Newsletter No. 179 January 1986



Tuesday 7 Jan        “Archaeology of Hedges and Woodland” by Dr. Oliver Rackham

Rackham is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and a botanist by profession. As well as study in England, his work has taken him to Greece and America.

Several members have already heard him talk on this subject – a subject that has interested the Society for many years , particularly in relation to the hedge running across Lyttelton Playing Fields (which is probably a Saxon perimeter hedge) and that at Hadley Golf Course, behind which some of the troops, in the Battle of Barnet were deployed in 1471.

Tuesday 4 Feb.,; Neolithic Arran by Dr. Eric Grant

Tuesday 4 Mar. Alexander the Great & Art in the Greek East by Dr. I .Malcolm College

Tuesday 1 Apl. Recent Excavations at Perachora, near Corinth by Prof .R, A. Tomlinson

Lectures are, held at Hendon Library, The Burroughs,NW4. Coffee from 8pm. Lecture 8.30


CHRISTMAS PARTY on DECEMBER 3                                               report by Alan Lawson


The usual Christmas, party which took place at the Meritage Club was perhaps less.formal than of past years – nothing exotic by way of belly dancing took place. In a very relaxed atmosphere of nostalgic photo viewing, archeaograms, treasure hunts and identification quizzes some 49 members of HADAS had a most enjoyable evening with an excellent buffet, superb cheeses, good humour and friendliness. It almost goes without saying, thanks were given to the many hard working and devoted workers who made the evening the success .that it was.



        DATES: September 18 – 21      (3 nights stay)

Dartmoor, Exmoor, Exeter. Anyone who is interested please contact Alan Lawson, 68 Oakwood Road, N, W.11 Telephone: 458 3827. Details later if response allows.



It’s some months since the Newsletter greeted the newcomers who steadily become HADAS members month by month. New Year seems a good time to welcome all those who have joined us since mid-1985:

Lawrence Barham of Lewisham, Derek Batten, Stanmore, Penelope Boon*, Barnet, Mr. Otto and Miss Thea* Caslaysky, Finchley, Eve Dent*, East Finchley,  Roy English, Clapham,

M. French, North Fincley, J. Gregory, N. 11: P. Herreman, SW4: Dr. Hunt, Stanmore:

Graham. Hutchings Colindale: Rosalie Ivens, Golders Green: Sinead McCartan, WC1. John

Morfey, Hampstead: Paula Newton, North Finchley: Basil Olympios, Finchley: R.O’Shea, W5: Joanna Rabiger*, Golders Green; Kim Russell, Highgate:  Akano Sato, NW1. Simeon Shoul, Hampstead: David Trinchero, NW6 Paul Wiggins, Ruislip.

The Newsletter wishes them all a happy membership of HADAS and “good digging” in

1986.   (* indicates a member under 18).



Some development applications which have been made to Barnet Council in the last few weeks are for sites which HADAS has already noted as of possible archaeological interest. These sites have re-appeared on the planning application lists (which have recently taken to including the date of the original application, which is helpful) because in the interim, the plans had been re-described, amended or added to. We include these sites in our list for this month as a reminder.

If any/all these applications are approved by LBB, HADAS members living near any of the sites may see signs of development activity – surveyors at work, bulldozers moving in, trenches being cut. Should you observe anything of this nature, please let John Enderby know immediately on 203 2630. Sites are only worth watching from an archaeological point of view, in the early stages when the ground surface is being disturbed, so immed­iate notification is VITAL.

Here are the sites on recent application lists which appear to have some possible archaeological potential: –

167 Friern Barnet Lane, N20             4 detached houses -(outline)   –

Rear of 206High Street, Barnet          2-storey, building to form 6 bedroom hotel

Former Methodist Church site,

Goodwyn Avenue NW7                     18 flats in. 2 blocks

land bounded by Dollis Road;

Christs college playing fields              Primary school & access.(amended outline) & properties in Dollis Park, N3

land adj. East Finchley station,           Offices carparking, residential development,

fronting High Rd & rear of East         new station fo,recourt, ‘access roads.

