THE EARLIEST TRACKWAY IN THE WORLD
A report by PAUL CRADDOCK on our October lecture.
Well over 100 HADAS members attended the first lecture of the winter season to hear John Coles describe his work on the Somerset levels.
Within the peat Levels are the until now perfectly preserved remains of timber built trackways of the Neolithic and Bronze Age, running across what would then have been open bog, between the ‘mainland’ of the-Polden Hills and the ‘islands’ of arable land. The trackways are of complex construction and show an extremely developed knowledge of civil engineering, carpentry and also, indirectly, of forest management and coppicing. The men who built these trackways did not have to rely on available timber from the primeval forest but had a selection of suitable poles deliberately grown upon which to call.
The earliest trackway, the Sweet Track, dates from the middle of the 4th millenium BC, which makes it the earliest surviving built track in the world. Lengths of sturdy tree trunks (‘telegraph poles’ as Dr. Coles put it) were carefully pegged through the bog to the clay, and peat was stacked against this, then timber planking was pegged on top to make a continuous if narrow trackway going for kilometres at a time. As the track was only about 30 cms wide and lapped by water, it is hardly surprising that numerous everyday items of flint and pottery were dropped in. Because of the unique preservative properties of the peat bog, however, a flint arrowhead preserves the end of the shaft stuck to its side and traces of nettle fibre binding, while the Neolithic pot still has its content of nuts intact. Just occasionally more spectacular finds, such as a superb Jade axehead, are made as well; someone must have had an anxious but fruitless search of the waters beside the track to try to retrieve such a treasure.
As well as the study of the timberwork and its conservation, a great deal of scientific work – for example, on the beetles and fungi – has been carried on, which has enabled a detailed picture of the changing environment of the Levels to be built up. Tree ring analysis of the timbers enables Dr. Coles’ team of experts to correlate when different parts of track were built and even sometimes to identify the planks, etc from one single tree along a track.
Man’s activity in the Levels did not cease after the Bronze Age, and Dr. Coles’ team have also turned their attention to the famous Iron Age Lake villages at Meare where they excavated one of the house platforms, producing a host of new information with the battery of scientific techniques that can now be used.
Sadly, this is not just a research dig. Peat cutting and a lowered water table mean all this unique preservation is steadily deteriorating. With the co-operation of the peat diggers and with his team Dr. Coles is recording as much as possible of the unique remains of the Somerset Levels and adding another dimension to our knowledge of prehistoric Europe.
NOTE: Dr. Coles’ digs in the Levels are not only models of difficult excavation beautifully executed; they also provide an example of how publication of results should be handled.
Each year a Somerset Levels Paper is produced. We are now at No. 5, which contains eleven separate papers including the annual report on the 1978 dig, an account of the conservation of wooden objects and details of the radio-carbon dating of a floating tree-ring chronology.
Somerset Levels Papers Nos. 4 (1978) and 5 (1979) are obtainable at £3 each. (including postage) from the Somerset Levels Project, Dept. of Archaeology, Downing St, Cambridge. Papers 1, 2 and 3 are sold out.
NEWS FOR DIGGERS
Digging will continue at West Heath on Weds, Sats and Suns till rain and frost render it impossible. The change in the clocks, however, makes it virtually morning digging only, as the light starts to go soon after lunch. Diggers who intend to work at West Heath should contact Daphne Lorimer if they have any doubts about the weather.
Paddy Musgrove’s long-heralded dig at Church Crescent, Finchley, started in the weekend of Oct. 20/21 and will continue for several weekends; or if interesting features are found, perhaps longer. Diggers who have already volunteered to help have been notified by phone; but if you have not yet volunteered and would like to, please give Paddy a ring and he will provide all the details.
AFTER THE DIG IS OVER
… comes processing. As announced last month, processing weekends will take place.” at the Teahouse, Northway, NWll on Nov 24 and Dec 1; we shall be happy to have the help of as many members as possible.
We are aiming at a pretty full programme of work. Processing of this summer’s West Heath finds has been going on regularly at Avenue House, but there is still much to do. In addition, Daphne Lorimer has several new projects she wants to get started.
