No. 634 JANUARY 2024 Edited by Jim Nelhams

Happy New Year to all our readers.

HADAS DIARY – Forthcoming lectures and events

Lectures are normally face-to-face though lectures in winter may be on Zoom. Lectures are held in the Drawing Room, Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley N3 3QE. 7.45 for 8pm. Tea/coffee available for purchase after each talk.

Buses 143, 125, 326 and 460 pass close by, and it is a five to ten-minute walk from Finchley Central Station on the Barnet Branch of the Northern Line. Bus 382 also passes close to Finchley Central Station.

Sunday 21st January 2024 – Afternoon Tea at Avenue House, 2:30 – 5:30pm

The size of the room limits us to 30 people and we are approaching that number. If you have not registered and wish to come, please phone Jim Nelhams on 020 8449 7076 or email

Tuesday February 13th 2024: The Dorothy Newbury Memorial Lecture

A life in sherds

In this talk, Jacqui Pearce looks back over half a century of developments in the world of ceramic studies in London, focusing particularly on fabric identification, the medieval and later pottery type-series, studies of excavated kiln sites, archaeological biography as seen in major household clearance assemblages, clay pipe studies and the importance of professional and non-professional archaeologists working together, especially through HADAS evening classes over several years.

Tuesday March 12th 2024

Robin Densem – ‘The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest AD9: The massacre of a Roman army’


Tuesday April 9th 2024

Ian Jones – ‘Traders, Bargees, Ferrymen and a Seagull; Life and Work in Roman Pisa’

Tuesday 14th May 2024 – to be advised

Tuesday 11th June 2024 – Annual General Meeting + lecture


HADAS wins Quiz Jim Nelhams

The Finchley Society has been running a quiz evening at Avenue House each November. Society members Peter Pickering and Stewart Wild were joined by Peter’s son Martin and Jo & Jim Nelhams to enter a HADAS team. Tables were strictly limited to 6 people, though our team started with only four since Stewart had been held up by train problems returning from Kingston upon Thames. All other tables had the full complement. Sue Loveday and Eric Morgan were also in another team.

The quiz started with a music round, always a bad subject for HADAS, but Martin proved our saviour and after that round, surprisingly we were in the lead, a position we never lost.At the end of the evening HADAS triumphed with a lead of four and a half points.

Ancient women were better hunters than men Stewart Wild

When it comes to hunting, the prehistoric fairer sex has the upper hand, according to two studies. Women have a metabolism better suited to endurance, according to Dr Cara Obocock, director of the Human Energetics Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
Oestrogen and adiponectin are both present in women at higher levels and provide physical advantages over men. Women’s wider hips, a physiological study found, are also an advantage. A second study examined archaeological evidence of bones and found that women often suffered war wounds associated with hunting.

The studies were published in American Anthropologist.
SOURCE: The Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2023, item edited by Stewart Wild

Florence Nightingale Museum Jim Nelhams

A museum slightly off the beaten track, this is located at 2 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7EW at St Thomas Hospital. It is just to the west of the south side of Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Normal opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Adult admission costs £12 and can be booked online. Nearest underground station is Westminster. Did you know Florence Nightingale was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society? That she owned over 60 cats throughout her life and had a pet owl called Athena. Do you know why she was called Florence?


Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing, was one of our greatest Victorians and a female icon in her own lifetime. She is still an inspiration to nurses around the globe.

Visit the museum to celebrate the life of this trailblazing woman; discover all about her affluent childhood, how she fought against her parents’ wishes to become a nurse, her work during the Crimean War and how she campaigned for better healthcare for ordinary people. See the actual lamp she carried which earned her the nickname The Lady with The Lamp, meet her pet owl and see her medicine chest.

Nightingale also played a significant part in the design of the rebuilt St Thomas Hospital.