End Road, N2                                     (Amended outline, additions)

site adjoining 131Marsh Lane, NW7  detached house with basement .(amended plan)

site of former Blue Anchor public      retail warehouse (outline)..

house, High Road, N20

Bells public house, East End Rd        single storey side/rear extensions for bar/ restaurant, facilities

29 Ashley Lane,1\TW4                       pair of semi-detached houses



The 20th LAMA’S Local History Conference on November 30 was, as ever, a lively and

Interesting occasion.

The conference is always worth attending on two counts – first, for the Lectures which form the main dish on the menu; secondly and perhaps equally important – for the displays put on by local societies from every part of the. London area and the opportunity these provide for society members to mingle and catch up with news of’ each other’s research.

Originally the theme suggested for the conference had been Farms and Farming in Middlesex. In the event, lectures dealt mainly with the Anglo-Saxon and early medieval

countryside. Dr. John Blair took Chertsey Abbey from early Saxon times to the 10th century as his focal point, Dr. Peter Bigmore handled landscape evidence from open field systems and ridge and furrow, and documentary evidence from estate maps and manor court rolls while John Mills’ subject was “Archaeological Discoveries in the Greater London. Area c. 400-c.1100”.

HADAS, had its usual display and bookstall arranged and manned by Joyce Slatter, Victor Jones and Brigid Grafton Green to whom the Society is most grateful. The display contained material from the HADAS Farm.Survey. ‘Bookstall sales went particularly well this year.


BOG BURIALS                    .

We’re delighted to hear that the University Extra-mural Department; has had second

thoughts about its Thursday evening public lectures in archaeology. Back in the autumn there were no plans to run them this winter. Now we learn that, a series of ten public lectures on “Bog Bodies and Ancient Man Preserved’ will start at the Institute of Archaeology on Thursday, January 16, from 7-8.30pm. Here is the full programme, which sounds most interesting:-

Jan 16 The Preservation of Ancient Human Bodies                           Don Brothwell

Jan 23 Archaeology of British &’European Bog Bodies                    R. Turner

Jan 30 Lindow Man an Ancient Body from a Cheshire Bog             Ian Stead

Feb 6 The Manchester Museum Investigations                                  Dr. R. David

Feb 13 Diet & Food Remains in Ancient Man.                                  Gordon Hillman

Feb 20 Forensic Aspects of Ancient Bodies                                      Dr. I. E West

Feb 27 Histopathology & Health in Early Man                                  Dr. E. Tapp

Mar 6 Bogs & Burials; Aspects of Parasitism in Early Man               Dr. A. Jones

Mar 13 Investigation on New World Mummies                                 Don Brothwell

Mar 20- The Determination of Age & Sex in Early Man                   Dr. T. Mollison

A ticket for the series costs: £15, but you can pay £2 at the door to go to an individual lecture. Cheques for the series should be sent to Miss Edna Clancy, Extra Mural Department, 26 Russell Square, WC1B-5D0′.

The Institute of Archaeology announces a programme of some thirteen. 5-day courses for next July and August. The subjects are: protection of archaeological sites, identification of Plant remains, drawing of finds, field techniques, archaeological evidence for disease, civilisations of ancient America, surveying, Roman London, identification of Roman coins; geoarchaeology, stone tool technology, underwater Archaeology and the identification of animal bones.

In addition there will be a number of 5-day courses on conservation, ranging from conserving photographs to making high quality replicas of museum objects.

Anyone who would like information about either the archeological or the conservation courses should write to James Black, Summer Schools  coordinator, at the Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, WC1H OPY



After all Ted Sammes contributions to last month’s Newsletter wasn’t as we thought

it might be – the last word on onions The tear-jerking saga continues…..


