newsletter-459-june-2009 – HADAS Newsletter Archive


Tuesday 9 June: Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 8 July: Outing to Syon Park

13-20 July: HADAS DIG in Church Farm House Museum garden

Sunday 26 July: Outing to Broughton Castle and Oxfordshire

Sunday 2 August: Brockley Hill Pottery Display & Roman Cookery Demonstration

Wednesday 26 August to Sunday 30 August: HADAS long weekend in Hereford



It is becoming increasingly difficult to find venues which are open on Saturdays so we are experimenting with a Sunday outing. Our main visit will be to Broughton Castle near Banbury. Some of you may have heard the Radio 4 reading of William Fiennes’ book “The Music Room” which is about his young days living in the castle which has been the home of the Fiennes family for twenty generations. We found it enchanting when we visited it and the fourteenth century church in the grounds. It is close to Swalcliffe village where there is a tithe barn (1409) with a small museum, remains of a Roman road and villa (at this point we are not sure whether digging will be in progress) and a hill fort which we promise not to make you climb! It should be an enjoyable day in a beautiful part of Oxfordshire. Application forms are included in this Newsletter.

Stewart Wild and June Porges

HADAS DIG Don Cooper

HADAS are going to dig at the back of Church Farm Museum again this year. The dig will start on the 13th July for one week. The Wednesday and Thursday the 15th and 16th of July will be devoted to the pupils of St Mary’s School. HADAS members will be welcome to come along on the other days to watch, get involved, chat and maybe get a cup of tea!

This is a rare opportunity for members to get involved with the practical side of archaeology. We look forward to seeing you there.


In the May Newsletter (p3) it was reported that the site of the burial place of Anthony and Cleopatra has been found 17 miles North of Alexandria. Dr Jeffrey Lesser points out that “North” must be wrong (unless this is underwater archaeology?).

In last month’s newsletter the old Discussion List URL was quoted by mistake.

The correct one is below:


Sun 2 August 14.00-17.00 Avenue House, 17 East End Rd, Finchley, London N3 3QE

This event will be a display of Roman pottery excavated from kiln sites on Brockley Hill near Edgware (sometimes thought to be the settlement of Solloniacis). The material comes from a number of digs during the 1930s, 40s and 50s which eventually came into the care of the HADAS. We are now processing the pottery to current museum standards, on show will be a wide range of pottery types that were made at Brockley Hill, examples of which were distributed all over Roman Britain. Also, there will be a demonstration of Roman cooking by Rose Baillie of the City of London Archaeological Society . Rose will show how she thought a Roman kitchen worked and will cook a number of dishes in replica Roman pots.

The above event is part of the Festival of British Archaeology two week extravaganza organised by the CBA. For further information please contact Sophie Cringle, Marketing and Events Officer, Council for British Archaeology, St Mary’s House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ. Tel: 01904 671417. Email:

See the full list at: We are listed under the London events (not Greater London). For members with no access to the internet, HADAS has ordered a small number of the National Events booklet which we hope will arrive to display at the AGM.

Bill Bass & Stephen Brunning


We were shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death (from pancreatic cancer) on the 8th April of Liz Holliday at the comparatively early age of 62. Before moving from Barnet to Chipperfield 18 years ago she had been an active and enthusiastic member of HADAS and she maintained the connection even after her move.

Liz spent her childhood in North London. She attended Henrietta Barnett School where she was Head Girl in 1965, went on to study librarianship at the North London Polytechnic, and joined the Barnet Libraries Service and, in due course, HADAS. With her love of literature, history and art, her organizing abilities and her boundless energy, Liz became a valued contributor to many HADAS projects. She undertook research, wrote articles for publications (and designed at least one of our booklet covers) and helped to mount exhibitions. She served as Honorary Secretary to HADAS in the 1980s and early 1990s, continuing for a spell after her move to Chipperfield in 1991. While in Barnet she had been a regular attender at lectures and she enjoyed our Society outings. I vividly remember her at Bosworth Battlefield in 1993, passionately defending the reputation of Richard III!

Indeed Liz’s great “passion for life” was the main theme of the tributes paid to her at the Service of Thanksgiving in Chipperfield Parish Church on the 21st April attended by over 200 people. The number of village organizations in which she had served as Chairman or Secretary or Treasurer was mind-boggling. They included the Choral Society, the Horticultural Society, the Women’s Institute, various church committees, a Bookworms Club which she founded, and the Chipperfield News of which she was joint editor. Her love of dogs was legendary and she always owned at least two. Following her early retirement she had become a keen traveler, venturing as far afield as China and telling delightful tales of her adventures.

But above all, Liz’s family (sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece) and her many friends and neighbours in Chipperfield remember her affection, her kindness, her wit, her cheerfulness and her courage. I am sure that is how her friends in HADAS remember her too.

EXIT SCOLA Peter Pickering

SCOLA is, or was, the Standing Conference on London Archaeology. I became its Assistant Secretary in 1995 and its Secretary in 2005; Michael Hammerson (a HADAS member) was its Treasurer even longer, having taken over from Derek Renn (a HADAS vice-president).

