Tues 12 February: Francis Grew (Museum of London) — Life In Roman London
Tues 12 March: Clive Orton (Institute of Archaeology) — Digging in a Russian Medieval City.
Lectures start at 8pm in the Drawing Room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road,Finchley, N3. Buses including the 82/143/260/326 pass close by along Ballards Lane, a 5-10 minute walk from Avenue House or 15-20-minute walk from Finchley Central Tube Station
POST BOX SURVEY by Bill Firth
In October the Post Office (Consignia) is issuing a set of five stamps to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Pillar Box. One of the stamps will feature the fairly short-lived pre- WW2 blue airmail box, which had an aerodynamically designed blue van to match, but in general boxes have remained red and cylindrical. In connection with the anniversary of GLIAS, the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society, is running a survey of post boxes throughout Greater London. This is particularly aimed at the older boxes, which in Barnet are likely to be found in the older settlements before the onrush of suburbia. Most HADAS members must post mail in a box from time to time. It would be a great help if, when you post a letter, you could note the location, single cylindrical or double elliptical box, (the second aperture on some double boxes has been closed off); the royal cipher on the front of the box (some modem boxes have the cipher on the back) and the maker’s name which is generally legible on the black base. Likely makers are: Handyside, Derby and London; McDowell and Steven, London and Glasgow or London and Falkirk: Carron, Stirlingshire: but there are others. If you find a box with a sign pointing to the post office please record this too. I would be pleased to have this information. Don’t worry that someone has already recorded a box. I would rather have several sightings than miss a box. If anyone would like to survey more boxes please let me know and I will find a convenient area for you to search. Bill Firth, 49 Woodstock Avenue, NW11 9RG, 020 8455 7164
On Sunday 12th January, a large group of HADAS members old and new began moving into our newly leased garage at Avenue House. Guttering was cleared, slates replaced, floors swept and interior walls painted. About half the HADAS material from College Farm was also moved in, courtesy of Bill Bass and his van. Work will continue including finishing the painting — of walls and member’s clothes — and installation of racking to hold the finds, mostly West Heath and Brockley Hill material to begin with, in addition to digging tools. No `valuable’ material will be stored there, however.
THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN CONFERENCE (PART II) Andy Simpson
Mick Wilkes — Hereford and Worcester
Military landscape much influenced by the Malvern Hills. Large sites include the radar site at Malvern, established 1946. latterly RRAIDERA. now ‘Qinetic’. Sites are recorded for the County SMR and record copies sent to Duxford for the DoB database. Work has helped develop the understanding and context of sites, some 1500 in all, 70% of them anti-invasion sites, with concentrations around Worcester and Kidderminster. Worcestershire is remote — well away from the coast, and if London became untenable or the Germans had invaded the Government would have evacuated to here, with stately homes and schools requisitioned, one stately home being stocked up with food and fine wines to accommodate the Royal Family; Malvern College would have accommodated the Admiralty. The area was garrisoned by the London Brigade and post Dunkirk remnants of the Belgian army as a possible last-ditch stand area, and was close to the industrialised Birmingham and Black Country region. It had to be protected from attack from the west, i.e. a German assault via the Irish Republic and Wales. The river Avon stop line was defended from both sides. Worcester, bounded by river Severn and canal, was an anti-tank island with central keep and had a Royal Ordnance factory; the ICI plant at Kidderminster had an unusual — and surviving – command centre type double deck pillbox with anti aircraft position on top from where to coordinate defence of the whole site. The invasion threat receded and local pillboxes were already being demolished in 1944, as recorded in the local press at the time. As brown field sites, defence sites are under threat for re-development; the project will continue from April 2002, despite the end of the DoB project, to record l 8th and 191h century defence sites.
John Guy —Scotland
There was a good response to the project in Scotland; Historic Scotland had done some work themselves before this, with sites in remote locations often surviving well. In Orkney. barrage balloon sites are evidenced by the two concrete blocks against witch the winch lorry was parked so as not to be dragged away in high winds, with picket points in addition to these to tie the lorry down. Around the former naval anchorage at Scapa Flow are heavy AA sites, radar sites and even one or two extant coastal defence guns. together with the sunken battleship Royal Oak — a war grave – and scuppered WWI German fleet, now protected as scheduled monuments where they lie.