We also hope to begin work on the HADAS Photographic Record. Now that we have a room of our own at Avenue House all our photographic archives – ranging from negatives an inch square up to exhibition prints 12 in. by 8 in. can be stored there, but we want to get them catalogued and indexed so that they can be easily used. This is no simple job, because of the diversity of the material, but Ted Sammes hopes to collect a small team and make a start on it at the Teahouse.
Thirdly, Sheila Woodward, whose particular pigeon is the Edgware area, will begin marking and studying finds of Roman pottery and building material from our latest field walks near Brockley Hi11.
Members who intend to take part in the weekends are asked, if possible, to let either Daphne Lorimer or Brigid Grafton Green know beforehand, as this will help in planning the various projects.
BLUE PLAQUE FOR THE BARNETTS
More than five years ago HADAS first suggested to the GLC the possibility of putting up a Blue Plaque on Heath End House, Spaniards Road, Hampstead, “to commemorate the fact that for nearly a quarter-century ” it was the home of Canon Samuel and Mrs (later Dame) Henrietta Barnett.
The mills of the GLC, like those of God, grind fairly slowly. However, after many vicissitudes, and just as this Newsletter was going to press, we received the following letter from the GLC’s Department of Architecture and Civic Design.
“Your suggestion for a commemorative plaque has been considered at a recent meeting of the Council’s Historic Buildings Committee. I am pleased to inform you that it was decided to erect a plaque at Heath End House, Hampstead and the proposed inscription reads:
DAME HENRIETTA BARNETT
Founder of Hampstead Garden Suburb
I shall write to you again in due course when all the necessary consents have been obtained and the plaque ordered from the manufacturer. With a backlog of plaques awaiting manufacture and erection I am afraid their may be some further delay before this stage is reached.”
This is excellent news, even if we still have some time to wait before the plaque goes up.
Heath End House is a white, weather boarded 18th c. building near the Spaniards Inn. There are several other interesting facts about it, as well as the one we are proposing to commemorate.” The Manx novelist, Hall Caine is also said to have lived there for a time, after the Barnetts left. The house itself straddles the boundary of the Boroughs of Barnet and Camden, and side by side in a ground floor broom cupboard (of which HADAS photographer Peter Clinch took excellent photos some years ago) are the twin boundary stones of Hampstead St. Johns and Hendon St. Marys.
From the upper windows at the back you used to be able to look out over rolling Middlesex countryside to the ridge of Mill Hill. Henrietta Barnett has described how she was able to watch, in the valley below, the Suburb which was to make her internationally known beginning to take shape and grow.
When the Barnetts bought the house in 1889 they re-named it “St Judes Cottage” (it has now returned to its original name), because Samuel Barnett was Vicar of St Judes, Whitechapel. They used it as a retreat from the sights, smells and noise of the East End going there for what they called their “Sabbath” – in fact, a Friday, as Mr. Barnett had always to be back in Whitechapel for Sunday services.
Although named “cottage,” it was a large house. The Barnetts did not keep it to themselves. Indeed, it soon earned the nick-name “St Judes Hold-all.” The visitors to, and residents, in, St. Judes Cottage mirror the Barnetts many interests.
From 1875 Mrs Barnett was a manager of Forest Gate “barrack” school, to which the union workhouses of Poplar and Whitechapel sent their orphan or destitute children. One of her reforms was to set up small houses for training girls who were about to leave school and go “into service.” As she put it, they could “prepare before they made their, entry into “the world.”
St. Jude’s Cottage was used for this work, and there were always 5 or 6 girls in training there under a matron as house or parlour maids, “practising” on the Barnetts. To St Judes Cottage too, went tired workers from Toynbee Hall (founded by Samuel Barnett in 1884) to find rest. “In those years that end of the Heath was very quiet,” wrote Mrs Barnett, “and a few days at Hampstead became a joy to many weary people of all classes.” Mrs Barnett ‘s Girl Pupil Teachers Club used to meet at the Cottage; so did “Mr Barnett’s boys” – Whitechapel lads, shoeblacks, street orderlies, and later, when the Barnetts themselves had made the dramatic translation from the poverty of Whitechapel to the luxurious seclusion of a house in Westminster Abbey, the Abbey choirboys; and there were also, as Henrietta Barnett put it, “guests that were not quite ready to amalgamate; either the very shy, the very sad, the very superior or the very dirty.”
