HADAS Newsletter no. 368  November 2001          edited by DAWN ORR


Tuesday November 13th : Professor Vincent Megaw, on study leave from Flinders University, South Australia, will lecture on the 'Ancient Saltmines in 'Sound-of-Music Land': Iron Age Archaeol­ogy on the Durrnberg, near Salzburg.

N.B. June Porges, our lecture organiser, has the 2002 part of our lecture programme well in hand, and is juggling with dates. She will give details as soon as possible. 

Lectures start at 8 p.m. in the drawing-room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley. N.3, and are followed by question time and coffee. We close promptly at 10 p.m. 

Tuesday, December 4th: Christmas Dinner at Grimsdyke Hotel

57 Members have booked in (6 travelling independently so 2 places now available on the coach). Any other latecomers will go on a waiting list in the event of cancellations. 

Friday, Novernber 16th : HADAS Member, Mary O'Connell,will give a talk, on the Tower of London to Wembley History Society at 7.30 pm. Address on page 

'L.A.M.A.S.' Saturday, November 17th: 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. with

Lunch Break 12.30 p.m. to 1.45 pm. six papers on the theme of 'Edwardian London - A New Era? including 'Heart of Empire' by David Gilbert; `Transport' by Roger Brasier;' Film' by Amanda Huntley; 'Suffragettes & Other Women' by Di Atkinson; 'Theatre' by Malcolm Jones; 'White City Exhibitions by Keith Whitehouse.

MINI-MINI MART 'SWAN SONG' runs merrily on. Still selling items from Dorothy's garage. Offers to run Car Boot Sale eagerly sought: Full report next Newsletter. 


Long-standing Members will be sad to learn that Alec Goldsmith died in October. Alec was a very regular lecture attender and rarely missed our outings and weekends. He was over 90 and still enjoyed our Newsletter. His later years were spent in a nursing home in Dorchester, near the home of his sister. Marion Newbury visited him there,where he was comfortable and happy.' spoke to him on the phone only a few weeks ago. He told me then that he joined HADAS in its very early days - 1962.

Margaret Taylor, another long-standing Member,tells me that she visits family in Oregon,U.S.A., and joins a group of volunteers restoring old log cabins. She was interviewed by the local press who wrote an article about her which created much amusement when they discovered she was older than the cabin she was restoring "

Margaret Taylor dug with me on Ted Sammes' excavation near St. Mary's in 1972/73, but I forgot to ask her when she joined HADAS. She now lives in St. Albans and is closely associated with their Archaeology Society. She was very disappointed, that she could not be involved in our Roman Pottery firing at College Farm last August - she was in Oregon restoring the log cabins at the time!!

Members who attended classes in 2000/2001 - please let us know of your successes, I know of just one! Don't be shy - let us know of more (phone me on 8-203-0950),

The Committee would like to thank all those Members who completed and returned the recent questionnaire relating to Members' skills and interests. Your replies - more than 30 have been received so far - are of great value in compiling a central register of volunteers who may be called upon at need, and whose interests and capacities will have a considerable effect on the Society's activities.

IF YOU HAVE NOT YET returned your copy, please do so now...

The Thames - whose river?     Peter Pickering

The Museum of London held a study day on 13th October about the Thames. It was not solely about the past of the river, since it ceased to be a tributary of the Rhine, but dealt also with its present and future. Members may be interested in some notes I took. Jon Cotton produced some ideas which were new to me about the use of the Thames for ritual deposits, from a prehistoric one in the middle of the river opposite Vauxhall to very recent diwali lamps. Gustav Milne was his usual witty and stimulating self on the subject of waterfront archaeology - one of his ideas was that the number of 'classis britannica' stamps could suggest that the Roman port of London began under the control of the procurator. Hazel Forsyth of the Museum of London and Chris Elmers of the Museum in Docklands drew mostly on pictures and literary sources to tell the story of the Thames since the mediaeval period. The Museum in Docklands will open in the Spring, and might well merit a HADAS visit.

The Environment Agency's conservation officer for the South East Area, Thames region, who is soon moving to a job with the Thames Barrier to plan for the time when the present barrier will be ineffective gave an encouraging message about the improvement in the quality of the Thames, and in the range of wildlife it supports, over the past few decades. But it seems that Bazalgette's brilliant sewerage system, that monument to our Victorian forebears, cannot be expected to cope all that much longer, and renewing it would be very disruptive indeed - just think of having to dig up the Embankment!, It would help if we could get more surface water to drain into watercourses instead of into sewers.

After an account of mudlarking and collecting on the Thames foreshore that might have irritated those purists who believe that all artefacts from the past should go to museums, the final speaker was Mike Webber, Community Archaeologist of the Museum of London. He had some very imaginative ideas for the use of the banks of the Thames in ways that would engage everybody in thinking about its past, but he seemed too keen on windmills (the electricity-generating sort) for my taste.