This month’s instalment comes from Anne Lowe, mother of one of our junior members Christopher Lowe. She sends us the following quotation from “Food in England”, that lovely book by Dorothy Hartley; who died last November in her-’93rd year:

“Scallions – now a name given to bolted onions, but a perennial plant that grows clusters, and can be used for all plain cooking purposes; they stay in the, ground all the year round. Holsters are the Welsh version of these, rather smaller, and with very marked spring growth these make the best tansy that I’ve ever had, made by a farmhand

Take holsters in spring, chop them finely, and fry in bacon fat. When they are soft,

drain off any fat and pour on enough beaten egg to cover, add pepper and salt and chase

them round till blended – and; then ‘leave ’em’be till set, ‘not let ‘em boil, mind, or the egg will be a-whey, just set it nicely.’ .Then turn on to a hot plate, and it is excellent”

The drawings on the opposite page include Welsh Holtzers (this time spelt with a ‘z’) with the comment ‘good for rough winter cutting’. Miss Hartley was an accomplished artist, as well as a writer – so much so that her obituary in The Times last November ended with the line ” she loved drawing her heaven must surely include a friendly life-class.”



A distinctly Chinese air hung over some of the conversations at the HADAS Christmas party. One member – schoolmaster AUBREY HODES – was just back from his stint teaching English at Hua Qiao University, Quanzhou (from where you may remember, he wrote some interesting reports for the Newsletter). ALEC JEAKINS, on the other hand, is about to go to Far Eastwards early next year, as the production manager for a film on science which will be shown in China and Hong: Kong. With one coming and one going, it’s not surprising that a lot of talk about China was whizzing around Hendon, NW4.

Next year’s visit will be a return performance for Alec, his mother BETTY JEAKINS says.. He’s recently made one film for the BBC out there, which caused him to understand just what royalty feels like – wherever he went his public went too – following, whispering and staring:.

Dorothy Newbury tells us of another HADAS member who has recently been in China ­COLIN EVANS. We don’t often see him nowadays because he is based in France; but not long ago his firm sent him to the `Far East on a combined business and pleasure trip.

And talking of HADAS members far afield, the new address the Society has for long­time member VINCENT FOSTER, who was a keen digger and member of the main Committee in the 1970s, is Quebec, Canada – a far cry from his former home at Finchley.

VALENTINE SHELDON, an enthusiastic HADAS supporter for the last six years, has another hobby besides archaeology. In her own quiet way she is a highly successful fund­raiser for her pet charities. This year she set herself the target of raising £100 for the proposed North London Hospice, and achieved it by November. Her method? It’s all done with a needle. Miss Sheldon is a demon seamstress: she sews for love, but asks her clients to contribute whatever they think her work is worth to the charity of her choice.



The current exhibition at Church Farm House Museum on the Welsh Harp, is well worth a visit from anyone interested in the history of our area; or, for that matter, in its natural history. There are some good exhibits on Victorian naturalists, bird watching and angling, including the display of a magnificent, mean-looking stuffed pike, weighing 201bs 12oz, caught in the Harp over a century ago..

Angling tournaments, Ice-skating championships (“Where can you find 350 acres of ice? Why, at Warners Welsh Harp’), drowning fatalities – the Harp was famous or notorious for all of them in the last century.

Built in 1837 by the Regents Canal Company to provide extra Water for the capital’’s canals, and extended in 1851 , the Welsh Harp, named for the famous pub which stood at its eastern end beside the Edgware Road, was much more than a mere water-supply it, was a recreation ground and a focus for Victorian family enjoyment.

Another aspect of the Welsh Harp cropped up recently too. At the LAMAS conference of Local Historians on November 30 the Wembley History Society were selling their booklet The Welsh Harp Reservoir 1835-1985.

This covers the reasons – mainly chronic water shortages – for the decision to build the reservoir, its detailed construction, how the water was, and is now, controlled and a history of the Welsh Harp pub and the family who owned it, particularly William Perkins Warner. He was a veteran of the Crimean War, who owned and ran the Welsh Harp from- 1858 to 1889.       

He made it a sporting and social centre “one of the most cosy and comfortable places to be found in London”. There was a museum- containing both Military and natural history objects – a billiard room, a ballroom and in the grounds, a bowling green, a skittles saloon and a shooting enclosure. Kingsbury race course (described angrily by a local resident as ‘a carnival of vice’ and suppressed in 1879) was nearby and the pub was the headquarters of one of the best known angling societies in Victorian England the Old Welsh Harp Angling Society. A day-ticket for taking Jack or Perch cost 2s6d (12p); a day-ticket for bottom fishing is (5p). Adjoining the tavern was a large concert hall where many well-known music hall artists performed, including Albert Chevalier, who used to sing his coster ballads.