Mrs Barnett’s sister, Alice Hart (one of the first women to train in medecine) provided a new pony as a present, and the Barnetts constantly drove out to see the beauties of Totteridge and other places. Their deep enjoyment of what was then still real countryside is made abundantly clear in this almost lyrical letter from Mr Barnett, dated March, 1899: “We have just returned from a drive in the sunshine which sets one’s whole being quivering with inexpressible longing to be more, to enjoy more, to live more. The day is divine by its soft warmth, deep colour and freshening air. For three hours we jogged through the lanes and lived.” BGG
THE NOVEMBER LECTURE
The next lecture, on Recent Archaeology in Canterbury, will be on Tues. Nov 6 at Hendon Library. Coffee 8 pm, lecture begins 8.30.
Our speaker will be Tim Tatton Brown, who studied at the Institute of Archaeology in London, His experience of Roman and medieval sites ranges as far afield as Turkey, Benghazi, Carthage and Italy, as well as this country. His present work is for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, set up in 1975 and now continuously engaged on rescue archaeology in the city.
His talk will deal with medieval as well as Roman Canterbury.
Church Terrace Reports: No. 3
The next in the series of post-excavation reports from the Church Terrace site, by EDWARD SAMMES, on WINDOW GLASS.
The presence of glass in our windows is something we take for granted. The evolution of glass has been a long slow process, and one which is still being perfected.
It has been suggested that the origin of glass-making lay either in pottery production; or arose from the lighting of cooking fires in a sandy area where natural sodium salts abounded.
The oldest use of glass is that of natural obsidian, a volcanic glass which was flaked to make tools and weapons. This material was widely traded in Mesopotamia, Turkey and the Mediterranean from the Neolithic period.
In this country window glass begins with the coming of the Romans; it was most likely imported. Manufacture was by two methods:
(I) casting, i.e. pouring molten glass into a shallow flat mould and smoothing off the top surface with a charred wood striker.
(2) Blowing. A closed cylinder was blown and then the ends were cut off. A cut was then made down one side parallel to the axis. This cut cylinder wags then reheated on a flat surface so that the cylinder opened out to made a sheet of glass. This is called the cylinder or broad glass-making process.
Roman glass has been found at the Roman villa at Newport, Isle of Wight. A second and recent find comes from the Romano-British phase of Garden Rill, the Iron Age hill fort in East Sussex, where a whole pane 9″ x 10 1/4″ was uncovered in the area of the cold plunge of the bathhouse. This piece has been acquired by the British Museum.
Window glass was imported from the Continent during the Saxon period for ecclesiastical purposes, though some may have been made at Glastonbury.
The Wealden area, with its supplies of sand and wood, was to be one of the main areas of production in England. Wood supplied both the fuel and wood ash – the alkali needed to make glass.
By 1226 a flourishing glass industry was established at Chiddingfold in Surrey. In 1351 glass was transported from Chiddingfold to London at a cost of 8s a load – an additional 8d being charged for transporting it the extra distance from London to Westminster.
By 1611 coal had been successfully used and production moved to London and sites in the midlands and north of England. Much of the window glass of this period was crown glass. This was made by blowing a large hollow globe and then flattening one side to produce a hemisphere. A solid rod, called a pontil, was then fixed to the centre of the flattened area by means of a blob of molten glass. The blowpipe was removed leaving a hole which was enlarged. After re-heating, the hemisphere was spun, producing a circular “flat” pane with the familiar ‘bulls-eye’ in the middle. This bulls-eye was really the unwanted piece, which today has acquired a position of hallowed antiquity.
