C.Parnell retiring due to work commitments, Mr.J.Sykes elected treasurer due to retirement of Mr.I.Darragh for the same reason. Mr.Darragh had also been acting as assistant secretary. Abbey House Hotel too expensive as a lecture venue. Cash £520, paid up members 138. Membership lists and which councillor should contact which member are giving problems. Constitution and By-Laws revision in hand.


1992 October 15th. Debate on the title "Engineering Barrow 2000"


1993 April 15th. 82nd AGM. Updated Constitution and By-Laws approved for publication. New President hoped to institute a "President's Challenge" for the best submission for a paper by any engineer in the district.


1993 August 10th. Council agreed to hold future lectures at the Victoria Park Hotel.


1993 November 2nd. Council meeting Mr.C.A.Rowntree co-opted to secretary's post on resignation of Mr.P.Clarke.


1994 April 14th. 83rd AGM. Mr.C.A.Rowntree confirmed as secretary. Cash £444 paid up members 127.


1996 April 18th. 85th AGM. The lecture venue was changed to the Hotel Imperial in Cornwallis Street.


1997 April 17th. 86th AGM. The lecture venue was again changed, to the Chetwynde Hotel on Abbey Road. Lectures of particular note in this period were on "Wave Power", "The Privatisation of British Rail", "The Work of the National Rivers Authority", "Defence Procurement" by Sir Robert Walmsley, Head of Defence Procurement and "Electric Vehicles", this latter leading to much discussion and post lecture interest in developments in battery technology.


Following authorisation at the AGM the subscription system was revised to include both life and retired members and the rates were increased to allow the Association to expand its activities in a small way.


1998 October 15th. At the lecture on "Building a PC and the Year 2000 Bug" the first BDAE Young Engineers Bursary was presented.


1999 April 15th. 88th AGM. It was resolved to resume the publication of Occasional Transactions for particularly interesting lectures, thus resuming a practice that had ceased at the start of the second war. The first of these was a paper presented by Professor J.B.Caldwell on 'Safety: The Engineer and the Public', copies of which can be obtained from the Secretary.


The web site was also created in this year.


2001 The Young Engineers Bursary firmly established and an Improvers award was instituted as was an award for Apprentices completing their first year.


2002 At the fifth holding of the Young Engineers Bursary Awards at the lecture on MG-Rover and the British Touring Car Championshps which followed the presentations it was announced by Rover Cars Ltd that full members of BDAE would be able to take advantage of Rover Cars discount system extended to a limited number of organisations through Rayrigg Rover. This deal has since ceased to exist sadly, due to the demise of Rover cars.


2003 A review of the Bursary award system took place and it was decided to make the award to students in their first year studies in the 6th Form.


July 2004 Visits to G.W.Waite and "Oceanic Pearl"


May 2005 Visit to Sovereign Chemicals


May/June 2006 Visits to Kimberly Clark (Tissue Mill) and Furmanite in Kendal


June 2007 Visit to Lancaster University Engineering Department


April 2008 Visit to Coniston Hydro Electric Scheme


March/May 2009 Visits to Corvettes in Barrow Dock and Gilkes of Kendal


May/June 2010Barrow Docks and BAE Systems Pipe Shop


May/July 2011 Visits to 'Pacific Grebe' and Ormonde Wind Farm


May/June 2012 Visits to Low Wood & Backbarrow Hydro Electric Plants and Furness College Campus


2012 It was decided to extend the Young Engineers Bursary Awards to year 11 students who had recently sat their GCSE Examinations. The winners from each secondary School in the area would be selected by the school and the prizes would be given at the School Prize giving.


May/June 2013 Visits to Airbus Wing Factory, Broughton and Burlington Slate Quarry


May 2014 Visit to Dovenby Hall Rally Team


2014 A new BDAE Scholarship to the value of £1000 was inaugurated following the generosity of our Sponsors (Details on the Bursary page). This is a Scholarship for students who have been accepted on an Engineering Council accredited course at University which will lead to Chartered Engineer status. The first award was made in November 2015.