You can still visit an exhibition demonstrating how Nightingale’s leadership and campaigning skills still inspire women today, ‘Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places’. And if you’re taking children to the museum, don’t forget to pick up a copy of our Family Trail. More information on

Iron Age coin find adds king to British history Stewart Wild

A new king has been added to British history after a tiny coin found in a Hampshire field sold for more than £20,000 at auction. Dating from around 50 BC and smaller than a fingernail, the gold quarter stater coin is stamped with the name Esunertos, a previously unrecorded Iron Age ruler.

The find by hobbyist Lewis Fudge has been described by experts as “one of the outstanding discoveries of recent decades.” The coin was dug up by the construction worker in a farmer’s field in the Test Valley in March this year after he was given permission to use his metal detector.

Mr Fudge said: “I am over the moon. If it were not for people in the auction room, I would have jumped around. The collectors I spoke to are gobsmacked.”

The coin bears the ruler’s name and dates to the beginning of written language appearing in the British Isles.

SOURCE: The Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2023, item edited by Stewart Wild

Digging For Britain 2024 (Enfield Archaeology) Melvyn Dresner

The new series of Digging For Britain, featuring the 2023 summer dig on the site Elsyng Tudor Palace in Forty Hall, will be broadcast on BBC2 and will be available on BBC iPlayer beginning Tuesday 2nd January at 8pm. The episode featuring the EAS dig is slated for broadcast on January 9th at 8pm. The 2023 dig was an excellent year for Tudor archaeology, and EAS are very pleased to be able to share their discoveries with a wider than usual audience.


During this year’s search for the inner gatehouse of Henry VIII’s palace, the dig discovered several new Tudor structures and, after filming ended, evidence for what EAS currently think may be a substantial cellar.

EAS will be back at Forty Hall in 2024 to continue the gatehouse hunt, and hopefully explore the hidden depths of Henry’s cellars!

(Melvyn also notes that he may not make the final edit, but you might spot his trowel – now there’s a challenge!)


Dinosaur relic found in island castle grounds Stewart Wild

A dinosaur footprint spotted by a National Trust ranger out on a run could be from an iguanodon dating back up to 157 million years, experts believe.

Sophie Giles stumbled across the print as she jogged in the grounds of Brownsea Castle on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset. It was probably made when the area was covered in tropical forests and swamps and had become easier to see after it filled with water during a rain shower.

The National Trust believes the find is the rear footprint of an iguanodon – a bulky three-toed herbivore that grew up to 36ft long and lived between 93 and 157 million years ago.
Dr Martin Munt, curator of the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown, Isle of Wight, said the print of the hind foot was “comparable to those found on Purbeck, where the stone would have originated.”

He added: “It is certainly what we call a tridactyl footprint, of the date we are talking about; it could have been made by an iguanodontian or related dinosaur.”

SOURCE: The Daily Telegraph, 16 November 2023, item redacted by Stewart Wild

Draining the Welsh Harp Jim Nelhams

The Welsh Harp is currently being drained by the Canal and River Trust so that repairs can be made to the infrastructure. At the same time, rubbish is being removed and the fish are being netted and rehoused at other Trust locations. On completion, fish will be re-introduced.

There is an open day on Saturday 3rd February from 10-3 but tickets are sold out. Maybe more will be made available. At least one HADAS member has successfully booked, so a report should appear in later newsletters. The date is just too late for the February issue.




Wednesday 10th January, 8pm. Hornsey Historical Society. The Old School House, 136 Tottenham Lane (Corner of Rokesly Avenue). London. N8 7EL. London’s Squares and Gardens. Talk by Peter Mathers. Also on Zoom. Please note attendance in person is limited. Please visit first and for link.

Friday 19th January, 7.30 pm. Wembley History Society. St. Andrew’s Church Hall (Behind St. Andrew’s new church) Church Lane, Kingsbury, London NW9 8RZ. Mercy Ships, Talk by Norbert Jannson on the work of the organisation bringing much needed Healthcare to sub-Saharan Africa. Visitors £3. Refreshments available in the interval.

