Newsletter 136: June, 1982
THE AGM – TALK ABOUT DIGS
The Society’s 21st Annual General Meeting was held at Hendon Library on May 11. The Chair was taken by senior Vice-President Eric Wookey, who at once endeared himself to the company by remarking, apropos the Library accoustics, “I hope I shall be quite legible at the back of the hall.”
Brian Jarman only a few days earlier he had again been returned as one of the Barnet Councillors for Childs Hill – moved the Annual. Report. While he did so members completed voting papers which had been handed to them at the door. This year there were 17 nominations for the 13 places on the Committee, so an election was held. The papers were collected and the tellers retired to count them.
Next the Hon. Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes, presented his report and accounts – for the eighth and last time, as he was retiring from the Treasurership. The year had been a successful one financially, ending with a Surplus of £526 – the largest in our 21-year history membership, however, was slightly down – 433 against 443 last year.
The Treasurer was followed by the Chairman of the Research subcommittee, Sheila Woodward, also retiring this year, who reported on the work of the various, research groups, the final stage of the West Heath dig and digs in the basement of the Manor House, Finchley, and at the Old Bull site, Chipping Barnet.
The Treasurer had ended his report on.a slightly sombre note, saying that he did so in the hope of provoking discussion. In this he succeeded, and the discussion followed his report and continued on the same theme after the Research subcommittee report.
Clynes felt that, although the Society today is financially better off, it is not now planning archaeological and publishing projects comparable with its programme of 5 years ago. The argument sparked off by this proposition was concerned almost entirely with excavation, covering such points as the importance of digs in the Society’s scheme of work; the need to find suitable sites and, particularly, sites with some archaeological potential; the possibility of digging in a threatened area near East Barnet parish church; and whether our aim should be to undertake research digs as well as rescue digs.
The officers for the coming year, who were declared elected, are:
Chairman: Councillor Brian Jarman
Vice Chairman: Ted Sammes
Hon. Secretary: Brigid Grafton Green
Hon. Treasurer: Victor Jones
The tellers announced the result of the poll for Committee places and the following were declared elected:
Mrs Christine Arnott
John de F Enderby
Miss Marjorie Errington
Peter Fauvel Clinch
Mr Peter Griffiths
Mr George Ingram
Mrs Daphne Lorimer
Miss Isobel McPherson
Mrs Dorothy Newbury
Mrs Nell Penny
Mrs June Porges
Mrs Tessa Smith
Miss Sheila Woodward
The Meeting ended with two pleasant ceremonies. Mr Wookey has this year achieved the mag-
nificent age of 90 and to mark the event Councillor Jarman presented him with an illuminated vellum designed and executed by HADAS member William Morris.
The prizes in our poster competition for Schools members were presented to representatives of the schools concerned. First prize of l0 went to the Henrietta Barnett School for a most accomplished painting of Stonehenge; a special highly commended prize of £2 (donated by Daphne Lorimer) went to a poster from Whitefield School, showing the White Swan in Golders Green road in the last century.
After the business Meeting was over, Dorothy Newbury showed slides of Christmas dinner at the RAF Museum and of the 21st birthday party.
TRIBUTE TO A TREASURER
Jeremy Clynes has just resigned the Treasurership of HADAS after 8 years hard work. He took over in May, 1974, from Richard Deacon. At that time I had been Hon. Secretary of the Society for 4 years. I must confess to viewing the change with a twinge of trepidation, and wondering what rocks lay before us with such a very youthful and untried hand on the financial tiller. I needn’t have worried.. Jeremy took to the job as a duck to water, and our bank account had never been in better hands nor looked healthier.
But that, of course, isn’t all you ask of a Treasurer – if you’re a Secretary, that is. Treasurers and Secretaries have to work hand in glove, and it can be painful and embarassing if the hand is too heavy or the glove pinches. Again, any foreboding was unnecessary; There couldn’t have been a more comfortable colleague to work with, nor one who was more reliable, enthusiastic and helpful, especially in a crisis.
It is good to know that, although he has resigned as Treasurer, Jeremy intends to continue to manage the sales of our own and Shire publications – a job he does with great flair and about which he takes immense trouble. It’s also a job which makes a notable contribution to the HADAS kitty. Brigid Grafton Green
A DMV IN EAST BARNET?
