Newsletter 123: May, 1981
REMEMBER, REMEMBER – HADAS Annual General Meeting, Tues May 19, the Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Coffee, 8 pm; business, 8.30, with senior Vice-President Wookey in the Chair. Then a slide show, compered by industrial archaeologist Bill Firth.
SUMMER DAYS AHEAD
Apologies from DOROTHY NEWBURY for being late with this year’s programme planning. The first outing is very near, but she hopes we shall be able to fill the coach. She sends these further details:
Sunday May10th, trip to Bishop’s Stortford and Audley End. Please note that this is a SUNDAY outing for a change. Several members can never make Saturday trips, so I hope they can come on this one. The Bishop Stortford History Society will supply several guides, probably splitting us into three parties for a tour of this old town. There is evidence of occupation from the Palaeolithic to the present day. Their small museum in the old cemetery lodge, built for the foreman in 1855, is virtually in its original form, and will be- opened for our members. Several flint finds including hand-axes will be displayed for the benefit of West Heath enthusiasts. Packed lunches can be eaten in the Castle Gardens and energetic members can climb the mound to view the remains of the Norman castle (c 1085) held by the Bishops of London for 600 years. After lunch the coach will go on to Audley End House, built by the Earl of Suffolk in 1603 and altered in 1720.
If you would like to join the outing, please complete the enclosed application form and send with cheque to Mrs Newbury as soon as possible.
Saturday, June 13: trip to Blackheath, Rochester and Swanscombe, and possibly Penshurst Place. This outing will be guided by a former member of HAMS, Paul Craddock, a prehistorian at the British Museum who now lives in Rochester.
July: we are trying to arrange a return trip to Bath, where Professor Barry Cunliffe is starting the first working archaeological museum. He and his team began, on Good Friday this year, to excavate the precinct area of the Temple to ,Sufis Minerva that lies beneath the famous Georgian Pump Room. More news of this later.,
August: details of outing still to be arranged.
Sept. 11-13: weekend in the Brecon Beacons. Details and application form were provided in the December, 1980, Newsletter.-
If you have not yet seen the HADAS exhibition at Church Farm House Museum, Pinning Down the Past, time is running out. We take it down on May 5.
ALSO FOR YOUR DIARY
Sat. May 23. CBA Group 7 one-day Conference on the Problems of the Late Iron Age in Britain and Gaul, at Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, 10 am 6 pm. Star-studded list of speakers; Sheppard Frere, Graham Webster, John Collin, Barry Cunliffe, Geoffrey Dannell, Jeffrey May, Colin Hazlegrove, Alain Duval. Tickets £3 from E Heathman, 92 Charmouth Road, St Albans, Herts.
May 21-August 31. Exhibition, “Royal Westminster,” mounted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Takes the history of Westminster from the days when Thorney Island (site of the Palace of Westminster and the Abbey) was “a terrible, uncultivated place” in the middle of a marsh. Roman and Anglo-Saxon occupation, medieval life and illuminated manuscripts, the growth of the Abbey from small beginnings, the story of Westminster Hall and its varied uses and all the vicissitudes of the Houses of Parliament will be shown.
Open Mons & Sats 10-6; Thurs 10-8; Suns 12-6. Admission £1.80; OAPs, students, children, £1.00.
MY MEMORIES OF HENDON by Madeline Lovatt, nee Spearman
I came to Hendon from Fulham as a child in 1904 with my parents. My father was employed by the Metropolitan Water Board as a turncock; he came to Hendon to take charge of the Hendon District water supply. My first recollection is of arriving at Station Road, West Hendon, and waiting there for the horse bus to take us to Church End.
We lived in Church Walk, which was a very quiet road of about 12 houses, with an open space in front known as the “nursery.” This was the playground of all the children in “the Walk.”
St Mary’s Church of England School was just across the road. The headmistress of the girl’s school was Miss J B Jones, and Mr A Kamester was headmaster of the boy’s school. The very youngest class was in charge
of Miss Champion, who remained teaching there for many years after I left.
