Newsletter 012 September 1971


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We hope that all members have enjoyed their summer holidays and are prepared for a busy programme this autumn. In this newsletter are several requests for members to make their views and opinions on different subjects known, and it is hoped that there will be a good response.

Roman Hendon

Many members nave been busty recently mounting the Roman Hendon exhibition at Church Farm Museum, Greyhound Hill, NW4. This exhibition is very well worth a visit, indeed the amount of material available merits careful study. The basis of the exhibition has been material from Brockley Hill - the Society spent last winter going through the finds from the 1947-1954 excavations - and this is a selected display. There are photographs of members excavating at Thirleby Road, where the 3rd and 4th century Roman pottery exhibited was discovered. Many people will find fascinating the exposition of pottery making - from the collection of the raw material to the finished pot. Many visitors have enjoyed the map of the Borough showing where "finds" have occurred - there is scope here for everyone to keep their eyes skinned, if they live near a likely spot.


The Treasurer, Richard Deacon, would be very pleased to receive any outstanding subscriptions.

Members achieved a wheelbarrow through their generous contributions of Green Shield Stamps last year. We need to buy more tools and equipment to help in excavations so if you have any spare Green Shield or Pink stamps, please put them in an envelope and post to the Treasurer.

There are still a few "Chroniclers of the Battle of Barnet" available after the extra printing - do make sure of your copy by contacting Richard Deacon (print 17 1/2pence - 21p by post).


19th October at 8.15 p.m. at St. Mary's Church Hall - Mr Harvey Sheldon on HIGHGATE WOODS POTTERY KILNS.

16th November at 8.15 p.m. at St. Mary's Church Hall - Dr. John Alexander on "RESCUE".

One of our members is mounting an exhibition of Roman coins at the first lecture - created by himself. At a later lecture, another member is mounting an exhibition of decorated pipe bowls. Would any of our members be willing to produce a small exhibit at subsequent lectures from their own collections? The Society would do all in its power to ensure that care was taken of exhibits and simple display aids could be provided; please contact the Secretary if you can help in this way.


It is important to keep our records up to date so will members please inform the Secretary of any change of address or telephone number.


Support for these worthwhile excursions has been poor, and in many cases this year they have been run at a loss. As this is the time of year when next year's outings are considered, PLEASE HELP by sending any ideas or suggestions you may have to Miss E. Dowling. We must have support and member's views are important - are the dates wrong? Destination wrong? Would fewer or longer outings be preferred? Would more frequent local trips be popular? The last outing attracted only 21 people; at least 30 are required to make it financially worthwhile.

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Digs and Field Work

The Society seems to have a busy autumn ahead:

St. Mary's Churchyard - volunteers are needed to help recording the inscriptions, starting on Sunday 3rd October at 2.30 p.m. Ad it is necessary to concentrate on excavation work for the following weekends, regular Sunday afternoon recording sessions will not begin until 31st October at 2.30 p.m. Volunteers meet at the churchyard.

October 9/10 and 16/17 - during these two weekends, we hope to dig again at the site in Thirleby Road, Burnt Oak, where previously Roman pottery has been found as exhibited in the Roman Hendon Exhibition at Church Farm House Museum. Numbers are limited as the area offered by the owner for excavation is small.

October 23/24 - This time we will be working at Simmons' Nursery, Nether Street, N3 in an endeavour to find the foundations of a 15/16th century house; if successful, this would finish the dig on the perimeter of the Brent Lodge estate begun last autumn.

Anyone who wishes to take part in either of these "digs" is asked to contact Mrs. Grafton Green beforehand. The working time (weather permitting) will be from 10.00 to 5.30 each day with one hour's lunch break.

River Walk

Mr. G. E. J. Evans has kindly agreed to lead a river walk along Mutton Brook and part of the Brent. This will involve looking for finds in the river gravel and photographing those stretches which may soon disappear, as proposed road developments at Henlys Corner threaten the "wild patch" on the corner of the North Circular Road and Finchley Road through which it runs. The Borough of Barnet is slowly losing its rivers as they become confined out of sight in pipes, and if this first walk proves popular with members, we hope to follow with further walks so that other surviving reaches of Dollis, Brent and Silk Stream can be appreciated.

Brockley Hill Material

Starting next Wednesday, 6th October at 7.00 - 9.30 p.m., we shall begin indexing the finds, following last winter's work which culminated in the Church House Museum Exhibition. V9olunteers will be very welcome, previous knowledge is not required. Anyone with a latent desire to draw pottery will be particularly welcome. Just turn up at the Art Annexe, Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute at 7 p.m. on October 6th or any subsequent Wednesday evening. We are indebted to Mr. J. Enderby for the use of the facilities at the Institute.

Festival of London

Early next summer, the Festival of London will be celebrated in all London Boroughs. In Barnet, the festivities are being co-ordinated by Barnet Borough Arts Council which is organising the following weeks: -

June 3-10, 1972 - Hendon Week; June 10-17, 1972 - Barnet Week; June 17-24, 1972 - Finchley Week. Following on, Hampstead Garden Suburb will hold its normal "Suburb week" from June 24th.

HADAS has agreed to prepare a special touring photographic exhibition on "The Buildings of the Borough" as its part in the festival; and also to help organise special history walks in Hendon and the Mill Hill/Totteridge area. More about these activities in succeeding Newsletters.