One question which arose at the AGM, but was not discussed in detail, was the future of the 3 acre field, now the subject of a planning application, which lies to the south of East Barnet Church. Some details of its history may therefore he of interest.
This field the centre of which is at OS grid ref TQ 278 945, slopes steeply from NW to SE. On three sides it is bounded by roads; hilt on the north its boundary is formed by the perimeters of Church Farm, of the churchyard of the parish church of St Mary the Virgin and of the garden of the modern Rectory, sliced out of the churchyard about 15 years. ago; The Church is the oldest building in East Barnet; Church Farm, too, has a considerable history.
In the 18/19 c East Barnet village wads a mile from the Church, centred on the junction of East’Barnet Road., Cat Hill and Church Hill Road, where there were cottages, the Cat Inn (burnt down in 1955) and ‘ the bridge.- originally Katebrygge – over Pymmes Brook. Localopinion, however considers that this was a. later village, and that the original medieval village of East Barnet was near the Church. Two possible sites-have been postulated for it: one is the field now being considered for outline planning permission. The other is in Oakhill Park, north-east of the Church and sloping steeply away from it eastwards, to Pymmes Brook.
There is strong feeling locally against the proposed development, both on environmental grounds and because it is felt that this may be the site of a deserted medieval village. There appears, however, to be
some doubt among historians whether there ever was a village by the Church. In 1965 the DMV Research Group included East Barnet in its list of 38 DMVs in Hertfordshire. The evidence on which it was decided to include East Barnet has not been published, so it is impossible to assess.
In 1972 Phillimore published, for the Hertfordshire Local History Council, a booklet called Deserted Medieval Villages of Hertfordshire, researched and written by K Rutherford-Davis, Chairman of the East Herts Archaeological Society. This states, on p3, that “in the writer’s opinion inclusion of East Barnet (by the DMVRG) is mistaken.” The booklet is now out of print, and a revised edition; under the title
“Deserted Villages of Hertfordshire” will appear towards the end of this year. (The change in title is due to the inclusion of a village deserted in the 19c – Kitts End, beside Wrotham Park, very close to our northern border). Mr Rutherford Davis tells us that he has thankfully dropped-East Barnet from the booklet altogether. The official reason is that it is now in Greater London, not Herts; but Mr Davis still believes that it should not have been listed as a dmv. Incidentally, his original booklet gives the position of the site of the dmv (if it exists) As. TQ 277 946 – placing it fair and square in Oakhill Park.
The earliest map of the area in the LBB: Local History Collection is an enclosure map of 1817, which Shows the’site proposed for development (recognisable in shape but larger in area, since at that date it took in much of the present grounds of Church Farm) as agricultural land in the freehold tenure of John Bacon. It is possible that there may be an earlier map in the collection kept at Barnet Museum, but the Museum has not yet re-opened after its’extensive repairs and renovation. Indeed, Mr Bill Taylor, the Curator, now thinks that it may not be open again until about October. We have therefore not been able to explore this source.
The evidence on which the supposition of a possible DMV seems principally to depend is the age of the Church itself. As early as 1885 the Rev Frederic Cass, Vicar of nearby Monken Hadley church, published what has been for nearly a century the standard work on East Barnet. He pointed out that the north wall of the original nave and the archway of the south porch, with a fragment of the south wall of the nave adjoining, date “probably from the end of the llth or the commencement of the following century.” In 1951 the Society for the Protection of Anbient Buildings made a survey Of the fabric of St Mary’s and dated the north wall to early Norman times..
Church farm, owned today by the Council (it was presented to East Barnet Urban District in 1936, and inherited by LBB when the Barnets, Finchley & Hendon amalgamated in 1963) is used for various purposes. The Public Health Inspector has an office there; there is a Teachers Centre and a swimming pool used by local schools; local organisations hire rooms in it for meetings.
The 1341 Census states that Church Farm was occupied by Joshua and Martha East both aged 25, and their three small children. There were also 4 servants or farm workers living in the house. This is probably the same house which is shown on the 1817 map, at the north end of a long narrow strip of land (2 roods 5 perches) immediately beside the church. It was owned by John Bacon and described in the accompanying index merely as “house, etc.”