The booklet ends with a section on the ballads which helped to make the Welsh Harp famous. The words of five of them are given. Here is one –


(sung to the tune of ‘The Cork Leg’)

Dedicated to W P Warner, written by Tom

Erica of ‘.The; Sportsman’

Published in the Hendon & Finchley Times of July 10,1880

A song I’ll sing you of a place

Where you’ll always meet a smiling face 

Where every comfort can be found, 

Whether inside or in the ground.

The waiters there are all so neat,

To be waited on it is a treat:

And where they give you the best meat,

And with cheery welcome always greet.

The prices, too, are quite as low
.As anywhere that you can go.
The host himself is always there
With jolly face and talent rare.

His popularity he does share

With Mrs Warner, who’s ‘all there’ . 

She always greets us with a smile 

After we’ve trudged the weary mile.

While something nice she gets us then
We find out John, that best of men
From cellar he brings out the best
To place before his welcome guest.

And when we’ve dined, why out we go
 And on the lake we take a row:

Then back we come to thank our host 

And find him there at his old post.

We’ve had our fun, so off we rush
In Woodruff’s Hendon Omnibus
To London City where we live.
Before we go our hand we give

To the best of landlords true,

By all respected, and one of few

Who never gets done and never does you

At the old Welsh Harp at Hendon.


The exhibition at Church Farm House Museum continues until February 9th. The Wembley History Society booklet – a good buy – costs 55p (plus 20p post and packing) from Stuart Johnson, Hon. Secretary, Wembley History Society, 117 Church Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 8JX.


The Council for British Archaeology’s Nonconformist Working Party has recently published a 60-page, well-illustrated booklet called “Hallelujah” .on how to record chapels and meeting houses. This fills a gap in their how to record publications we have already had from them a booklet on how to record graveyards, an illustrated glossary on recording a church and a guide to recording old houses.

The booklet is aimed, according to its introduction, particularly at individuals and local societies, and the part they can play in what is described as ‘a much neglected part of our national heritage’. We know of at least two HADAS members who in the past have shown particular interest in recording local nonconformist buildings, but we haven’ t heard much from them recently – perhaps this new publication will inspire them to fresh efforts.

Further details about it are, available from the CBA, 112 Kennington Road, SEll 6RE.

News also from CBA of two forthcoming conferences in which they are involved.

In collaboration with the Society for Landscape Studies they are organising a weekend conference on Religious Sites in the Landscape at the Institute of Child Health, Guilford Street, WC1 on Feb. 21-23, 1986. Speakers will include Professor Martin Biddle, Dr TC Oarvill, Dr. CS Briggs, Leslie Grinsell and others. Subjects will range from the prehistoric to the middle ages, from menhirs and druids to 11th century Christian church builders.

Fee for the weekend is £20, which includes tea and coffee but not lunch. Apply to Lyn Greenwood at the CBA.

On March 21-23 next, CBA and the Museum of London are jointly holding their 4th conference, on the theme ‘the rebirth of towns in the west, A.D700-1050” This will be an important conference, and it is hoped that there will be papers by speakers from all over Europe. As the Newsletter goes to press, CBA promise that further inform­ation will be available by the end of 1985 – so give them a ring on 582 0494 if you want further details of this.

The final lecture of the winter Wednesday Lecture season arranged by the Libraries Department will be on Wednesday 26 February at Hendon Library. MICHAEL ESSEX-LOPRESTI will be speaking about The Regents Canal, A narrow boat enthusiast, he keeps his own vessel on the canal and also conducts walks along the canal-side on summer Sundays. His lecture will feature architecture as well as wild-life and will be illustrated by slides and archive film of horse-drawn narrow boats. The lecture begins at 8.15pm and will last about 1e hours.

Leave a Reply