Saturday 8 June Outing: RYE AND BODIAM with Micky Watkins and Micky Cohen
Saturday 20 July Outing: FLAG FEN AND LONGTHORPE TOWER with Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward, At Flag Fen we shall see the latest developments at one of the largest collections of bronze age artefacts in Europe; and at Longthorpe Tower the rema14th cf a fortified manor with the finest examples of 14thc domestic wallpaintings in Northern Europe.
(Application form in next Newsletter).
Saturday 17 August Outing: FARNHAM/WAVERLEY ABBEY with Bill Bass and
Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun 4 DAY VISIT TO CORNWALL. We have had a good response to this
29/30/31 August/ 1st Sept and the group is full. Names for the waiting list are welcome, we had several late cancellations last year.
(Tel: Dorothy 203 0950).
Saturday 28 September Outing: WHITECHAPEL/BELL FOUNDRY with Mary O’Connell
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 35th AGM of HADAS was held at Avenue House on 14th May with fifty people present. We were very pleased that our President, Michael Robbins, was able to make the cross-London Journey to be with us and chair the meeting. As usual the business matters were dealt with quickly. The annual report of the Chairman is published in this Newsletter. Victor Jones and Dr, Derek Renn were elected as new Vice-Presidents of the Society. The only item in the agenda which caused some discussion was the motion proposed by the Chairman on behalf of the Committee that the concession subscription rate for membership of people over 60 should be withdrawn and the annual subscription rates be amended as follows:
Standard subscription: £8.00 per year
Additional family members: £2.50 per year
Members under 18 years: £5.00 per year
This was agreed with the recommendation that the Membership Secretary should have the discretion to amend it for anyone finding the increase a problem.
When the formal business was over four members of the Society gave short talks with slides – Roy Walker on the Mount House, Monken Hadley dig and the Hampstead Heath survey; Brian Wrigley on the Church Farmhouse Museum garden dig, which has just recommenced; Bill Bass on Martin Biddle’s dig at St. Albans; and Andy Simpson on Transport in Barnet.
Hendon and District Archaeological Society
Chairman’s Report AGM, 14th May 1996
The Society continues to flourish and has had a successful 12 months. The Society carried out a small scale excavation last summer at St Martha’s Convent School, Monken Hadley in advance of a new classroom. Most of the finds consisted of modern pottery, but some fragments of clay pipes were tentatively dated to about 1750. Subsequently work continued on the Hampstead Heath Project to investigate the nearly vanished bank and ditch that runs across Hampstead Heath. This has long been thought to be Saxon in origin, a suspicion confirmed by the recent book The Westminster Corridor by David Sullivan. Work was carried out in the autumn by the excavation team surveying the course of the ditch in Kenwood notably in the area adjacent to the abandoned garden of the Elms House, though somewhat hampered by the lack of a resistivity meter, and we are applying for a grant from the Barnet Council charities to purchase a new one. The excavation team under Brian Wrigley, Roy Walker and Bill Bass looks forward this summer to continuing work at Church Farm hoping to follow up the medieval activity which we picked up two years ago, and volunteers will be welcome every Sunday. The main event of the excursions programme was the long weekend to Durham in September when the Society visited three World Heritage sites, Durham itself, South Shields and Hadrian’s Wall. Other notable excursions included one to the House of Commons by courtesy of John Marshall MP and outings to Avebury, Colchester, Silchester, Boxgrove and the Royal Institution. There was also a very successful Christmas dinner at St Albans.
The highlight of our fund raising activities was the Minimart held on 14th October when, thanks to the work of
Dorothy Newbury and her helpers we raised nearly £1,500. What always surprises me is that the Minimart is fun – a rare example of how to make money while also enjoying yourself.
The Newsletter continued to appear throughout the year. The March 1996 issue was in fact our 300th issue, a feature which was celebrated by a reprint of the very first issue – a single sheet flyer. An early members list of 1970 shows that 33 names arc still members, including our secretary, Liz Holliday.
On the personnel side, several changes must be reported. Will Parnaby, our Treasurer for the last three years is retiring and we welcome Mrs Michaela O’Flynn as our new Treasurer. Our thanks go to June Purges who has arranged a lively series of lectures now held on the ground floor at Avenue House. A particularly warm vote of thanks must as always go to Dorothy Newbury who not only arranged the excursions under a series of loyal lieutenants but who also oversaw the production of the newsletter throughout the year, and most of all masterminded the Minimart. My thanks too to Liz Holliday, our ever-efficient secretary, and to Vikki O’Connor who performs that most thankless of tasks that of Membership secretary.
Finally can I give a particular vote of thanks to Victor Jones who sadly had to resign from the Committee during the year because of his increasing infirmity, though I am happy to say that following an operation in the Royal Free, his backbone has been straightened up and he is now able to walk again. For long he was our Treasurer but perhaps more important than that was his work behind the scenes making arrangements for the well-being of the Society for which I was particularly grateful. We hope we will continue to see him at our Meetings for a long time to come.
Andrew Selkirk, 14th May 1996
CHURCH FARMHOUSE EXCAVATION. De-turfing commenced on Sunday 12th May with a splendid turnout of fourteen including some first-time diggers with HADAS. Two trenches have been opened and it is likely in the time available that it will be possible for two further areas to be investigated. We will be working most Sundays until late July and will certainly work OR weekdays depending on the numbers available to make it worthwhile. If you are interested in participating please contact Brian Wrigley (0181 959 5982) or Roy Walker (0181 362 1350) for confirmation that the site will be open.