In 1860 Colonel Gillum, a veteran of the Crimean War, founded a home for orphan boys at Church Farm, using the old farmhouse and adding other buildings. He called it the Church Farm Boys Home. The boys received agricultural and industrial training, and themselves farmed the land, then 56 acres. Many of the buildings in the present complex date from the time of Colonel Gillum, and there may be still earlier buildings among them.
HADAS has, along with other concerned organisations, been asked by LBB planning Department to comment on the outline planning application (which will probably come before the Planning Committee in June), and to provide any historical background that it can. We have done so, and have advised that,-should outline permission be given, any developer-be told that time should be allowed for archaeological investigation of the site before development’. Even if such investigation wore to provide only negative evidence, that at least would-settle some of the ambiguities now surrounding the possibility of East Barnet as a DMV.
For Further reading
Cass, Frederic Charles, East Barnet (1885)
Taylor, W S, History of the Parish Church of East Barnet (1st ed. 1940, revised 1966)
Rutherford Davis, K, The Deserted Medieval Villages of Hertfordshire, (Phillimore, for Hertfordshire Local History Council, 1973)
Gear, Gillian, and Goodwin, Diana, East Barnet Village (Barnet Press, 1980)
The guide to the 900th anniversary Festival of St Mary the Virgin, 1980, contains a brief history of the Church
FIRST OF THE SUMMER OUTINGS
On Sat June 12 the first of our anniversary outings will take us to-Castle Rising and Kings Lynn. This was a favourite in 1976. NELL PENNY took us then, and is taking us again this year.
The Medieval castle at Castle Rising, almost hidden by the extensive earth ramparts of its outer and inner baileys, has the remains of an impressive -rectangular stone keep. The Great Hall has corbels-carved with grotesque faces, and an arcaded gallery running its length. The present Castle was built about 1150 by William de Albini. From 1329 Isabella’, mother of Edward III, lived there in semi-confinement after she had been overthrown by her son.
‘Packed lunch can be eaten in the castle grounds (loos there) and if time, the village is nearby with church, village cross and Bede house.
In the 130, with the diversion of the Ouse and the decline of the Port at Rising, Kings Lynn became the third largest seaport in the country. It has a charter granted by King John, two guildhalls, two market places and merchant houses and churches as relics of its medieval greatness. Unlike many places, Lynn is not a story of constant thoughtless destruction of historic monuments. It is watched over by a dynamic Preservation Trust, which has restored an impressive number of buildings and converted them to modern use.
If you would like to join this outing please complete the enclosed booking form and send it, with cheque, to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible.
THE REST OF THE SUMMER PROGRAMME
Sat, July 10 Visit to Canterbury
Sat. Aug 14 Visit to Colchester
Sat. Sept 25 Visit to Greensted/Waltham Abbey
Fri.-Sent 3-Sun. Sept 5. Autumn weekend at Newcastle and Hadrian’s Wall. Costs have risen enormously, both for University accommodation and coach transport. They would have brought this trip, as originally proposed, to well over £100 for 4 days. Rail travel is now being considered, and the duration reduced to 3 days, Friday morning to Sunday evening. The University can hold the rooms until June 10. Will any member who is interested please contact me before that date in order to ascertain if sufficient numbers will warrant proceeding with further arrangements.
Dorothy Newbury, (203 0950) 55 Sunningfields Rd, NW4
The Prehistoric Group continues its processing of West Heath finds at College Farm every Wednesday morning. Anyone wishing to help should first contact Christine Arnott on 455 2751.
The Roman Group will meet at 8 Hereford House, Stratton Close, Edgware at 8 pm on Wed. June 16. Everyone- welcome, but let Tessa Smith (958-
9159) know if you intend coming.
The Documentary Group, will be meeting soon (date not yet finalised) and new members will be very welcome. Please contact Brigid Grafton Green on 455 9040 if you want to help with documentary research.
BUYING BOOKS BY POST
HADAS members who want to add to their archaeological libraries may like to know of a firm of antiquarian booksellers which specialises in archaeology. They are the husband and wife team of A P & R Baker, 2 Brancepeth Terrace, Willington, Crook, Co Durham.