Window glass was found in three places at Church Terrace: the pit in trench B6, and in adjoining trenches C4 and D4. Most of it was discarded after examination; only a representative portion being kept.
The glass from C4 was mostly trimming pieces with one side rounded. The glass itself was green in colour, probably crown glass made with ashes as alkali. Trench D4 was clearer in colour, possibly soda glass. From the pit in B6 three pieces of trimmed glass are of note, as they give an indication of the probable size of window panes. All are broken, there being no complete pane.
Two pieces are each 2 3/4″ wide and one is 4 1/2″ long. All have corners cut off to facilitate fixing in lead window cames, portions of which wore also found. From other material, the glass in this pit would be mid-18th c.
For further reading
JANSON, S E – Glass Technology Catalogue, Science Museum, London. 1969
KENYON, G H – The Glass Industry of the Weald. Leicester Univ. Press. 1967
MONEY, J H – Garden Hill, Sussex. Britannia VIII, 1977, p 339
TOMALlN, D – Newport Roman Villa Guide. IOW Museums Publication No 1, 1977
NEXT TO GODLlNESS: A CENTURY OF DOMESTIC CLEANING
By Sheila Woodward.
Cleanliness as a virtue was very much a Victorian concept. For earlier generations, the twice-yearly household wash and a periodic sweeping-out of refuse into street or yard sufficed. But the Victorians, living in a grubby industrialised atmosphere, made cleanliness a fetish, a sign of respectability as much as a hygienic necessity.
A glimpse of the drudgery of domestic cleaning before the advent of the machine can be obtained at the current exhibition at Church Farm House Museum. Hero can be seen the dolly-peg, the wash-board and the mang1e, the on1y aids of the old-fashioned washday, and the sad irons, slug irons and crimping irons which wore used to “get up” the starched frills and flounces. The heavy materials used for dresses could often only be sponged, not washed, and many ingenious recipes for spot-cleaning were, devised. The removal of scorch-marks with a mixture of onions, vinegar, white soap and Fullers earth makes one wonder whether the remedy was worse than the blemish. A mixture of white wax and brandy was recommended to add “shine” to a man’s shirt-front and collar. To remove shine from a suit, logwood, ferrous sulphate and gin could be used – or, more cheaply, urine!
A primitive washing machine invented in the 1830s was hand-operated, and water, had to be heated before it was put into the machine. An attempt to heat water in the machine by a coal fire failed, as it added a fresh quota of soot, smuts and ash to the washing day problems. The great break-through came with the development of electricity to power the machine and heat the water.
Similarly, neat and efficient vacuum cleaners need electrical power. An early cleaning machine, the “Aspirator,” was about the size of a small bookcase. Its makers claimed that it was “not a cumbersome affair but a handsome article of furniture, easily moved from room to room.”
There are amusing examples of the advertisements for branded products which proliferated towards the end of the last century. “As the gentle showers of spring brighten Mother Earth, so is the household brightened by the use of Powder Monkey” proclaims one advertisement for a household cleaning powder produced by Brooke & Co of Edgware (later taken over by Lever Brothers). The housemaid using the product is on hands and knees, cleaning with brush and dustpan.
The exhibition continues until Nov 25, and a free introductory brochure is available at the Museum.
ASPECTS OF TOWN AND COUNTRY IN ROMAN BRITAIN
By Audrey Hooson.
CBA’s Regional Group 7 (Herts, Essex and Cambridgeshire) were the organisers of this successful and well attended conference at St. Albans on Oct 6. Unfortunately it was a beautiful day, perfect for a field trip but much too bright for a conference in a hall that could not be adequately darkened for slide projection. Some of the presentations, especially that of David Wilson on Aerial Photography, were hard to follow; maps and diagrams that had obviously been prepared as the main support for a paper were indistinct.
The first speaker was Dr Graham Webster, his subject the advent of Rome and its effect on the tribes of SE Britain. Amongst other points he suggested that Cassivellaunus, the enemy of Rome, and the Catuvellauni, who traded so freely with Rome, could surely not have been associated; and that early writers were confused by the similarity of the Celtic names.
