Tuesday 13 January 2004, Portable Antiquities A lecture by Nicole Weller, the new Portable Antiquities Liaison Officer and Community Archaeologist at The Museum of London. Nicole will be talking about her work, the treasure act and related matters. She will also discuss any small finds that members would like to bring along.
Tuesday 10 February 2004, London Burial Grounds, A Lecture by Dr. Roger Bowdler
Saturday 6 March 2004, Resistivity ‘Master Class’ — more details on the back page.
Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room at Avenue House, East End road, Finchley Tea or coffee are available after the talk, meetings close promptly at 10.00pm
HADAS Training Dig by Don Cooper
A HADAS training dig took place at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, London N3 3QE (TQ 2512, 9023) over the weekend of 20th/21st September in beautiful autumnal weather. The dig took place in what is purported to have been a Victorian Rose garden at the rear of the house. We opened a small trench of 5m x 1 m. About 6 cms of the surface had already been removed by the Avenue House gardener in preparation for winter planting. A group of five “trainees” supervised by four members of the HADAS digging team (Andrew Coulson, Bill Bass, Andy Simpson and Don Cooper) took part in the dig. Most of the techniques of excavation and use of tools were demonstrated with particular emphasis on safety. What did we find? Apart from 81 pottery sherds mostly from modern flower pot and rusty nails , there was an interesting ammonite fossil, two clay pipe stems with the initials CR (The CR initials are most likely those of Charles Russell or his wife Caroline who were making pipes in Bethnal Green between 1856 and 1884) and IL (more difficult to identify because there are lots of IL initials of pipemakers but given the probable date based on the shape and fabric of the sherd it is likely to be Julius Lewis & Co. manufacturing in Finsbury Park in 1876) respectively. Perhaps “Inky” Stephens, a noted pipe smoker, used them!! There were also some lumps containing burnt glass — traces perhaps from the fire that took place in 1989! Amongst the pottery sherds were one small fragment of green-glazed Border ware (BORDG) 1550-1700, a rim fragment of Post- Medieval Black-Glazed ware (PMBL) 1580-1700, and three pieces of Transfer-printed ware (TPW) post-1830. Of 40 sherds of glass, three were of brown glass and three of green the remainder were white glass sherds of glass vessels and window panes. The only animal remains we found, was a tooth from a sheep. Surprisingly, perhaps beneath the topsoil we reached good old London clay at a depth of approximately 18cm. Other than the top centimetre or two the clay showed little sign of having been penetrated by any human activity. The reason this was surprising was because one would have expected a Victorian Rose gardener to have dug down the traditional “spade and a half’ say 35 — 40cms. Can we draw any conclusions? The objective of the dig was to provide an opportunity for members to try their hand at excavation and to learn some of the techniques involved. It achieved this objective. From an archaeological point of view no conclusions can be drawn, however further digs in the grounds of Avenue House may well add to our knowledge of the area and ought to be considered as a future HADAS activity.
HADAS News by Bill Bass
This year’s Christmas Dinner was held locally at the Pavilion on the Park Restaurant, part of Barnet College. The food was excellent, and the editor’s ignorance was enlightened when he found out what `Veloute of Roast Squash’ was (soup). Members also enjoyed a cryptic London quiz and a raffle. Thanks to Dorothy for her usual organisation and enthusiasm.
Phillip Bailey who did a watching brief of the site in East Barnet which turned up Roman, Medieval and other finds (reported in Jan 2003 NL) has now produced a professional looking report on his work — ‘An Archaeological Investigation At 4a Church Hill Road, East Barnet, Herts’. This will be deposited in the HADAS library.
Further to comments on Brian Wrigley who died in October, I would like to say how much he will be missed by the `digging/surveying team’ at Avenue House. He led the team for over 15 years and had been involved in fieldwork all his HADAS life. He was particularly fond of producing plans, maps and such like where his eye for detail was exceptional. Brian’s favourite period was the Prehistoric but he brought enthusiasm to all fieldwork he attended. The Garden Room and pub will not be the same without him.
Currently there is an ongoing project to digitally scan all of our Newsletters onto disk. This will enable us amongst other things to: • securely preserve them for the future
• make them more accessible for use, reference and searching
• possibly make them available on the Internet
So far about 213 of 394 have been done, but we could do with some help. Could you spare some time to support this project? At present the work is being done via the societies laptop and scanner at Avenue House generally on Wednesdays and Sundays, you could help here, but it could equally be done at home. You would need a computer and flatbed scanner, if you know how to use these then the work is straight forward, and any instruction would be given. If you think you could help, please contact Bill Bass (020 8449 5666) or bill firstname.lastname@example.org
The End of the Line
This is the title of a new book of local interest by Martin C. Dawes. The book tells the story of a railway funeral service that ran from Kings Cross to the Great Northern London Cemetery (GNLC) at Colney Hatch (now the New Southgate Cemetery). Although primarily about the railway, the book begins with a chapter on the problems and social history of the inner London Metropolitan cemeteries in the mid 19th century. By this time the cemeteries were filled to capacity with the associated risks of hygiene and disease, on top of this a series of cholera epidemics swept through the capital exacerbating the problems. In 1850 and 1852 Government Acts led to plans for cemeteries to established in certain outer London Boroughs. One of these was Brookwood near Woking, a massive cemetery of some 2000 acres created in 1854 and the first to be railway connected. This was via a private station adjacent to Waterloo, the railway connection finished with heavy bombing of the terminus during the war. The Great Northern London Cemetery was created by the 1860s, the railway connection began at a Funeral station separate and just north of Kings Cross, it was an impressive two-storey building with a mortuary, chapel of rest, waiting rooms and offices etc. Trains ran via the Great Northern Railway to a station and siding within the GNLC. Unfortunately and in contrast to Brookwood the funeral railway service did not prove popular and was discontinued within two years. The reasons for the failure were complex and are discussed in the book. Other chapters deal with the subsequent history of the cemetery, locomotives and rolling stock used. There are extensive notes, references and a useful appendix. The book has numerous photos and line drawings.