The Bakers began specialising 7½years ago: they issue about 8 catalogues a year. The catalogues include second-hand books, journals and offprints, and in these days, with the price of new books rocketing into realms where often only a library can afford them, it’s a pleasure to .be able to find a book you missed when it was first published at something near the original price.
Anthony Baker says “we aim to provide for the whole run of archaeologists, from the needs of a specialist academic library or research project to the introductory/general material asked for by someone who is just beginning in archaeology, perhaps by attending an evening class, We also keep extensive ‘wants’ lists, both from individual customers and in the form of unsuccessful orders for items in our catalogues (usually we have only one copy of a book in stock at once).”
If you would like to get onto the Baker mailing list, drop them a note. We understand that the next catalogue is due out about the end of May.
The Committee is very sorry to have lost its helpful junior representative, Bryan Hackett. He is about to start preparing for ordeal by 0-level, sometime in the future – and that means no time for archaeology.
Before he left the Committee Bryan suggested we put a note in the Newsletter asking, if any other junior member (or possibly a pair of members, if you would like moral support) would care to take his place. Would anyone who is interested and wants to know more about it please ring the Hon. Secretary?
ARCHAEOLOGY LECTURES AT BARNET COLLEGE
A note from JEAN SNELLING
An evening course on Field Archaeology and the Post-Roman period in south-east England will take place at Barnet College from Sept 1982 to April 1983 next. It will be on Wednesday evenings from 7.30-9.30.
It is in fact the third year (mainly dealing with the medieval period) of the London University Extension Certificate in Field Archaeology (which HADAS was responsible for persuading Barnet College to start seven or eight years ago). For this Certificate, the three years need not necessarily be studied in numerical order.
Now students who want to do the Certificate, and also class members who do not necessarily intend to take the exams, will both be welcome, and we hope very much that HADAS members will continue to support these classes. University fees for 24 2-hour lectures will probably increase a little on the £11 rate of 1981-2.
The lecturer will be David Beard, site supervisor of the Southwark Roman-medieval excavation at Calvert’s Buildings. He invites written enquiries about the course to him c/o Southwark & Lambeth Archaeological Projects, Post-medical Centre, English Grounds, Morgans Lane, SE1 2HT.
HADAS DRESSES UP – AND LETS ITS HAIR DOWN
We celebrated our one and only 21st birthday in April as everyone must know. One member who joined us was JULIUS BAKER, just back from a trip to Africa. We thought the contrast might be piquant, so we asked him to describe the party, and this is what he writes:
The evening of April 24 was really windy and as we wandered
around Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, looking in the eerie evening light: for the way to St Judes Church Hall, we saw strange beings converging on a low building. We followed them – men and women in clothes of curious cut, clutching wildly at hair and garments that whipped and billowed in the wind.
Only a few days before we had explored the narrow lanes of the ancient Arab town of Lamu, off the Kenyan coast some 150 miles north of Mombasa. A week before we had wandered about the country markets
of Ethiopia. We had seen a variety of regional and. tribal costumes and hair-dos – but nothing remotely resembling the garb and styles that wafted past us that evening.
At the hall a comely serving wench provided a welcoming drink of mulsum from 1st century Rome, which tuned our senses nicely to the gentle early music played by the Vestry Consort recorder group of HGS music-makers. Our delight at this introduction to the festivities was enhanced by the setting: our eyes feasted on large murals of archaeological scenes, painted specially for this evening’s event by’ Mary Spiegelhalter, a member now living in Devon. On the walls, too, were colourful posters entered by children from local schools in HADAS’ “historical poster” competition. And there were flower arrangements, beautifully done by HADAS member Helena Nash.
The setting, indeed, was all colour and excitement: but it paled beside the spectacle of the people in the hall. They were, of course, HADAS members and their guests. I’ve known many of them for years. Yet even by the end of the evening. I hadn’t succeeded in penetrating some of the disguises.
Only by his activity as Master of Ceremonies and Town Crier did I know that the Elizabethan courtier, in doublet and hose with a red beard, was John Enderby, principal of the Institute. The Chinese gentleman with pigtail, skull cap and long drooping moustache, richly attired, turned out to be Eric Arnott. Someone’ somehow told me that the Edwardian tennis lady and her sporty escort were Helen and Daniel Lampert; and that a vision in purple velvet, who would have brought a lump to the throat of every Victorian stage-door johnnie, was none other than Joan Wrigley.