When we went up from the infants section to the higher classes we were all able to read, write and draw; and we knew our “tables” and also simple arithmetic. The school rooms were heated by a black iron coal. stove, refuelled several times a day by “Teacher” and the books written today by “Miss Read” are so like St Mary’s that I feel sure all village:schools throughout the country were similar during that time.
We celebrated Empire Day each year with a playground display by girls each representing a country in our Empire. Of course Christmas was anticipated weeks in advance, with the making of paper chains and the drawing and painting of Christmas cards for our parents and relations.
We were taught to sew and mend and also in the latter years of my schooling to use a sewing machine. Our school was not equipped for the teaching of cookery and housewifery and when we were old enough we had to attend Bell Lane School one day a week to take these subjects. I always enjoyed those days, as on the way to school we passed a bakers shop in Bell Lane and if we were early, we were able to buy “stale” cakes and buns, and get two or three for 1d.
All our leisure activities centered around St Mary’s parish church. I attended Sunday School and was a member of the Band of Hope and the Coral League and later became a Girl Guide when a troop was started.
I was confirmed at the first Confirmation service held in the newly enlarged church in 1915. By that time we had moved from Church Walk to the Company’s house in Finchley Lane.When the war (the first war) broke out and the air raids began, Mother and I used to go to the Baptist Church a few yards away, as Father had to report to the police station and stand by during air raids in case fires were started or water mains damaged by bombs in the district. The basement of the church was used by American troops as a canteen during normal times, but it also served as an air raid shelter. When the all clear was given I remember two scouts (one of them was Laurie Mills) from, the 8th Hendon St Mary’s troop used to cycle round the streets sounding the all clear on bugles.
After the war social life for the younger parishioners began again at St Mary’s. The Guild of Fellowship was started by the Rev. G. Barnicoat; it was run by Commander Robinson, after the Rev. Barnicoat went to Cornwall. This Guild met weekly; it had concerts and whist drives and in the summer a tennis club.
In 1924 the Vicar, the Rev. Chettoe, asked me to form a club for girls, who were not in any other organisation. With the help and encouragement of friends the St Mary’s Girls club was formed for girls aged 7-18 plus. We gave gymnasium displays and on one or two occasions gave a display in Hendon Park, where we combined with the St Mary’s scouts. We learned country dancing and handicrafts and played netball every Saturday during the season, as well as competing in swimming galas and sports days and having an annual camp, often in the Isle of Wight.
The Club continued to flourish until 1935 when I had reluctantly to resign – it was getting very difficult to travel to Hendon two evenings each week plus every Saturday afternoon during the netball season from Kingsbury where I had moved on my marriage. The Club continued for a short time after I left, but finished when a Ranger group was added to the Girl Guides.
The Club held a reunion in my home a few years ago, people travelling long distances to join us and many of the members meeting again for the first time since Club days. I am still in touch with many of “my girls,.; and many of them are now grandmothers. When I look at the snaps we took during the life of the Club the years roll back and I see Hendon as I used to know it. Today it is sadly unrecognisable, except for dear St Mary’s Church.
NEWS FROM OUR LIBRARY
Our Hon. Librarian, June Porges, asks us to say that she will be at Avenue House on Friday evening, May 15 (the Friday before the AGM). Thereafter during the summer she will be happy to meet any interested member at our Avenue House book-room on a Friday evening, but would appreciate it if members could telephone her first (346 5078), preferably giving a few days’ notice, to say if they wish to use the library on a particular Friday.
Recent additions to the Library include:
Journal of Egyptian Archeology, vol. 60, 1974; vol 61, 1975
(presented by Alec Gouldsmith) –
Johnson, S, Later Roman Britain. Routledge & Kegan Paul 1980
Herity, N & Eagan, G, Ireland in Prehistory. Routledge & Kegan Paul 1977 World Archaeology. June 1980 Classical Archaeology
Oct 1980 Musical Instruments
Feb 1981 Early Man
(all presented by an anonymous donor)MUSEUM Programme-
On Thursdays, from May 7, a new series of Workshops begins at the Museum of London, starting 1.10 pm and usually lasting about 75 minutes. Subjects include:
May 7 Buckle making at Blossom’s Inn: 15th c mass production
May 21 Pottery for the archaeologist: analysing fabrics.