SILCHESTER — The November Lecture by Tessa Smith
We were delighted to welcome Professor Mike Fulford as our November lecturer, especially after our summer outing to the Silchester excavation. Even though a pointer could not be found anywhere, he gallantly climbed a chair to indicate on the screen the location of Insulae 1 X. This is an area of 3,000 square metres north-west of the forum, that is gradually being exposed and evaluated. Starting in 1997 with a training field school and research excavation, his team and students have now reached early Roman and late Iron Age levels. It seems that in the mid third century, timber and stone buildings and workshops all aligned with the Roman grid system. However, the area of particular discovery at the moment is of a hall type house, long and barn- like, built on stone foundations, dated 150-250 AD and built askew and at odds with the regular Roman grid pattern of building around it. Unquestionable evidence shows good concentrations of metal working areas, bronze, gold and copper. Sadly no crucibles have been found and to date there is no evidence of what they were making. Below this barn-house are now emerging two houses built on late 1st century foundations, one square timber framed with 3 rooms, tessellated pavements and decorated wall plaster. Amazingly, 2 complete Alice Holt type jars of Claudian dating have been found quite unbroken. The second house had flint cobbles, and is rectangular. The tesserae floors are comparable with others of the earliest mosaic floors in Britain, the reds and greys coming from Kimmeridge. Burnt deposits dated 40-60 AD have been found. Questions raised for future interpretation were, how much buildings at Callela were actually Roman and how much was a perpetuation of the Iron Age? What is the significance of the burnt area? If there is an earlier Iron Age town why did some buildings continue to be built on this orientation? Could it be that the tribal chief was reclaiming territory of the Atrebates? The excavations are funded for another 6 years only during the summer, it seems that there is a lot of work ahead. Our thanks to Professor Fulford for enlightening us as to the latest thinking on Silchester.
If you would like volunteer for the Field School in 2004, the dates are Monday 5th July — Sunday 15th August. Applications forUK residents will be open from early January 2004. You can apply online at www.silchester.rdg.ac.uk Or by writing to: Silchester Applications The Department of Archaeology University of Reading Whiteknights PO Box 227 Reading Berkshire RG6 6AB Phone 0118 931 6762
The people that supplied the latest HADAS resistivity meter (TR Systems) are holding a ‘Master Class’ on Saturday 6th March. “This will be a day dedicated to helping users gain the maximum advantage from their machine and software”, Bob Randall who designed the equipment and software will lead the sessions. The main emphasis will be looking at problems experienced with users results, then discussing on how they could be improved and interpreted. Some HADAS members will be attending the event. The sessions and demonstrations will be from 10.00am — 5.00pm and held at Millbrook Village Hall in Bedfordshire not far from J13 on the M1. The cost for the day will be £35.00 including lunch and coffee. Contact: Kevan Fadden, 7 Lea Road, Ampthill, Bedford MK45 2PR. Tel 01525 402273. Email email@example.com
Other Societies’ Events by Eric Morgan
Wed 7th Jan, 8pm. Stanmore and Harrow Historical Soc. Wealdstone Baptist Church, High Road, Wealdstone. Elstree and Borehamwood History (with particular ref to Elstree Studios) Alan Lawrence.
Thurs 8th Jan, 10.30am, Mill Hill Library, Hartley Avenue. NW7. An Introduction to Antiques Talk. (coffee/tea/biscuits 50p).
Thurs 8th Jan, 7.30pm, London Canal Museum, 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings X, Nl. Ice Wells & Ice Works (London’s Commercial Ice Trade) Malcolm Tucker, concessions £1.25.
Thurs 8th Jan, 8pm Pinner Local History Soc., Pinner Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner. Dick Whittington’s London (The true life story of Dick Whittington) Muriel Jones, donation £1.
Mon 12th Jan, 3pm, Barnet & District Local History Soc., Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapyton Rd, Barnet. After the stage coach had left – David Ruddom.
Weds 14 Jan, 6.30pm, LAMAS, Interpretation Unit. Museum of London. 150 London Wall EC2. Archaeology of St Pancras burial ground (Account of recent investigations undertaken as part of the construction of the new London terminus (hr the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) Phil Emery & Kevin Wooldridge (Pre-construct Archaeology).
Weds 11th Jan, 8.15pm, Mill Hill Historical Soc., Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway NW7. London Industrial Heritage — Dr. Denis Smith
Thurs 15th Jan, 7.30pm. Camden History Soc., Burgh House, New End Sq, NW3. A day in the life of a Merchant Taylor — Dr. Ann Saunders (previous HADAS President).
Fri 16th Jan, 7pm, City of London Archaeology Soc St Olave’s Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3. The earliest Human occupation of Britain — Nick Ashton (British Museum).
Weds 21st Jan, 8pm, Willesden Local History Soc., Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95 High Rd, NW10. Brent Archive & The Grange Museum — Alex Sydney & Tina Morton.
Weds 28th Jan, 8pm. Friern Barnet & District Local History Soc., St John’s Hall, Friern Barnet Lane, (next to Whetstone Police Stn). The two remarkable Stephens (Inky Stephens) — Norman Burgess. (Please note change of venue and day).