The next speaker, David Wilson of the Cambridge Aerial Photography Unit; emphasised that whilst aerial photography is of great use to archaeology, one needs to be aware of the probable presence of large additional areas of timber-built settlement outside the boundaries of towns, posting stations and villas which do not necessarily show up in photos and cannot be recognised in most excavation conditions. One of his most interesting photographs showed the asymetric street plan of Irchester compared with the usually accepted regular Roman grid, as postulated by the excavator.
In the afternoon there were four speakers: Michael Hammerson of the Southwark & Lambeth society on Imitations of the Coinage, AD 330-348; Paul Drury, Director of Chelmsford Archaeological Trust, on Small Towns, Rural Settlements and Landscape in the Trinovantian Area; David Neal on the Development of the Villa; and Dr. Kate Pretty, “Finding an End? Roman Britain in the 4th and 5th century.”
Dr Pretty’s paper, which was inspired by the Durham Conference in March, 1978 (see Current Archaeology 62) caused the most interest and comment, especially from those of us who were still struggling to sort out the more conventional view of this period. She stated most of the points normally used as evidence and presented the conference with alternative interpretations, e.g. that zoomorphic ‘military’ buckles were probably also worn by women and civil servants; and that it would be hard to recognise the British element in an Anglo-Saxon area since cultural impoverishment during the decline of the Empire would have made their artefacts similar. She also suggested that opinions on this period have suffered in the past from the Victorian attitude that the end of the Empire and decline of Christianity must obviously bring chaos and the collapse of civilisation. It is her opinion that continental historical evidence cannot be used to interpret events in Roman and sub-Roman Britain, except in the cautious way that ethnography is used by prehistorians; and that archaeological evidence is of far more importance.
In conclusion the Conference chairman, John Wacher, said it was impossible for him to summarise such interesting and stimulating papers in under three hours, so I make no excuse for these disjointed comments. Perhaps mindful of the large number of note-taking students present, he warned that one must be cautious when discussing continuity. By his definition, continuity of settlement on a site is almost a foregone conclusion, if people are still living; but the continuity of culture, language and art is very different.
LOOKING NORTH OR SOUTH?
At the Group 7 Conference which Audrey Hooson reports above HADAS had a small exhibit planned and mounted by Dave King. In fact we were the only local society outside Group 7 to have one. In the audience too, were a number of familiar HADAS faces. This was interesting, because sometimes those who do their archaeology in the perimeter areas of Greater London may seem to be a bit too London-orientated.
Yet traditionally some parts of our large and sprawling Borough of Barnet have always looked northwards for inspiration, not south. Till only decade ago the Barnets (Chipping and East) and Totteridge were in Hertfordshire, and had little truck with Middlesex or Greater London. In medieval times Finchley was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London and Hendon owed allegiance to the Abbot of Westminster: but the church of St Mary the Virgin at East Barnet (probably the oldest in the Borough) was built by the monks of St Albans, while St Mary’s at Hadley belonged to the Abbot of Walden, in Essex. Earlier still Romano-British inhabitants, perched on the hills of Hendon and Brockley about mid-way between Londinium and Verulamium, may well have taken their tone from the latter place rather than from the former.
Archaeologically and historically speaking, therefore, we probably have as much to learn from the finds and documents of Hertfordshire as from those of the London area. Until very recently in its long time-scale, our part of north Middlesex was more like the countryside of Herts than the conurbation of London.
In the HADAS exhibit we wore able, by kind permission of our Borough Librarian, to show a number of pots from the digs at Brockley Hill – mainly kiln wasters. Alongside this excavated material were some of the finds HADAS has recently made on various field walks in the Edgware area. All this material shows just how important Edgwarebury is for Roman evidence and how thickly it is concentrated there. The Brockley Hill pots aroused considerable interest, particularly an unusual square pot which is part ~ of the Moxom Collection (see Trans LMAS vol 18 pt I, 1955, p 60) and may be a copy in clay of a glass cinerary urn.