North and South Wales — Roger Thomas and Medwyn Parry
Has been studied more than southern Wales. There was a real threat to Southern England in 1940. with the perception of an invaded Irish Republic being a likely stepping stone for invasion of the UK, requiring defence of the Welsh coast in addition to inland mountain passes as barriers to communication and attack. A distinctive feature of Welsh anti-invasion defences is the use of dressed stone, instead of the usual concrete, for anti-tank blocks and pillboxes.. with the added bonus of camouflage into the surrounding landscape. In South Wales, there are 48 military magazines in North Pembrokeshire alone. Welshpool has a land army hostel; The POW site at Haverford west was interesting — it had 8 huts, no fence, and no guards — the POWs were picked up by lorry each morning, and returned at night after a day’s work on local farms, by all accounts getting along quite happily, as was often the case with POWs working on the land. Older sites from Napoleonic and other periods were often re-used. Inland there were stop lines, e.g. around Carmarthen, which basically used the natural landscape, e.g. valleys and ridges and ravines, to block enemy tank attacks. Some pillboxes had walls up to 56 inches thick.
Richard Avent, CADW
The survey in Wales has helped to aid the process of selection for statutory protection. Only two dozen Welsh defence sites are currently protected, including Fishguard Fort and sites scheduled by specific request due to their rarity and importance including two sets of WW1 practice trenches, an airfield gunnery dome trainer RAF Pembrey, and the seaplane/flying boat hangars at Pembroke Dock, plus two POW buildings including an Italian POW chapel and a single surviving German POW but at Bridgend, from where 67 Germans tunnelled out to escape as late as March 1945, the largest POW escape in Britain. CADW wants to institute a systematic programme of protecting such sites, but has been prevented from doing so by lack of staff. Priority has been most recently given to listing Welsh non-conformist chapels as increasing numbers of them become redundant.
Mike Osborne — Eastern England
There have been changes in understanding and a shift in public and academic attitude as regards the study of twentieth century military defences, now accepted as important. Pillboxes are NOT all the same; there are variations on standard designs such as the mushroom like ‘Oakington’, which had its 360-degree loophole. modified to just two slots in some versions built. Pillbox systems are remarkably complex, with interconnecting and mutually supportive fields of fire. At Peterborough, the ‘central keep’ was the Corporation Power Station — its manager was CO of the local Home Guard, and installed an electrified fence! Burghley House had been identified as Goering’s English country residence if Germany had invaded.
John Schofield of English Heritage mentioned that since 1994 the Monuments Protection Programme had been reviewing 20`h century English military sites, looking at site typology and location, working with the National Monuments Record. Sites are transferred from old maps onto modern OS maps to show what still survives, for instance only 1.6% of bombing decoys survive well; 67% have vanished altogether. One percent of heavy AA sites survive complete, 5% of them are still complete enough to warrant formal protection. EH are presently doing a national assessment of POW camps, with TA centres identified for future study. Other wider projects include Airfield Defence, studied with the aid of the Airfield Research Group. 240 Picket Hamilton retractable airfield defence pillboxes were built; only 20 survive and will be considered for scheduling. The complete airfield site at Perrenporth is a scheduled ancient monument, being complete with wartime buildings and their related defences, as a ‘type site’ to show how the whole airfield defence scheme worked. Such scheduled monuments are intended to show the importance of the whole landscape of defence, but need to generate positive publicity and gain the support of the local community. There needs to be an overview of priorities and resources; the research framework needs to meet changing priorities, with defence landscapes seen as part of the mainstream of heritage management, conservation and archaeology, quoting Churchill’s speech about it being ‘the end of the beginning’ as the study develops.
