NEWSLETTER No. 177: NOVEMBER 1985
Tuesday November 5: A Reappraisal of Star Carr, by Tony Legge
Tony Legge, environmental archaeology specialist, will be known to many members who attended the University of London Certificate in Field Archaeology first-year course at HGS-Institute last year, or through ‘his work in the extra-mural department of
The original excavation of this Mesolithic site at Star Carr in Yorkshire (about 7,500 BC) revealed a dense concentration of flint, bone, wooden and other implements and ornaments, the richest collection of material of this period so far found in Britain. The finds are at Scarborough Museum, the Museum of Archaeology at Cambridge and the British Museum,
Tony Legge and colleagues have been studying the environmental material again and have reached important new conclusions
His lecture promises to be stimulating and informative.
Tuesday December 3: Christmas buffet party at the Meritage Club, Church End, Hendon (same place as our Arabian Night last year). The HADAS cooks are having a sabbatical this year. We hope that all our new members will come along, and a lot of our old members too, who we never seem to get to know beyond names on the members’ list. Please write to Dorothy Newbury, 55 Sunningfields Road, Hendon NW4., if you can come, enclosing your remittance. Tickets – £3.50 per person – will then be sent with your December Newsletter.
Tuesday. January 7: Archaeology of Hedges and Woodlands, by Dr Oliver Rackham.
THEY CAME FROM FAR AND WIDE…
The MINIMART on October 5 again exceeded expectations – thanks to all those members who so gallantly help each year (and some new ones), or cook for Brigid’s food stall or Tessa’s lunches, We get a good attendance from the public – some are becoming regular customers, so our goods must be worth buying. In fact, our fame must be spreading as one gentleman came from Victoria and gave June his phone number in order to be notified in good time next year.
The same gentleman was so loaded with his purchases that he had to ask Nell for a lift to the station – What a Wonderful service HADAS provides. And it all paid off to a grand total £925.
We would also like to thank several members who could not attend, but sent in donations to boost our takings.
OFF TO A FLYING START
Edward Sewell reports on the first lecture of the 1985-86 season, on October 1
What a flying start to any season we had, with the first lecture of the 1985-86 series given to us by Christopher Stanley, who for 20 years has been archaeological field officer for the Middle Thames Archaeological Society and in 1979 received the Vinten Award for his contribution to aerial archaeology.
Five thousand years of the history of our islands passed before our eyes in just 90 minutes and all from a completely new angle for most of us. We were treated to stone circles and burial mounds, so clear from the air and often not visible from ground level. The Roman’ forts, towns and villas appeared in fascinating detail temples, shops, houses and streets outlined, even the ruts in the Roman roads showing. Iron Age hill forts and later stone fortifications revealed their strategic locations in our landscapes.
We saw stately palaces and country houses in their gardens and parks as their original designers and owners could never have viewed them.
The development of villages, towns and cities could be seen, from hut circles and medieval strip layouts, through Regency Bath and on to modern London, culminating in the National Westminster Bank tower in the City, the shape of which – derived from the Nat West logo – is visible only from the air.
Thanks were given to Mr Stanley for the visual treat and his interesting and witty commentary. I for one would like to see many more of his fascinating and detailed views in the future.
At the October meeting members heard news of two HADAS’ invalids.
Our chairman, Councillor Brian Jarman, convalescing near Hurstmonceux, sent his best wishes for the coming lecture season and regretted greatly that he could not be with us. After nearly five weeks in .hospital, he is now much recovered, but still has to have regular check-ups in hospital and is on a very strict diet.
Another familiar face which was greatly massed was that of Mrs Connie Mason,-who has dispensed-HADAS’s coffee-and-biscuits-so cheerfully over the years. She is at the moment in the Royal Free Hospital at Hampstead – and very sad at missing the-last of the summer outings and the start of the winter season. Well-wishers could send her cards – she is in the Jex Blake ward
After the October lecture, a bunch of four keys was found under a seat -‘Yale key’, Chubb security key, a mortice-type key and a car or cashbox key. The library has been informed, but there is no claimant so far. Ring 203 0950 if they are yours.
The monthly HADAS sales table has moved to a more comfortable position in the coffee room, where we hope members will take a fresh look at the stock before each lecture. Our own publications and the extensive range of Shire books are inexpensive and well worth attention: why not send a few instead of Christmas cards?
The committee met on September 27. Here is a selection, from a long agenda, of some matters it considered:
Membership: Phyllis Fletcher reported a total paid-up membership since the start of the HADAS year (April 1, 1985) of 354, which compared reasonably with the same time in 1984. Nine new members had joined in the previous two months. Her suggested “Cut-Off” list of those who had not yet paid their subscriptions was considered and approved. Long-time members Mr and Mrs Levison, of Barnet Lane, Edgware, had sent a most generous-donation of £100 to the society.
The Programme Secretary reported that a small profit made on outings this summer would help towards offsetting the charge for the lecture hall in the coming winter.’