June 11 Excavating William Paget’s Manor House. Jon Cotton
July 9 Death and Burial in Roman London. Geoff Marsh
‘Two new stories of Museum of London lectures also start in May: Weds, 1.10pm, beginning May 6, a series on Shakespeare’s impact on the London theatre from Elizabethan times;. and on Fridays, from May 8;
1.10 Landmarks in London Architecture, including talks on Wren, Inigo Jones, James Cribb s, William Kent and Robert Adam, Telford and Smirks.
FROM OUR POSTBAG come a variety of topics:
The southernmost (R14) of the milestones on a winding route from Hampstead to Mill Hill listed by Bill Firth in the November Newsletter is seven miles from London. Until about 25 years ago the sixth stone was outside the White Swan in Golders Green Road, at OS ref: TQ 243 C32. It was removed after being badly damaged by a lorry.
What appears to be the fifth stone is at the back of Church Farm House Museum. The OS places the original site in North End Road at TQ 256 873, but when Park Drive was built at that point the stone was at first placed on the opposite side of the main road.
The rest of the series was evidently superseded in Hampstead by stones of a different type, starting with the White Stone near the pond of that name. Yours, etc
R F ALLEN
I came across an intriguing reference to Hendon that night be worth further study. In one of H V Morton’s books about London, called “The Ghosts of London,” he refers to a conversation he had in 1939 with one of London’s last three hansom cab drivers. In talking about the demise of the hansom, the driver asserts that hundreds of the cabs were taken down and placed in a very large field in Hendon, there to be broken up for their glass, and timber,
I wonder whether you could put a reference to this in some future Newsletter and see if anyone remembers a “Hansom Graveyard.”
NOTE: If anyone does have an angle on this fascinating piece of local history, please ring Percy Reboul (203 3664) and let him know.
Our final letter comes from a new member who joined HADAS during the Pinning Down the Past exhibition. She writes:
Since your membership questionnaire does not allow for our hobby of collecting milk bottles, I thought I would supplement it a little.
My husband is a weather forecaster. I teach English at King Alfred School. We know little about archaeology except as avid museum-and-cave visitors, and I suppose collecting milk bottles counts as social history rather than archaeology.
Since we began collecting three years ago, in an entirely haphazard and uninformed manner, we have formed a collection of nearly 1400 bottles, mainly from ditches and woods and lay-bys on main roads. We have corresponded endlessly with glass manufacturers and dairies, and are forming a pretty good picture of the industry from the 1920s onwards, my husband is good on the technical side; I am fascinated by the design, and by the claims made by the dairies for their own milk.
We have a card index showing all details of each bottle, including where we found it; this can be fascinating: there’s a wood in Wiltshire which has yielded us 300 different bottles, and our last trip there provided bottles from seventeen counties.
I’m not sure how much help we can be to the Society … but visitors to the collection (if they will give a little notice) will be welcome
and I think. I might give a serious talk to the Society entitled “Objects Found in and Around Milk Bottles:” We’re accustomed now to rotting voles, but my husband has just found a bomb, nestling in the bracken on Peddars
Way … Yours sincerely,
NOTE: Mrs Hull would be happy to hear from other HADAS members who have acquired interesting milk bottles. If you would like to see her collection, or to talk to her about it, her telephone number is 343 1959.
A PLEA FOR HELP
from George Ingram. For some years he has been reading the local papers of the Borough of Barnet for HADAS, and cutting from them not only mentions of our Society, but also articles or paragraphs on local history or archaeology, so that these may be kept for later reference.
George now has a problem. Until recently a member who lived in the north of the Borough provided him with a copy of the Barnet Press, but this source has now dried up. Are there any members living in the Totteridge/ Barnet/North Finchley area who regularly take the Barnet.Press and would be prepared to pass their copy to Mr Ingram after they have read it? If so, could you please give him a ring (202 844l). He will be delighted to hear from you.
LEARNING TO DIG
Many HADAS members, specially-those with` eye fixed ultimately on a Diploma – took their first tottering steps in trowelling techniques at the residential training courses which have been run every summer for 20 years or more in Cambridge by the Cambridge Board of Extra-mural Studies.