Doreen Grove of Historic Scotland mentioned that buildings could be adapted to match local topography. The veteran Polish Regiment moved to Scotland in 1940 after the fall of France and built much of the defences on the Scottish East Coast; some of their work is still being `tidied up’ (destroyed) by local councils. Historic Scotland undertook a pre-DoB baseline survey of defensive sites, looking at the significant areas of Orkney and the Firth of Forth and areas where there was a perceived threat to surviving monuments. Rural areas remain sparsely populated, with the same coastline length as England but a fraction of the population. Scapa Flow is an internationally important site, with features such as marine defences and sea booms
Northern Ireland — Nick Brannon, Environment & Heritage Service NI
In NI the DOB project was renamed the politically neutral ‘Defence Heritage Project’ with a hardcore of some 20-30 volunteers, who have identified some 70 pillboxes and 19 heavy AA sites, especially around Belfast. WW! Evidence — practice trenches — has also been recorded. The infamous, and now empty, Maze Prison may become a museum of The Troubles’. Twentieth century archaeology of the troubles — hydraulic ram roadblocks, fortified police posts and border observation towers — are also being recorded before they are demolished as part of the peace process. Vernacular art — the classic gable end artwork and graffiti — also needs to be recorded. Prof Richard Holmes, Security Studies Institute (Him off the telly) Professor Holmes spoke on the broader Military History Context of Britain’s anti-invasion defences. Britain is virtually unique in not having faced a major land invasion in modern times (not since the ’45 and French Napoleonic incursions into Wales and Ireland at least). Britain has traditionally had a large navy to protect her maritime interests, and a small army to protect territories and the UK. Defence policy is now once again centring on naval out of area’ operations as part of Britain’s’ `Force for Good’ foreign policy. On the Scots border, Berwick-on-Tweed is the nearest British approach to the post medieval layered defences found on the continent. Britain’s best layered defences are found on the coast. The narrow English Channel is the gap that has directed the location of previous invasion attempts. Attackers will tend to seek areas where there are no defences, e.g. the Germans sweeping around, rather than through, the Maginot Line in WW2, or will create technical solutions, such as the super heavy mortars developed by the Germans to smash Soviet defences. The perimeter defences of 1940 were intended to buy time for land, sea and air forces to counter-attack, cut off the attacker and eliminate hint
Closing Address; HRH The Duke of Gloucester
The Duke mentioned that war affects everyone’s lives and everyone’s’ landscape and locality when structures such as defences are imposed. He spoke amusingly of his own cavalryman father’s experiences; on one occasion, inspecting newly built coastal defences, on being assured that the pillboxes were indeed shellproof, he called up a friend with a tank to put a round into one such pillbox, which was utterly destroyed, with predictable effects on the morale of builders and garrison. On another occasion he watched the protracted crossing of a river by a Sherman DD wading tank, which ‘lay there panting’ when it reached the shore. CBA president and Flag Fen Iron Age site stalwart Dr Francis Pryor then closed the conference. This was a very well attended conference and a fitting finale to a long running and successful programme of complementary fieldwork and documentary research.
TRANSPORT CORNER Andy Simpson
Following the Last Tram From Barnet article. (newsletter 369) Derek Batten has written asking about London Transport’s reasoning behind its allocation of Trolleybus route numbers. Reference to Hugh Taylor’s’ seminal `London Trolleybus Routes’ (Capital Transport 1993; an excellent £18.95 worth if you can find it!) provides the answer. From c.1938, the 500 to 599 series were initially allocated for routes south of the River and the 600 to 699 series for routes north of it, though this system later became less rigid, allowing the 517 and 521 to serve North Finchley from Holborn along with the 513 to Hampstead Heath. For the tram to trolleybus conversion programme, wherever possible the new trolleybus route number was similar to the replaced tram route number, presumably to help passenger recognition. The Metropolitan Electric Tramways plaque referred to on p.3 of the last newsletter probably dates to the rebuilding of Finchley Depot 1930/31 to accommodate the then new Feltham double deck bogie tramcars, one of which can be seen at London’s Transport Museum (note new name!) in Covent Garden. For those seeking that definitive Barnet train/tram/trolleybus photo or timetable, forthcoming Transport Enthusiast’s Bazaars include Camden Centre, Bidborough St WC I (opposite St Pancras) Saturday 2nd February 11 am-3pm, £1.50 admission; North London Transport Society St Paul’s Centre Church St/Old Park Lane Enfield Town Saturday 23rd February 11-4, £1.50, and Church Hall, Regent Square United Reformed Church Wakefield St WC1 Saturday 23rd March 11-3 £1 admission.