West Heath: Permission has again been granted by the authorities to dig at West Heath next summer, during a period from mid-March to September. ”Our exact programme will be finalised later.
25th Anniversary of HADAS’s founding occurs next year. To celebrate, Ted Sammes hopes to arrange an exhibition – possible under the title One Man’s Archaeology – at Church Farm House Museum from October 11 to December.7 1986.
The committee decided to ask for space for a display and bookstall at ‘the LAMAS Local History Conference on November 30 next and to arrange an exhibit on the history of farming in the London Borough of Barnet.
The Prehistoric Society is organising, as part of its current programme, a General Research Day on January 25 next, at which members are invited to display their own recent work. It was agreed to ask the Prehistoric Society if a small display of the West Heath finds would be acceptable.
Adult Education Survey. HADAS has; as part of a current CBA Survey of Adult Education, completed a questionnaire on the provision of informal training.in archaeology by local societies. This included details of the courses which HADAS has promoted locally, including the current course on Aspects of Archaeology which is taking place this term and next at the Old Schoolhouse, Hornsey Historical Society’s headquarters in Tottenham Lane:
Community Radio. The society has been approached by Anthony Samuelson, of the Production Village, Cricklewood Lane, in connection with his application for a community radio station based at the village. Mr Samuelson wanted to know if HADAS members would be prepared to take part in broadcasts, either on specific historical or archaeological subjects or in general discussion. We have agreed that if his application is granted we will be happy to help.
The Photographic Group reports having started photographing the blue plaques in the borough and the buildings on which they are installed.
Listed Buildings, In the June Newsletter (No.172, p6) we mentioned that LBB Planning Department had decided to draw up a local list of buildings of architectural and historic interest. Early in August the council wrote to say that it proposed to consider for inclusion on the local list buildings. which we had suggested earlier, but that had not been accepted, for the Statutory List, and inviting us by August 31 to add any others we felt might be worthy. Unfortunately, that kind of exercise deserves months rather than weeks, of study. We have therefore not added to our original list because there has not been time to do so.
LETTERS… LETTERS… LETTERS…
From Mary Spiegelhalter:
Just a few lines from the remote south west:* We had planned to come up for the October Minimart and had arranged to stay in East Barnet for that week – but unfortunately my hip trouble is much worse and I have to go into hospital soon. It will be a long job, but I hope that next year will see me more active.
Our local group is quite active and I thought you might like to see the enclosed newsheet, Recently we went to the caves at Buckfastleigh, where the bones of elephants, hyenas, bears,- etc. can still be seen in situ – very interesting. By the way, we should have enjoyed the Sutton Hoo outing – what a well-written account. Perhaps we can join next year’s outing„.
*Long-time HADAS members Mary and Frank Spiegelhalter have retired to Bideford, in Devon. Mary enclosed a newsheet about an excavation by the Exeter Museum Archaeological Field Unit on a large site in Barnstaple, which uncovered (on different areas of the site) a bell-casting foundry, the 17th and 18th century foundations of the workhouse, with medieval deposits underneath, parts of a protective moat surrounding the castle, a path built about 1600 and surfaced with broken pottery from a nearby kiln and traces of the 17th century pottery kilns themselves.
From Robert Michel:
I am glad to say that working tide mills are not quite as scarce as. Diana Mansell fears (Newsletter no.176).
Eling tide mill near Southampton, for example, produces its stone-ground flour in time-honoured fashion, with two ebbing tides a day producing some eight hours milling time in total. Although the present mill dates from “only” about the mid-18th century, milling has a very long history at Eling.
There was at least one mill in existence at the time of the Domesday Survey and although it is not certain that it was tide-powered, there is clear documentary evidence of one being built at Eling in the early 15th century. Milling by tidal power only took place until 1936, when a small internal combustion engine was installed.
Happily the recent enlightened attitude favouring the selective preservation of industrial relics has paved the way for the mill’s restoration and presentation to the public (at certain times). Perhaps one day the development of milling at Eling will be put into a clearer context by the restoration of the former steam. powered mill built, significantly, adjacent to the tide mill but some way back from the water’s edge.
NB: The factual content of this letter, Mr Michel adds, relies heavily on research undertaken by the authors of the pamphlet Eling Tide Mill.
From Stephen Pierpoint, Museum of London
I am writing to thank the members of HADAS for all the splendid effort you have put in processing the finds from our various sites, particularly. West Tenter Street. We are still getting help from HADAS members and are most grateful.
This year has been a particularly busy and gratifying one for the unit. Our excavations at. Jubilee Hall, Covent Garden, provided an important and perhaps first decent glimpse of middle Saxon .London. At Trinity Square we excavated an interesting stretch of the rampart behind the Roman city wall. We are well advanced in our programme of excavations, in the vicinity of Spital Square near the medieval infirmary. Not only has our work shown up the medieval buildings and associated cemetery, but an underlying Roman cemetery as well. A little earlier in the year we excavated behind Pinner. High Street and found traces of medieval buildings.