There was a distinct Roman element. Eric Wookey, a Vice President and an unbelievable 90, wore the imperial toga and bayleaves– very authentic, but the eye beneath the laurel wreath was much more friendly’ than the malevolent stare of Tiberius, whom he represented. Ted Sammes, too, was a toga-clad Roman.
An Anglo-Salton with staff and sandals turned out to be Peter Pickering. His wife didn’t match him: she wads in Stuart gown and headdress. Nora Williams, a blondied Boudicca, sported a spear. Sheila Woodward, in Roman matron’s gear, was the presiding genius of the
mulsum bar Miss Sheldon had had the happy thought of representing the HADAS Memorial Mug, by wearing on her head a lifelike, but outsize, mug; while Marion Newbury looked ripping as a 1920s flapper.
Desmond Collins was striking as a military man – was he ab out Balaclava time, or Peninsula War? Vincent Foster’s dating was more secure: he wore his grandfather’s uniform as an officer of 1914-18. June Porges came as an archaeologist of the turn of the century, and Alec Gouldsmith as an Egyptologist; while Percy Reboul might have stepped straight from an Edwardian melodrama – flowered waistcoat, twirling moustachios and no doubt a lugger (complete with weeping heroine) moored somewhere on the River Brent.
That’s just a small sample of what was on view. It was abundantly clear that most people had gone to a great deal of trouble to make this HADAS evening a success. I thought to myself that there can’t be many organisations in London whose influence with their members is st rong enough to get them to enter so completely into the spirit of the occasion – and to do it so well.
Real festivities started after the Mayoress, Councillor Rosa Freedman; the Bishop of Edmontonl the Rt. Rev Bill Westwood, and the Chairman, Councillor Brian Jarman, had taken their seats.
The Angel Norris team took over the floor – and I mean took over. They are well built ‘men and at first glance do not look like disciples of the terpsichorian art, but their agility and co-ordination in performing these ancient English rustic and parochial dances was extraordinary. The floor area available was rather small, but that Merely underlined their extraordinary speed, neatness of movement and dexterity.
A trumpet fanfare by the Arnett grandson heralded the entrance of the buffet centrepiece the Boar’s Head, borne by Brian Wibberley, wearing an Elizabethan tabard made (but you would never have guessed it) from jumble sale curtains; He and his wife Rosemary had prepared and richly decorated the Head, which had been so well stuffed with pate that it actually kept its rather forbidding shape, tusks and all.
The Head was followed by six solemn cooks in chef’s gear: hats, aprons and overalls – each bearing a main dish. Led by Brigid Grafton Green, they were Daphne Lorimer; Nell Penny, Sheila Woodward, Dorothy Newbury and Myfanwy Stewart. Brigid is a cordon bleu, but in addition she and several of the others had, some time ago, attended courses in Roman cookery run by Southampton University.
The table was now covered with mouth-watering delicacies. There was soon a queue of people trying at the same time to look nonchalant and yet to make sure of getting a taste of everything. There were 21 dishes and dressings; made from recipes from Roman times to today.
From Rome came Sala Catabia, described as an hors d’oeuvre – but for me it was a very tasty main dish of a. mould of wholemeal bread stuffed with chicken, cheese, cucumber, spices and herbs. Also from Rome was Uinutal Porci. cum Armeniacis – a fricasee of pork, cooked with apricots, wine and many spices; and also Pisa Trita, a puree of peas with herbs, mentioned later in nursery rhyme as “pease porridge.”
From the 15c there was the Duke of Burgundy’s favourite chicken dish; from the 16c stuffed mushrooms; from the 18c asparagus boats and- Salmagundy, from the 19c syllabub and Mrs Beeton’s salad; and from the 20c Carrots a l’Orientale (an Escoffier recipe) and Pavlova•- a dessert of meringue, .cream and fresh fruit.
Finally, with coffee, came the Birthday Cake, baked by Christine Arnett and decorated most artistically by Len Pothiphar-of the HGS Horticultural Society.