SCOLA was formed in 1992 in the wake of the Rose Theatre affair and the transfer of the responsibility for providing archaeological planning advice to London boroughs (the old Greater London Council had, of course, been abolished in 1986) from the Museum of London to English Heritage. SCOLA was intended to be a formal, pan-London forum with a solid constitution where issues of importance to the conduct of archaeology could be discussed, problems raised, and solutions found. It was originally sponsored by the Council for British Archaeology, the Society of Antiquaries and the two county archaeological societies, and had local archaeological societies, some local authorities and individuals among its membership. Its Chairman was not elected by the membership, but nominated by the Society of Antiquaries and the Council for British Archaeology; several very eminent people have become Chairman, including Barry Cunliffe, Michael Robbins, Martin Millett and Peter Addyman (twice)

SCOLA took a great interest from the beginning in the way in which developer-funded archaeology (under the Government’s Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) 16) was working in London, financed research into this, and held a conference in 2002. In its earlier years it ran other conferences with a more general appeal, on prehistoric London, on Dark Age London, and revisiting Martin Biddle’s seminal ‘The Future of London’s Past’.

Much of SCOLA’s effort, was spent on trying to ensure that the powers that be took account of archaeology (and the historic environment generally). This was not easy – the Greater London Authority, at least under Ken Livingstone, was a great disappointment to us, as was the Government’s decision last year to drop the Heritage Protection Bill from its legislative programme. Borough councils have not supported SCOLA as was hoped, and several borough museums have been closed or are under threat (though there is some better news – Havering is going to open a new one.)

SCOLA also took up some special cases where the system was not working well – for instance the decision to “preserve in situ” under a car park rather than excavate properly an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Croydon, and the failure to impose an adequate archaeological condition on some redevelopment along the line of the Roman road in Bow. More recently, we pressed for proper excavation and recording before the Olympic facilities were built; this seems to be proceeding satisfactorily, though there remain concerns about the effect of the equestrian events on Greenwich park. Although providing finance was not among its primary purposes, SCOLA did on a few occasions grant-aid the publication of excavations and other projects. In furtherance of its aim to inform the public, in 2004, 2006 and 2008 SCOLA, in conjunction with the ‘London Archaeologist’ magazine, offered a prize for the best publication relating to the archaeology of Greater London that had appeared over the previous two years.

Throughout, SCOLA was anxious to inform and involve local societies, who in turn supported SCOLA through subscriptions. In the early days SCOLA had ‘local area groups’ and organised an annual meeting for local societies to share information and views. In 2002 these were subsumed in the London Archaeological Forum, under the aegis of the Museum of London.

This year SCOLA was dissolved. That was because of the formation of the London Group of the Council for British Archaeology. To know more about that, read on . . .

ENTER CBA London by Don Cooper

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has for many years wanted to have a regional group that reflected the size and complexity of our capital city. The creation of CBA London in April 2008 provides this group. For those not familiar with the objectives of the national CBA they are spelt out on the following website: In summary, as well as carrying out its statutory role with respect to listed buildings, three specific strategic objectives are identified as follows:

Advocacy: campaigning on behalf of the historic environment both above and below ground, championing the role of the voluntary sector, ensuring that archaeology has a place in education and life-long learning.

Participation: CBA London will support and encourage participation by all levels of London society

Discovery: Enabling and supporting the research by others to advance knowledge in archaeology.

These strategic objectives are complementary to SCOLA’s objectives and CBA London proposes to build on the excellent work that SCOLA has carried out over the last seventeen years.

The advent of CBA London represents an opportunity for local societies to take advantage of a large, national charity dedicated to the promotion of archaeology and able to bring its formidable advocacy skills to local archaeological issues and opportunities via local representation.

In practical terms CBA London will support young people’s participation in archaeology through the Young Archaeologists’ Club and promoting and helping with local schools practical archaeology endeavours.

In research CBA London has a particular objective in assisting with advice and support the processing of local archaeological excavations towards publication and the creation of an accessible archive. CBA London also supports and encourages participation in the Thames Foreshore Project

CBA London represents a great opportunity for local societies to raise participation in archaeology to a new level and if there are any other roles/activities that HADAS members would like CBA London to consider please don’t hesitate to contact me.

DIGGING IN ISRAEL–Tel Gezer Micky Watkins

In January I had a wonderful holiday in Israel. My niece Ros and her Perry took my sister Bunty and I on a tour including Nazareth, the Crusader Castle at Acre, mosaics at Zippori, and the Carmel range. We had a delicious falafel lunch in a tiny café and a Bedouin breakfast. Everybody was glad that the terrible hostilities in Gaza had finished.