Wednesday 24th January, 7.45 pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. North Middlesex Golf Club, The Manor House, Friern Barnet Lane, N20 0NL. My Family History. Talk by Colin Barratt (Friern Barnet Local History Society). Please visit and click on programme. Non-members £2. Bar to be available.

Thursday 1st February, 5-6pm. Society of Antiquaries. Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE. Also on Zoom. Analysing Myth and Material –Charles 1st’s Knitted Waistcoat. Talk by Beatrice Behlen and Doctor Jane Malcolm-Davies. Lecture is free, but a donation is welcome. Details and bookings through the SAL website

Sunday 4th February, 10.30 am. Heath and Hampstead Society. Meet at Burgh House, New End Square, London. NW3 1LT. History of the Heath Ponds. Guided walk let by Marc Hutchinson (Chair). Lasts approx. 2 hours. Donation accepted of £5. Please contact Thomas Radice on 07941 528034 or email or visit

Friday 9th February, 7.30 pm. Enfield Archaeological Society. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane, Junction Chase Side, Enfield, EN2 0AJ. The Southsea Coastal Defence Scheme. Future Proofing Against Sea-Level Rise. Talk by Holly Rodgers. Please visit for further details. Non-members £1.50 at the door.

Wednesday 14th February, 2.30 pm. Mill Hill Historical Society. Trinity Church, 100 The Broadway, London. NW7 3TB. The Elegant Explorer, Fortnum and Masons and the Far Flung Traveller. Talk by Andrea Tanner. Please visit


Wednesday 14th February, 6 pm. Gresham College. Talk on Zoom – Dragons – A History by Ronald Hutton. Ticket required. Register at Please see Dragons: A History | Gresham College. Free. Talk to answer the difference between Eastern and Western Dragons – if the Western attitude to Dragons has changed in the modern era and if Christianity gave rise to a different idea of what a Dragon should be.

Wednesday 14th February, 8 pm. Hornsey Historical Society. Venue and link same as Wednesday 10th January with same restrictions. Talk also on Zoom. Churchill and the Loss of Everest at the Foot of Crouch Hill. By Tom Barclay Matchett will explore the path that brought the future war leader to Crouch End and the woman (Elizabeth Ann Everest) who shaped the man.

Thursday 15h February, 8 pm. Historical Association – Hampstead and N.W. London Branch. Fellowship House, 136A Willifield Way, London NW11 6YD (off of Finchley Road, Temple Fortune) From Enslavement to Chivalry. The Conduct of War in the Middle Ages. Talk by Professor John Gillingham (L.S.E.). Hopefully, also on Zoom. Please email Gulse Koca (Chair) on or telephone 07453 283090 for details of link and how to pay. (There may be a voluntary charge of £5). Refreshments will be available afterwards.

Wednesday 28th February, 7.45 pm. Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. Venue as Wednesday 24th January. The First World War in The Air. Speaker to be arranged. Non-members £2. Website as before for details.

Thursday 29th February, 7.30 pm. Finchley Society. Drawing Room, Avenue (Stephens’) House, 18 East End Road, N3 3QE. The Skies Above Finchley- A Vertical Journey. Talk by Donald Lyven. For further details please visit Non-members £2 at the door. Refreshments in the interval.

With thanks to the contributors: Melvyn Dresner, Eric Morgan, Jim Nelhams & Stewart Wild


Hendon and District Archaeological Society

Chairman Don Cooper 59, Potters Road, Barnet EN5 5HS
(020 8440 4350), email:

Hon. Secretary Janet Mortimer 34 Cloister Road, Childs Hill, London NW2 2NP
(07449 978121), email:

Hon. Treasurer Roger Chapman, 50 Summerlee Ave, London N2 9QP
(07855 304488), email:

Membership Sec. Jim Nelhams, 61 Potters Road, Barnet, EN5 5HS
(020 8449 7076), email:



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