HADAS SHOWS THE FLAG
St Albans is not the only place at which HADAS has had recent exhibitions. In fact three are on at the moment; members who live near may like to drop in to see them.
At the Old Bull Gallery, 68 Barnet High Street, the general section of Barnet Borough Arts Council is staging a display till Nov 10 under the heading “Things that Go On In Barnet Borough.” HADAS has a small part in this, consisting of an exhibit collected by our Industrial Archaeology expert, Bill Firth, on Transport; and a photo display, taken by Ken Vause, of Harold Cover’s work recording tombstones in New Southgate cemetery. The exhibition is open from 10 am-6 pm, Mons-Sats.
Until Nov 24 there is an exhibition in the annexe to the Reading Room at the Library in The Burroughs, Hendon, to celebrate the centenary of Hendon’s creation as a Local Health Board. This exhibition is the brainchild of our Mayor, Mrs Rita Levy, and a number of local organisations are taking part. HADAS has mounted a couple of panels on the Church Terrace dig, which include documents on the history of Church End and photos by Ted Sammes of the dig itself. Members who come to the November lecture will have a chance to see this exhibition, as the annexe is the room in which we usually dispense coffee.
Finally, at Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead, until at least mid-November, there is an exhibit on the West Heath dig. It includes a selection of photographs from the record which Peter Clinch has kept of the dig since it began four years ago; and displays of various almost jewel-like flint tools, beautifully arranged by Daphne Lorimer, as well as some of the environmental evidence found at the spring site.
This seems a suitable spot to draw your attention to Burgh House itself, open Tues-Sats 12-5 pm; Suns 2-5. The house alone is worth a visit, quite apart from the exhibitions, some permanent, some changing, which grace it. It was built in 1703 and has the spaciousness and fine proportions one expects from an early Georgian mansion. It has been excellently restored inside by Camden Council, who also allowed the Burgh House Trust (which raised the money to save the building) to re-open it in September as a community centre. Except for the custodians, it is staffed and looked after entirely by volunteers.
On the ground floor is a room for a changing exhibition (this is where you will find West Heath) and a Music Room used for auditions, lectures and meetings; and in the hall, an excellent bookstall, where all the Camden History Society publications are to be found. On the first floor the Museum Room houses a permanent exhibition on the history of Hampstead. This is only a nucleus at the moment, but is bound to grow and will probably in time take over the other rooms on this floor. Just now, however, these rooms are being used for changing exhibitions. Above, again, is a flat for the full-time custodians.
Nor are these all the joys of Burgh House. In the basement you will find the Buttery, run by two delightful ladies in long print dresses and mob-caps, assisted at weekends by a most enchanting small girl who seems to have stepped straight from the pages of Kate Greenaway. The Buttery provides tea or coffee and genuine homemade cakes; and at lunchtime something more substantial, but still home-made -soup, quiches, etc. The ladies have been responsible, too, for the magnificent herbaceous borders in front of the building, still full of colour when this is written at the end of October. The flowers have obviously been planted and tended with love, just as the food is cooked with love. It’s unmatchable as an ingredient.
An up-to-date membership list has, for some years, been circulated annually with the January Newsletter. This year, however, we propose to change this arrangement for two reasons: first, the problem of getting the list out in the middle of the Christmas rush; second, the Committee is not sure that all members really want a list or find it useful.
The 1980 list will therefore be available from Feb 1 next instead of January. It will not be circulated to everyone with the Newsletter, but if you would like to have a copy, please let our Hon. Secretary know before Dec 31 and she will earmark one for you at a cost of 10p. It will be sent with your February Newsletter. Members of HADAS committees will automatically receive a copy.
The task of typing the list is no easy one – all those telephone numbers to check and double-check, and chaos reigning if one digit runs amok. The Committee is therefore particularly grateful to Helen 0’Brien, who has kindly offered to do this difficult job this year.
HADAS CHRISTMAS PARTY
Applications for the Roman banquet on Dec 8 have been brisk; we have already reached maximum and have a small waiting list. Don’t let this deter you from sending Dorothy Newbury an application, however, if you haven’t yet applied and want to do so. Waiting lists can vanish, and people sometimes have to change plans and drop out, so there is always a chance of a vacancy.