LECTURE REPORT Audree Price-Davies
Report of November Lecture — Excavations on the Durrnberg. Common salt, chloride sodium is an extremely abundant substance in nature. It is found in almost inexhaustible deposits as rock salt, in various parts of the world. From such deposits arise brine springs which are strongly impregnated with salt and various inland sea hold it in solution. From these various sources salt is prepared for use as an indispensable condiment in human food and as a raw material in chemical manufacture. Salt is used as a preservative of food and also as a flavour enhancer. There are two basic German words for salt, `Hall’ as in Hallstatt and ‘sal’ as in Salzburg. The Welsh word is ‘halen’ Durrnberg (barren mound) is a village in Austria six miles SSE of Merseberg. The excavations were carried out in the valley of the Durnberg. The salt exists in layers below the limestone rock, and shafts are sunk through the rock to mine it. Passageways are made and the salt is dug out. Excavations revealed that the prehistoric tools — antler picks and sticks were very similar to those used by the Romans. The newest finds from graves are of Celtic and Roman date — helmets and armour. Finds dating from 600B.C. included Baltic amber in a necklace and fifth century finds also included amber. Trade and travel played a large part in relation to the mines and distribution of the salt, and Bronze Age finds included a bronze wine jug, which was a copy of an imported Etruscan jug, and a bronze water bottle with bronze engraving. A bronze boar made of amber with coral, was from the Gulf of Naples. The Celtic influence, as evidenced in the boar is seen even further in the Celtic Museum in Salzburg where panels depict the production of salt. Trading which involved travel seems to be evident at all times. Burials of miners and children — often miners themselves- were excavated. They were often well preserved by the preservative action of the salt and indicated a belief in the afterlife. The miners were local people who worked in the mine during the winter and tended their flocks and farms in spring and summer. The lecture was given by Professor Vincent Megaw, from Flinders University, South Australia.
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT SHEFFIELD ARCHAEOLOGICAL FORUM (in Partnership with the University of Sheffield)
Archaeology in the Public Domain 9th & 10th March 2002 University of Sheffield Student’s Union, Western Bank, Sheffield Described as a conference that recognises that presentation to the public is a key aspect of archaeological work. It will look at the public’s relationship with archaeology and how it is underpinned by fundamental concepts of cultural heritage and identity. It aims to provide an open forum to discus the public presentation of archaeology and to encourage a reflexive approach to archaeological interpretation and the heritage industry. Speakers are from Universities, field units, consultants, planning departments, museums, heritage centres and the literary and broadcast media. Sessions include; Archaeology and the Media; Academic Research & the Public; Commercial archaeology & the Public; Heritage Management & the Public. Speakers include Julian Richards University of York Public Archaeology & The Internet Sam Moorhead British Museum The World Comes to The British Museum Mike Parker Pearson Unvty. Of Sheffield Why bother and who cares anyway? Maev Kennedy Arts & Culture, The Guardian archaeology: What the papers say ..and our own Andrew Selkirk of Current Archaeology Drugs, Gays and Archaeology Cost £10 each (f5 for students) Details from S.A.Ffirstname.lastname@example.org (www.sheffarcforum.org.uk/) The Old Post House, 42 Scarborough Terrace, Bootham, York Y030 7AW
TIME TEAM 2002
Bill Bass has kindly provided this year’s programme schedule for that perennial Channel Four favourite, Time Team’. The new series actually began on 6th January, but the programmes from February onwards are as below; All at 6.30 pm — though check beforehand on the day! The Furnace in The Cellar, Ironbridge (3 February); An Ermine Street Pub, Cheshunt (10 February); Iron age Market, Helford (17 February); Siege House in Shropshire (24 February); A Prehistoric Airfield, Throckmorton (3 March); A Lost Roman City, Castleford (10 March); Every Castle Needs a Lord, Warwickshire (17 March); Steptoe et Filius, Isle of Wight (24 March); Seven Buckets and a Buckle (31 March).
The Quarterly Review of the English Heritage Greater London Archaeology Service is one of the publications regularly received by the Society. The August to October 2001 issue, published in November, records a number of items of interest, including the appointment of Kim Stabler as Archaeology Advisor to the north and west London boroughs, replacing our old friend Rob Whytehead. Improvements in delivery of the Greater London Sites and Monuments Record service are expected with implementation of a new system any time now, and the Museum of London formally open their London Archaeology Research Centre at Eagle Wharf Road on 7th February. The Review gives summaries of local archaeological work, as summarised overleaf.
Battle of Barnet — ‘Two Men in a Trench’.