Other Societies’ activities            with thanks to Eric Morgan

Wednesday, 14th November - Hornsey Historical Society, at 8 p.m. Union Church Hall, cnr. Ferme Park Rd.    Weston Park, N.6,
'Highgate' - talk by Gwynydd Gosling in conjunction with launch of a new 90 minute video, the first film portrait of Highgate, a London village for over 800 years. Produced by Hornsey Historical society, the video captures the hidden history of Highgate since mediaeval times - rare archive material both pictorial and oral, with extracts from diaries, letters and historical records, revealing the everyday lives of the humble and the famous. The speaker is an archivist, consultant on the video project.
Information on obtaining copies (£14.99 plus £1 p. &p.) from The Old Schoolhouse, 136 Tottenham Lane, N.8 or Tel. 8348-6429. 

Thursday. 15th November - Historical Association, at 8pm. Fellowship House, Willifield Way, Garden Suburb, NW 11. 'Ancient Athens' Finest Hour? Battle of Marathon 490 BC.Lecturer: Dr Tim Ryder. Visitor      entrance: £2. 

Friday, 16th November - Wembley History Society,at 7.30  p.m. St. Andrew's Church Hall, Church Lane, Kingsbury. N.W.9. 'Tales from the Tower' - talk by Mary O'Connell (HADAS MEMBER) 

Monday, 19th November - Friends of Barnet Borough. Libraries, 8pm Church End Library, Hendon Lane, N.3.

Talk by Norman Burgess - 'The Two Remarkable Stephens' (relating to Avenue House). 

Wednesday, 21st November - Barnet & District Local History Soc. A.G.M. at 8 p.m. Church House (opp. Barnet Museum, Wood St.)

Thursday, 29th November - The Finchley Society at 8 pm The Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N.3. Talk by Martyn Gerrard - 'Trading in the High Street'

(re-scheduled from September Meeting.)


Edmonton Hundred Historical Society - ‘Gone but not Forgotten’

Saturday, 3rd November at Jubilee Hall, cnr. 2 Parsonage Lane and Chase Side, Enfield. 10 a.m. to 12.3q p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Both sessions £6; one session £3 .Tea and Coffee incl. Subjects: Lost Buildings of Enfield - Talk by Graham Dalling

Cinemas in Enfield from 1899- Talk Geoffrey Gillam

Local Worthies - series of short talks - 2 parts p.m.

Tickets from Mrs. Betty Smith, 16 Westwood Court, Village Rd. Enfield, EN1 2HQ. Cheques payable to Edmonton Hundred Hist­orical Society, with s.a.e if confirmation required.

LAMAS 36th Local History Conference - Sat. 17th Nov. at Museum of London, London Wall, London EC2. Ticket applications £4 to affiliated Society Members - MENTION HADAS. Send name and address, s.a.e.(for return of tickets), and cheques payable to 'L.A.M.A.S.'at 36,Church Road, West Drayton, MIDDX. UB7 7PX.


CAMDEN’S HISTORY REVIEW      from Yvonne Melnick

The Review is published annually by the Camden History Society, sent to all Members free of charge (non-members £6.95). Subjects are well researched and all sources acknowledged. Relevant photos included. This year, in Review 25, there have been articles on Mabel Quiller-Couch, who lived in Downshire Hill. Her brother was Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, the well-known Edwardian author and Cambridge professor, who wrote under the name of 'V. There is an article on the chequered past of 277 Grays Inn Road, where, in 1834, Madame Tussaud held her first permanent exhibition of waxworks.

Other articles include one on bollards in Camden - it would be interesting to have one on bollards in Hendon: 'Electricity in Hampstead' is written by workers at the Central Supply Station in Lithos Grove, The school for sons and orphans of missionariesin Mornington Crescent (1852-1857); a short history of Oak Village (the Gospel Oak); the Irish in Kilburn and the Church of the Sacred Heart in Quex Road; provident and non-provident dispensaries in Camden; architectural details on Hampstead houses; history of Kingswell in Hampstead, a late 20th century development,1960-95.; Keeley House (Keeley Street) and its predecessors; and the rise and fall of the Aerated Bread Company (written by a worker in the baking industry for some 15 years) show a wide coverage of subjects.


'The Times' readers may have noticed a picture of a reconstruction of a Cro-Magnon skull found at Cheddar Gorge, said to be at least 9,000 years old. The astonished expression of our ancestor's gaze may have some connection with the firm hold on his head exercised by Professor Chris Stringer. Professor Stringer is directing a five-year project of research into the origins of modern man which will culminate in an exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Our island is an ideal place for such research he says, since it has been a peninsula from time to time, when migrants' coming and going can be discovered. Watch this space

'The Daily Telegraph' of 27th September revealed some Roman remains nearer our own time, being water wheels powered by a slave driven treadmill, discovered in the City in Gresham Street. One is tree-ring dated to AD 63, possibly a replacement for an earlier well, destroyed in Boudicca’s rebellion. This is a unique find and is or display in the Museum of London.