This year’s courses – called, as usual, Archaeological Excavation
Techniques – take place from July 4 – Aug 1. You sign on for at least a week (longer if you want to and if there are places – but the courses are usually heavily booked). Courses are suitable for experienced diggers a well as beginners, since instruction in more• advanced skills – surveying, archaeological photography, data-sampling, etc – is included. Fees are now 265 a week (in the halcyon days of 1964 they were g;18: we didn’t realise how lucky we were!), with accommodation at Lucy Cavendish College.
Cambridge also offers weekend or full week courses at Madingley Hall and at Flatford Mill on various local history and archaeology subjects. A new venture is one-day cour 8,-s at Madingley on everyt hing from antique furniture restoration (Aug 22) and landscape history (Sept 19) to Mediterranean Archaeology (Nov 28). Further details about Cambridge courses from our Hon. Secretary.
UNDERGROUND MYSTERY a note from BILL FIRTH
When Andrew and I were looking round the outside of the ex-Handley Page factories in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, recently we discovered an extensive underground structure, built into the embankment facing the railway. There were a number of entrances (mainly facing the railway) with steps down, numerous vents from Whatever is underground, a concrete structure, which might have been a pill box, on the top and there had been a number of gated entrances from Claremont Road. It was difficult to investigate closely because the complex is within the railway boundary fence and; although this is broken in a number of places so that one could get in, the most interesting parts are open to the railway and one’s presence would have been very obvious!
Was this only an extensive air raid shelter for railway workers, or was it something more? Any information, please, to Bill Firth (455 7164).
GREEK ROYAL ART BRIAN WIBBERLEY reports on the final HADAS lecture of the winter
It was good to hear again the rich tones of Dr Malcolm College, telling us of the arts of the Hellenistic Age, complete with quotations from Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra and, of course, The Iliad.
The period he covered was approximately the first half of the 4th c to the last half of the let c BC. Firstly the cultural inheritance of Alexander the Great and his world was sketched in. We were reminded Of the strong architectural, carving and plastic art tradition of Greece, the
Parthenon and the temples of the Periclean age, naturalistic marble carvings and geometrically decorated pottery. The spread of Greek art was admirably demonstrated in the slides and lecture.
The choice of the lecture title was almost a misnomer, in the sense that no royal Hellenistic palaces have been found yet, with the possible exception of Vergina. Some of the finds and diagrams of the recently discovered tomb wore shown, but it was explained that some caution must be exercised in taking Professor Andronicos’s interpretation as fact. It was better to wait until further work had been done on the finds. Vergina may indeed be a royal burial, but whether or not it is the tomb of Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedon, is still speculative. The burial caskets of gold, the superbly made fine golden wreath, the woven purple cloth interlaced with gold thread, are only someof the tomb finds which were shown. The series of smell carved heads, reputedly of the deceased’s family, including Alexander the Great, are appealing and haunting,.
It was suggested that, although no palaces of this period have been found, wealthy and middle class tastes reflect those of royalty. Hence the
higher or middle class colonnaded houses with marble plaques or painted wall decorations and sometimes mosaics, which all serve as good models of royal residences. Their house contents, too, supported occasionally by literary references, are thought to mimic kinglike possessions. The contemporary area of influence was divided into three sections – firstly, the Hellenistic homeland of Macedonia and Greece; secondly the eastern states ranging from Phrygia through Syria to Bactria; and thirdly, to the south, Egypt.
The specific pieces chosen to represent the first section included the Vergina finds noted above, plus scrolls with illustrations, metal’ vases and bowls with scenes brought into high relief by repousse work, river pebble mosaic (dated c. 250 BC) and, of course, sculptured figures, including the beautifully proportioned Aphrodite of Rhodes.
The second section also had its share of distinctive objects including the Sidon (or Lebanon) gable-vaulted sarcophagi, the Telephos “Gods and giants” frieze and the Pergamum Gallic prisoner statues. It had its share of characters too, including King Mithridates VI of Pontus, who tried to poison himself after a life-long homeopathic immunisation against poisoning, and Antichos IV who virtually bandrupted his empire by building temples
Finally came Ptolemaic Egypt, with slides of tombs and terracottaa and the superb cameo-d Portland Vase from the BM. A final allusion was made to the barge of Queen Cleopatra, so that the lecture came full circle and ended, as it had begun, in a rolling declamation that owed its glory partly to Dr Colledge and partly to Shakespeare.