(This involved a certain well-known Committee member!) Optomen Television filmed an investigation of the battlefield. They involved HADAS, Chipping Barnet Museum, local metal detectorists, and others. Work included remote sensing and landscape studies. Specific small areas were then selected for trenching, including one inside Old Fold golf club, on the moated site, and others across a hedgerow and a ditch in an attempt to date these features. Hedge species were counted to assess dates. The results should be broadcast on BBC2 in the spring.
142-150 Cricklewood Broadway Site Code CKB 01 (TQ523890-185690)
Archaeological Services and Consultancy Ltd dug three evaluation trenches at this hotel site, showing that the area was devoid of archaeological potential on the Broadway frontage. Only late Victorian material was found. A fourth trench revealed mostly made up ground with material probably imported from an industrial site, with little evidence of original land surfaces at the rear of the site. Findings suggest little occupation of the site before c.1850.
Mill Hill Gas Works, Bittacy Hill. NW7 Site Code BYLO1 (TQ2390 9130)
The Herts Archaeological Trust dug two trenches that partly revealed brick built 18th century features, probably relating to the farm established on the site at that time. Heavily truncated, they are interpreted as flimsy wall foundations or brick-edged paving. There has been considerable ground disturbance, with the embanking of Sanders Lane to cross the cutting of the railway to Edgware, now truncated at Mill Hill East, possibly necessitating demolition of the last of the farm which had a house, yard and barn in 1796 but partly demolished c.1828 1863 according to map evidence.
61 Wood Street. Barnet Site Code WTB 01 (TQ2411 9639)
The Herts Archaeological Trust undertook a watching brief which showed 19th century overburden, building foundations and floors overlying loamy soils and no archaeological features or finds.
1263-1275 High Road. Whetstone Site Code HGWO1 (T02638 9397)
Thames Valley Archaeological Services, assisted by HADAS as reported by John Heathfield in newsletter 370, found that archaeological deposits survive where modern truncation has not occurred, dating back possibly to the mid 14th century, with a single residual sherd of Roman pottery. The central location (adjacent to the Black Bull Pub) and ceramic evidence indicate continuity of occupation, indicating the site has the potential to illustrate the change from medieval village to capital city suburb over a period of some 700 years. Tapster Street and Moon Lane. Barnet Site Code TTR 01 (T02460 9660) Pre-Construct Archaeology undertook a watching brief; all trenches showed natural deposits overlain by 19th and 20th century deposits associated with the levelling of the area. There was one linear cut of the natural and a layer of uncertain date below the modern deposits on the western side and a post-medieval linear cut and undated deposit in the centre of the site also.
OTHER SOCIETIES’ EVENTS by Eric Morgan
Thursday 31st January 8pm THE FINCHLEY SOCIETY Drawing Room, Avenue House — Buried in Barnet Talk by Andrew Mussell, Borough Archivist
Also Thursday 28th February — Environment — talk by Steve Presland. Same time/venue.
Wednesday 27th February STANMORE & HAROW HISTORICAL SOCIETY Wealdstone Baptist Church High Road, Wealdstone The Tower of London Talk by Mrs Muriel Jones
Thursday 7th February THE LONDON CANAL MUSEUM 12-13 New Wharf Road Kings X Anatomy of Canals (Canal architecture) Talk by Derek Pratt (concessions 1.25)
Thursday 14th February 8pm PINNER LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY Village Hall, Chapel Lane Car Park, Pinner Who built The Houses In Pinner High St? Talk by Patricia Clarke (£1 Donation)
Monday 14th February 3pm BARNET & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY Wyburn Room, Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet Homely, Hearty, Loving Hertfordshire (Charles Lamb) by Ann Marie Parker
Wednesday 13th February HORNSEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Union Church Hall, Cnr Ferme Park Road Weston Park N8 The Coming of Electricity to North London Geoffrey Gilliam of the Enfield Archaeological Society.
Wednesday 13th February 8pm WILLESDEN LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY Willesden Suite, Library Centre, 95, High Road, NW10 Fitness for Purpose — Art & Design on London Underground Geoff Toms — History of the Underground, its stations and posters 1920s130s
Friday 15th February WEMBLEY LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY St Andrew Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury NW9 Consolidation of Ruins of 1672 Brick Church of St John the Evangelist, Stanmore Talk by Dr. Freddie Hicks.
Tuesday 26th February 8pm FRIERN BARNET & DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY Old Fire Station, next to Town Hall Friern Barnet Lane N12 Whetstone Crossroads John Heathfield