We will be processing the finds from all these sites over the next year and if any HADAS members are interested in helping, we continue to have volunteer sessions every Tuesday night as well as working most days of the week.
Thanks again for your help.
Editor’s notes HADAS members who have helped the Museum of London with finds processing at 42 Theobalds Road include Jean Snelling, Irene Owen, Helen Gordon and Astrid Heyman. Members who would like to volunteer to help this autumn/winter Can find out from Jean Snelling (346 3553) just what is entailed; Stephen Pierpoint’s number is 242 6620.
A SECOND HELPING OF ONIONS
Brigid Grafton Green sniffs out some more information
In the last Newsletter I mentioned two regional names, scallions and chibols, that I had found for onions (particularly shallots) and asked if readers knew any more about either of them. One thing immediately emerged HADAS is interested in onions. Five people at the first lecture came up and added to my store of information. What they said took us all over the world.
Mr and Mrs Meyer met me in the car park with the news that. Italian onions are cipolla and Spanish are cebolla; later Stewart Wild confirmed this; then (at the Minimart).Julius Baker added, the fact that German onions go by a’ similar name.
Jean Snelling pointed out that syboes was an Edinburgh variant; and Mary Spiegelhalter wrote to say that down in Devon “spring onions are chipples to country- people:
The “spring onion” usage takes us across to the other word – scallions – and also across the Atlantic, because that is what Rosalind Batchelor says spring, or salad, onions are .called in the States.
Meanwhile, I’ve been digging about a bit, in dictionaries. I didn’t find “chibol.” in Dr Johnson, but he gives “scallion (scaloyna, Italian) a kind of onion”. A Latin dictionary provides the word “caepa” for onion, with “caepulla” for an onion bed – presumably thats the root from which modern Italian cipolla and all its variants come.
The OED provides definitions of both scallion and chibol. Scallions are a. shallots, b. Welsh onions or chibols.or c. an onion which fails to bulb: but forms a long neck and a strong blade. Chibols get a longer entry. They are said to be obsolete except in dialect; and the word originally meant either the species of Allium known as stone leek, rock onion or Welsh onions; or that it was “a young spring onion with the green stalk attached”. The first literary reference to chibols occurs’ in: Langland’s Piers Plowman in the14th century, in a passage which also mentions scallions, parsley, chives and chervil.
Finally, here’s the way Mair Livingstone, in a note to the Newsletter, moved the whole subject into Wales: “‘Chibols’ in Wales: I have always assumed that this was an Anglicisation of the Welsh word for shallots, which is Sibwls. The alternative words are Sibwn and Sibol (whereas the various words for onions differ – wynwyn, nionod, etc). I checked this in the eighth edition of the Geiriadr Mawn – the ‘big’ Welsh dictionary.”
I’d be happy to have a third bite at these onions if anyone’s got any further information tucked away.
PAST SUCCESS, FUTURE?
From November 11 to December 7 Church Farm House Museum will be displaying Archaeology in Greater London, a small touring exhibition on the activities of the GLC’s London Archaeology Service, reports Gerrard Roots.
In eight well-presented panels, it shows examples of all aspects of the work of the service, from the major excavations to conservation and interpretation. There is no mention of any work in our borough. The exhibition tells a success story and therefore inevitably poses the question of how well will archaeology in London be served when this part of the GLC’s work is taken over by English Heritage.
Those unable to get to Church Farm can see the exhibition from now until November 9 at Southwark Cathedral, or from December 9 to December 23 at County Hall,
The following sites, which might be of some archaeological interest, have appeared on recent planning application lists:
Land adjoining 41 Manor Road, Barnet
Land rear pf 36, 38 Kings Road, Barnet
131-131b High Street, Barnet
Lawrence Farmhouse, Goodwyn Ave, NW7 34 Barnet Gate. Lane, Arkley
Should members notice any signs of impending development on these sites, please let John Enderby know on 203 2630.
Lawrence Farmhouse, the fourth site on the list, for which there is an application for an extension, is a Grade II listed building.- a fine 17th-early 18th century red brick house with a steep roof and lean7-t6 additions at either end. It is said to have been built on the site of, a Tudor building known as Whytes Farm. .It appears on the 1863 OS 25in map.as “Lawrence Street Farm”. In the early 1970s it was the subject of considerable controversy when the North Hendon Conservatives made application to extend and alter it.
MORE DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
On November 16, London University’s Institute of Historical Research is holding a day conference on the uses and problems of census data; All-day fee is £5 (payable to the Local Population Studies Society), details from Dr Brian Benson, 23 Plemomt Gardens, Bexhill-on-Sea, E. Sussex TN39 4HH.
Oxford University Department for External Studies is offering two days of lectures and discussion on English place-name studies, on November 23-24. Residential fee is £23, non-residential £16.50 (or £8 without meals). Details from Archaeology/Local History Course Secretary, Rowley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OXI 2JA.