THAMES FORESHORE. It has not been possible to find a convenient date in June for a visit to the foreshore with Mike Webber, but the tide tables are being consulted (along with the HADAS calendar and digging days) to pick a convenient time before the end of summer. Details will appear in a subsequent Newsletter.
MUSEUM OF LONDON. Cash cuts have forced the Museum of London to close its archeological archive, which includes material from some of the most important Roman, Saxon and medieval discoveries in the City and the surrounding area. Although some of the more spectacular objects are on display in the museum, hundreds of thousands of others, ranging from the Stone Age to Victorian times, are in study collections. These are complemented by drawings, photographs and descriptions of the sites and their excavations. Scholarly access to the archive has already been restricted and no new material will be accepted once current investigations have closed. The museum said it would enter into agreements to take finds and records only if funds were provided from private or public sources. (The Times 6.5.1996)
A STONE AGE VILLAGE has been unearthed beneath the site of the Newbury bypass. Wessex Archaeology think this could be one of the best six sites of its kind in Britain. Flint tools up to 10,000 years old, have been discovered during preliminary digs. A £300,000 contract will be awarded by the Highways Authority for excavation. But the bypass will be built above the area nevertheless, however significant it will turn out to be. (The Times 9.5. 1996)
MUMMIES, MUMMIES EVERYWHERE
– Nevada mummy oldest in North America. The mummy known as The Spirit Cave Man had a fractured skull and was tightly wrapped in tule mats and a fur robe. Using new dating techniques Nevada Museum researchers discovered he was buried 9,415 years ago, about 6,500 years earlier than had previously been estimated. The body was naturally mummified by the extreme dryness of the cave and the wrappings. Some of the man’s hair and skin was preserved, together with his well-made moccasins. Woven bags and other everyday artefacts were found nearby; also bags containing ashes and bone fragments of two people who had been cremated. (Cyprus Weekly, 3 May 1966).
– Chinese mummies. The discovery of white men in European style clothing of c.2,000 B.C. in northwest China was discussed at an international
archaeological conference in Philadelphia recently. There seems to be evidence of long term occupation of this part of China by Europeans. (The Times 10.5. 1996)
NEWSPLAN FOR LONDON AND SOUTH EAST REGION. This project is part of a nation wide scheme to identify and microfilm all local newspapers from their origins to the present day. The project is managed by the British Library in co-operation with other libraries and the newspaper industry. (Library Association Record
OTHER SOCIETIES AND EVENTS
Roman Fair: Sunday 2 June, 11am – 5pm (Adults £3.00 Children £1.50)
Welwyn By Pass, Welwyn Village. (Tel: 01707 271362)
Includes: Guided tour wi
th Tony Rook, excavator of the Roman baths; washing and sorting real Roman finds; Roman drama and mime; Roman food, etc
Hertfordshire History Fair: Sunday 16 June, 10am-5pm (Adults £3.00
Children £2.00) Sherrardswood School, Lockleys, Welwyn Garden City (Tel: 01763 848759).
Includes: Special opening of the Roman baths; talks on Victorian deaths, schools and underwear; the Panshanger Papers; films of old Herts; tradition) gardens; troubadours; Nordic story telling; Viking gathering.
Crofton Roman Villa Crofton Road, Orpington: till 30 October
Contacts: Dr. Alan Tyler, Bromley Museum, Orpington (Tel: 01689 873826) Brian Philp, Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit (Tel: 0181 462 4737)
Chiltern Open Air Museum: till 31 October
Newland Park, Gortelands Lane, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP8 4AD (Tel: 01494 872163)
Mill Hill Historical Society Newsletter, Bulletin no.2 February 1996. Includes a number of interesting items:
– a description of the Barnet Local Studies and Archives Centre, 34 Egerton Gardens, NW4 and an appeal for more material. The Centre contains more than half a million documents, manuscripts, books, maps, prints, census returns, directories, rate books, church records, deeds, photographs and postcards.
– a note on the gas works at the bottom end of Bittacy Hill establihed in 1862. British Gas has notified Barnet Council that it plans almost complete disposal and redevelopment of the site which comprises over 24 acres. The future will depend in part on would-be buyers, and on planning approval.
– an item on the old fire station established in 1889 in a shed Just below the old Three Hammers which was demolished in 1939. From 1914-1929 Mill Hill became the responsibility of the Hendon brigade, until the fire station in Hartley Avenue was opened.
– the site of the only known maypole, on Fir Island. Towards the close of last century a substantial residence was built there; amongst better known occupants were Sir J.H.Cunliffe, K. C., M.P. and Captain W.A.Nell, chairman of the Express Dairy.
– a prison: location and use not known. The Hendon Vestry minutes for 1778 record “ordered that a cage be built at Mill Hill”.
– biographical note on James Le Marie, born in 1804 of French parents. He married Martha Ellen Garrud in 1828 and very soon afterwards became bailiff on the estate of William Wilberforce at Hendon Park on Highwood Hill. He later became the Mill Hill village beadle. The latter presumably on appointment by the vicar of St. Mary’s Hendon, the notorious Theodore Williams.