THE North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers was, in its origin, a society limited in its score to the discussion of subjects belonging to the practice of mining, and especially of coal mining. At that period the working of coal and other minerals was carried on with less aid from machinery than at present, and the district in which the society is located was not so distinguished as it now is for the practice of mechanical engineering in all its branches. Hence, the society, in its growth, has gradually assumed more and more of an engineering character; and my recent election, as your president, indicates that mechanical science is no longer regarded by the members as secondary, or merely subsidiary, to the practice of mining. But we must guard against this tendency of the engineering element to outgrow the mining element of this institute. We must not forget that we are situated in the very heart of the coalfield which, more than any other, has rendered England pre-eminent as a producing nation, and that, notwithstanding the increasing magnitude and importance of the engineering works of this district, the raising of coal is still foremost amongst the industries of the North, both as regards the extent of the interests involved, and its importance to the general prosperity of the nation.