During the buffet John Enderby, Lilly Lewy and Percy Reboul reminded us what life was like 21 years ago; by reading news items of the time. And there was a hilarious raffle, with Mr Wookey drawing winning tickets from his top hat (which, by the way, he didn’t wear when he was Tiberius!)
Then the Morrismen had a second go, finally leading all those members still capable of dancing in a folk dance which (though not literally) brought the house down. So ended a HADAS occasion that has already become part of Society legend.
THE: TASTE OF HISTORY
So many people have asked for recipes from the birthday buffet that the Newsletter proposes to publish one ocasiónally. We are starting with the Duke of Burgundys chicken, which was one of the hot dishes served. It vanished almost as soon as it appeared on the table, but luckily we had kept some spares in reserve.
Philip the Good was Duke (for all practical purposes king) of
Burgundy from 1419-67, and is said to have enjoyed this dish all his life you will need for it, for a good main course for 6 people, a roasting chicken of about 3½ lbs., divided into 8 skinned joints;
2 large or 4 smaller onions, very finely sliced; from 2-4 ozs of butter; ¼lb small-size open mushrooms; ½pint stock, made from giblets and carcass, with part of a stock cube added; 1 gill sherry or dry white wine (the traditional thing is brandy; but you may think that too ritzy); 1 gill single cream; 2 egg yolks; plain flour for thickening; a generous ¼lb split almonds, browned in the oven.
Flour the chicken joints and saute them in butter quite fast till nicely brown all round. Start with 2 oz butter, and add more if needed. Add onions to the pan and cook for only 2 minutes with the chicken. Then cover the pan, with a paper under the lid, and transfer it to the oven at gas Reg 4 (electric 350°F) for 30 minutes. Add the peeled mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken joints and mushrooms from the pan and keep hot.
Add about 1 piled tbsp. of flour to the onion mixture in the pan and cook, stirring, over a low heat till the flour ‘cracks’.’ Then add stock (a gill to start with, more as necessary) and cook, stirring, till it thickens. Add wine (or brandy) and bubble to throw off the alcohol. Taste, season. Finally, add the yolks, broken down in cream, and stir over gentle heat till almost bubbling. The sauce should be just thick enough for than pouring.
Meantime, take the chicken meat from the bones, cut into pieces about l½ square, place down the centre of a serving dish and put the mushrooms on top. Spoon the sauce over, dot very generously with the browned almonds.
This dish can be made well ahead and reheated gently, under a covering of foil, when you want it.
Shortcut for modern cooks you could use chicken joints down the centre of the dish, and save the chore of cutting the meat into pieces. Then you will probably need to allow more chicken, and you’will not be able to serve it as a buffet dish, to be eaten with a fork.
Last word: we understand that, so far as this dish is concerned,one can forget the modern rule of white wine with chicken. At Philip’s table it was served (naturally) with the wine of the country Burgundy. It is said that with it even a very average Burgundy tastes magnificent.
After the party there was, as always, some clearing up: and we found a few things that had been left behind. If anyone recognises anything on the following list, they can reclaim it by ringing Christine Arnott (435 2751):
a red glove;
a dumpy umbrella;
a yellow plate
a small formica-topped tray
LETTER FROM AMERICA
DOROTHY NEWBURY has heard from MAXINE HAMILTON, an American member who joined us when she was living in Highgate a few years ago. She has now returned to America but will be remembered both by West Heath diggers and by those who went with HADAS to Orkney in 1978. She writes:
“I still receive the Newsletter and read it with great interest and, indeed, envy of the fascinating lectures and excursions. I haven’t gotten into any archaeological group here and don’t know when I will.
I am trying to continue with my PhD. Yesterday I was at the Congress Library (I am reading the papers of a Confederate agent during our Civil War) and met a professor from Sheffield University. We had a chat over lunch and I felt quite homesick. Give my best wishes to the people who would remember me”
I think (adds Dorothy Newbury) that it is gratifying to all those people involved in writing, typing, gathering information, running off, collating and distributing the Newsletter to know how it is appreciated far and wide. As Programme secretary I probably speak to a wider section of the membership of the Society than anyone, and I would like to record that I am frequently told that it is well worth the Membership fee just to receive twelve interesting newsletters every year.