We intended to arrange a coach if enough members wanted it; but so few have asked that it does not warrant hiring one. We shall try to find those concerned lifts in cars if possible.
On two small matters we should be glad of members’ help. If anyone obtained a copy of one of the posters at the Pompeii exhibition some years ago and is prepared to lend it to help decorate the banqueting hall, would they please let Dave King know?
Several members have kindly agreed to help with the cooking by making dishes at home; if anyone else would like to try their hand at Roman cookery, will they give Brigid Grafton Green a ring? Full recipes will be supplied, along with any scarce or unexpected ingredient.
At the end of the Newsletter you will find some companion pictures to those published last month – this time for an easy-to-make gentleman’s toga in four simple steps.
(EDITORIAL – to view this diagram, please select the following link.)
On Sat Nov 17, at the Museum of London, the 14th LAMAS Local History Conference will take place from 2.30-6 pm. Speakers include Sir John Summerson, on Nash and Regents Park; N M MacMichael, Keeper of the Westminster Abbey Muniments, on the Abbey Muniments as a source for local historians (of particular interest to HADAS members, since Hendon was an Abbey property up to the Dissolution); and a talk on the history of Putney Bridge during the last fifty years.
Tickets cost £1, including tea, and are obtainable from 3 Cameron House, Highland Rd, Bromley, Kent.
On Weds, Thurs and Fris at lunchtime, starting at 1.10 pm, the Museum of London organises series of lectures. At the moment Transport in London is the Wednesday subject, Thursdays are Museum Workshops and Fridays are devoted to London’s Castles.
Museum Workshop is an interesting idea, as it gives the audience a chance to meet the Museum’s specialist staff and to see objects from the collections at close quarters. On Nov 1 Clive Orton talks about medieval pottery; Nov 8 is Joan Pollard on 18th c watercolours, Nov 15 Harvey Sheldon on recent finds in Southwark, Nov 22 Rosemary Weinstein on the horner’s craft; and Nov 29 bows and early firearms.
Every year the Dept of Extra-mural Studies of London University organises a course of public lectures at the Institute of Archaeology on a specific theme. This year the theme is the archaeology or Roman Britain, the lectures are on Thursdays at 7 pm and you can pay at the door, 50p a time.
Unfortunately the Newsletter has only just had notice of the series, so we did not give details of the October lectures. Those up to Christmas, however, are as follows:
Nov 1 – Art and Architecture in Roman Britain , Tom Blagg
Nov 8 – Villas in Britain, J T Smith, RCHM
Nov 15 – Religion in Roman Britain, Ralph Merrifield
Nov 22 – Towns and the Administration of Roman Britain, John Wacher
Nov 29 – Roman Wales, Prof. M G Jarrett
Dec 6 – Industry and Trade in Roman Britain, Richard Reece
Lectures start again in January, and we will give further details in a later Newsletter.
WORLD WAR I AS WELL?
In the last Newsletter we asked for information about World War II installations still left in this Borough. We have had some interesting letters as a result, including the following from Geoffrey Gillam, Chairman of the Enfield Archaeological Society:
“Why stop at World War II? Having completed an account of that war for Enfield, I am now working on events here in the First World War, and have been agreeably surprised by the material I have so far gathered, including tape recordings of first-hand experiences.
With regard to the fixed installations of WWII, did you know of the ‘stop line’ which ran from Rickmansworth through Watford, Potters Bar, Northaw and Cheshunt to the River Lea? I located some of the pill boxes etc some years ago and at odd moments am trying to fill in the gaps, on my map. The line continued beyond the Lea to Chelmsford but I have not carried out as much fieldwork as I would like in that county. Once this line is drawn on a map, the secondary defences at road and river crossings begin to make sense and a clear pattern of defensive positions can be seen.”
Any members who can provide information which they feel might interest Mr Gillam are asked to let our Hon. Secretary know.