After all the famous sites, Ros and Perry sprung a surprise. One kilometre from their house is Tel Gezer, one of three cities founded by Solomon. There are no crowds, no entry fee, no barrier and no shop.. Only a magnificent view, and a partially excavated site of world importance with no one but us to look at it. The site is large, 30 acres, and has been important since Canaanite times as it guards a valley leading from the coast road to Jerusalem. The early inhabitants lived in caves cut in the rock. In the 2nd millennium BCE it became one of the foremost Canaanite cities with massive walls and towers. At the centre was a cult area with ten monolithic steles, some still standing, and a large stone tank, possibly used for sacrificial blood. The Egyptian Pharoahs destroyed the city with fire and the kings of Gezer became their vassals.

The city was rebuilt in the 11th century BCE and was then conquered by Joshua and the Israelites. Its great period was under King Solomon who made it one of the three royal centres away from Jerusalem. He built strong fortifications and a water system.

Among the many finds is the famous Gezer Calendar – a small limestone tablet on which a list of agricultural chores done each month is engraved. It is one of the earliest examples of Hebrew writing.

There is an excavation every summer with archaeologists and amateurs from all over the world joining in. Details can be found on the internet:

If you just want to visit the site and Israel, you can ask Ros and Perry to help you. They could pick you up at Tel Aviv airport, accommodate you in their very comfortable house and take you round Tel Gezer. If they have time they could take you on a further tour. Perry is on the local archaeological committee and they are keen to promote visits. Ros is a landscape gardener and Perry an environmental consultant. Their e-mail address is:

THE EYE OF CHILDHOOD: children’s writers and artists in Barnet borough

(30 May- 27 September 2009 )

Church Farmhouse Museum’s Summer exhibition reveals the many children’s authors and illustrators, past and present, with connexions to our area: from Oliver Postgate (The Clangers; Bagpuss) to Joe Craig ( the Jimmy Coates series); from Sydney Hulme Beaman (the Toytown stories on radio and TV) to Helen Craig & Katharine Holabird (Angelina Ballerina); from Anthony Buckeridge (Jennings) to Spike Milligan (Silly Verse for Kids).

Earlier authors featured include Frank Horrabin, whose Japhet & Happy comic strip in the News Chronicle rivalled Rupert Bear in popularity in the 1920s; Mark Lemon (first editor of Punch) who lived at Church Farm as a boy in the early 1800s; and Lewis Carroll, as the Lewis Carroll Society was founded in Hendon in 1969.

Children visiting the exhibition will have the opportunity to write their own poems and brief stories, or draw illustrations to their favourite tales.

Reading is one of childhood’s greatest adventures. Come along and see how much the many and varied writers and artists of Barnet borough have contributed to it.


Friday 5 June 2.15pm: The Match Girls Strike (1889) Talk by Dr Louise Raw. Free

Hampstead Museum, Burgh House, New End Square NW3

Monday 8 June 3pm:Foul Deeds & Suspicious Deaths in Barnet, Finchley & Hendon. Talk by Nick Papadimitriou. Barnet & District Local History Society, Church House, Wood St Barnet (

Wednesday 10th June 7.45pm: The History of Churchyards. Talk by Dr Michael Worms. £1 Hornsey Historical Society, Union Church Hall, corner Ferme Park Rd./Weston Park N8

Saturday 13 June Highgate Summer Festival 12.30-5.30pm: Lots of stalls. Pond Square N6

Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 June: London Open Garden Squares Weekend. Visit gardens not normally open to the public. Tickets £8 (£6.75 if booked in advance).

Sunday 14 June 1-5pm: Avenue House 150th Anniversary Celebration Fun Day. Entrance £2.50 Lots of stalls including HADAS. The Garden Room will be open from 10.30am

15 June—26 September: Exhibition of Oral History Recordings & Photographs of Local People. Camden Local Studies & Archives, Holborn Library, 32-8 Theobalds Rd WC1

Friday 19 June 7pm: Play Houses of Tudor London. Talk by Julian Bowsher. Visitors £2

COLAS, St Olaves Parish Hall, Mark Lane EC3

Friday 19 June 8pm: Geoffery Gillam Memorial Lecture – His Contribution to Local Archaeology. Talk by IAW Jones. Jubilee Hall, 2 Parsonage Lane/junction Chase Side, Enfield

Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 June: Victorian Country Fair, part of London-wide Festival

Kenwood, Hampstead Lane NW3

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Sunday 21 June: East Finchley Festival. Lots of stalls. Cherry Tree Wood (opp. Station)

Sunday 21 June 2pm: East Barnet Village, Guided Walk led by Paul Baker. 2 hours

Meet outside E. Barnet Library, Brookhill Rd

Tuesday 23 June 7.30pm: Barnet Borough Arts Council AGM. (HADAS is affiliated to BBAC)

Trinity Church Centre, 15 Nether St N12

Thursday 25 June 8pm: East Finchley’s History Through Maps. Talk by Tony Roberts. £2

Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Rd N3

Sunday 28 June 11.30am: Plaque unveiling ceremony, St Mary’s Church, Hendon Lane N3

To bring attention to the architectural & historical importance of the Church

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