NOW FOR A GOOD READ
Excavations at Billingsgate Buildings, Lower Thames Street, 3_974
LAMAS Special Paper No 4, by D M Jones and M Rhodes
More information about the establishment and consolidation of the Roman river bank is contained in this clear and detailed excavation report. In the late 1st and 2nd c AD there was a series of artificial terracings
of the north bank of the Thames, represented on this site by three dots of oak posts with horizontal planks retaining dumps of building rubble, soil and domestic refuse. It is possible that the most southerly of these features was actually the quayside but there is no clear evidence of this. In fact the report is mainly concerned with Roman London as the post-Roman levels were largely destroyed by a modern basement.
The waterlogged condition of the site has led to the survival of a large quantity and range of finds, providing evidence of small-scale workshops for shoe-making and repairs; cattle-slaughtering; and bone, lead and bronze working. The most interesting finds to me are the leather shoes. Five different types of Roman shoes and sandals are represented, including both adult and children’s sizes – and all seem to have been professionally made and some have been repaired. This section of the report includds a short general study of Roman footwear, as published material on this subject is rather limited.
A large quantity of pottery, mostly sherds, is drawn and described, including some from the Brockley Hill/Verulamium kilns.
This excavation is just one of a series planned by the Museum of London to gain further knowledge of the Roman waterfront. Future reports will set this site in its true context.
The HungryYears: .Edmonton and Enfield before 1400: Occasional Paper
New series No 42, Edmonton Hundred Historical Society,
This well-researched paper: (price 95p), illustrated with maps and drawings, is striking for two reasons. The first is that there is so much evidence available from this early time. Mr Pam says “I had intended to continue this story through to the 16th c but the evidence proved so abundant that ‘the period ‘from 1400-on must await another paper.” The present paper, with its references and sources, runs to 27 A4 pages, closely typed, in a small typeface. That is heartening information for all documentary researchers, because what, is discovered in Edmonton today could be relevant; for work in Barnet or Hendon tomorrow.
The second interesting point is that violence was so rife and so habitual in the period Mr Pam has been investigating. The aggressive acts of the present day pale into gentle insignificance beside the doings of some of our medieval forebears.
Mr. Pam’s main sources were charters; inquisitions, post mortem and civil and criminal court records; while his principal ports of call were ,the PRO.the Westminster Abbey Muniment Room; and the Archives of Hatfield House
As an encouragement to our HADAS documentary researchers to delve into this forgotten medieval world, here are the opening lines of Mr Pam’s paper, a quotation from John Sherwen of Enfield, surgeon, about Richard Gough of Enfield, antiquary:
Like one who with incessant zeal
Belabours with a flint and steel
While all around obscure and dark
Will catch at last a little spark
Behold with joy the spark he blows
And round, about him light bestows
Yet many a time he blows in vain
And all is doubly dark again
Thus who the wrecks of time explore
In depth of antiquarian lore
Will after all that care and pain
Alternate dark and light obtain
Finally, two booklets published by Barnet Libraries which, we understand,
are the forerunners of a series:
Fincley Common: a notorious place is by schoolteacher Fred Davis.
It is a 14-page history of the Common from the 16th-19th c, illustrated with maps and drawings. It deals with all the ways in which the Common; up to the time of its enclosure for cultivation and development in 1814, was used:
for grazing, as a refuge from plague, for religious meetings, military exercises, sporting events such as horse-racing and boxing; and its most notorious phase as a happy hunting ground for highwaymen.
Avenue House Finchley
This 6-page guide to Avenue House, East End Road, bequeathed to the people of Finchley by its last private owner, “Inky” Stephens, has been written by Paddy Musgrove for the Finchley Society. It
is attractively produced and illustrated with excellent drawings by Herbert Norman.
Both the above booklets are available from local libraries. Finchley Common costs 50p, Avenue House ’20p.