newsletter-070-december-1976

Newsletter

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HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Happy Christmas to all HADAS members.

Festivities will get off to an early start this year -- on 7 December when, in place of the annual Christmas party, HADAS meet for dinner as the Tower of London. Here are the last minute instructions from Mistress of Revels Dorothy Newbury:

Members who have not yet indicated where they intend to board the coach are asked to let Dorothy know. Coaches leave the Quadrant, Hendon, and 6.15p.m. and The Refrectory, Golders Green at 6.25 and cannot be held after those times. Should you be unlucky enough to be late, please make your own way to the Tower -- dinner is at 7.30p.m.

If you plan to go straight to the Tower, please also let Dorothy know. When you get there, ask if party has arrived; if it hasn't, please wait for the main party.

Dress is informal -- but a word of warning. If it is cold and wet, please bring suitable clothing, as we shall watch the ceremony in the open for about half-an-hour. During that time the authorities allow no smoking, photography or recording.

Wine is not included in the price of dinner, but you can buy your own by the glass or bottle. Hot punch after the ceremony is included in the ticket.

Twelfth Night Party

We shall be giving 1977 a good HADAS send-off, too. The second "overflow" dinner at the Tower on 6 January is now a definite booking, and all details of the same as for 7 December.

Dates for your New Diary

4 January. First lecture of the New Year by Denis Smith, an outstanding speaker on Industrial Archaeology. "From Muscle to Steam" is the title of his talk; the history of energy is its theme.

Other 1977 HADAS lectures will be:

February 1 -Continuity or change: a fresh look at - Andrew Selkirk
Prehistoric Britain.
March 1 - Coinage of Pre-Roman Britain - Dr. John Kent
April 5 - Denmark - Ted Sammes


8 February. Visit to Pompeii Exhibition. This, too, is now a definite date. Will members who have booked, but not yet paid, please send £1.75 to Dorothy Newbury as soon as possible? Tickets will be sent to you, so that you can make your own way to the Royal Academy at 7.30 and go straight into the Exhibition. Please note that no transport has been arranged for this event.

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Field Walks

Two further field-walking expeditions have had been arranged. One has a specific purpose of enabling you to walk off the effects of a weekend of Christmas fare! They will be on Sunday, 12 December and Monday, 27 December (boxing Day).

Please meet for both, as usual, at Bury Farm at 10.00a.m., wearing strong shoes and armed with a plastic bag in which (hopefully) to carry your finds. It will be helpful if you can let one of the organisers, Daphne Lorimer and Ann Trewick, know if you intend to take part.

Surveying Sessions

As announced, the first of these will take place on Saturday mornings December 4th and 11 December. Will members please meet at the Friary Road entrance to Friary Park (near St. James's church) at 9.55a.m? Please bring paper and pencil. If it rains heavily, arrangements have been made for a talk indoors, but weather permitting we hope to do practical work outside. Each session will probably last about two to two and a half hours.

Christmas Presents with a Digging Slant

Suggested by Raymond Lowe.

Do you read London Archaeologist? Four times a year, subscriptions £1.60 post free. Or if you are already a subscriber, binders at £1.50 each hold a volume.

Do you belong to the National Trust? Did you know that the Trust owns Housesteads Fort and a large stretch of the Roman Wall, as well as many prehistoric sites e.g. Avebury stone circle, Oldbury hillfort? Ordinary membership, £5; family membership £5 plus £2.50 for each additional member at the same address; life membership £75.

D.o.E. Historic Monuments season tickets. Full details from The Secretary (AMHB/P), Department of Environment, Room 106, 25 Savile Row, London, W1.

  • with a footnote from our Hon. Treasurer, Jeremy Clynes:

Don't forget the Society's notelets, with a drawing of Warwick the Kingmaker on the front, will make excellent Christmas cards. A pack of 10 with envelopes costs only 25p. We also have stocks of HADAS pens, price 12p each. Both can be obtained from the Treasurer.

And perhaps not quite Christmas reading - but still something no HADAS member should be without: a copy of the preliminary report on the Society's 1976 dig at West Heath. This has been published in the current London Archaeologist (Autumn, 1976, vol. 2 No. 16). We have bought a number of offprints which can be obtained from Jeremy Clynes price 10p plus a stamped addressed envelope.

Church Terrace Pottery Weekends

During three weekends in November a select band of workers marked, measured and mended the pottery and glass bottles from the 1973-4 dig at Hendon.

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The finds have now been sorted into Roman, Saxon, Norman and post-Medieval. This will enable further work to be undertaken on individual periods. Much work remains to be done on the identification and sources of the pottery.

Thanks, as always, are due to John Enderby for allowing us to rent the Teahouse for these sessions.

Obituary

This has been, from one point of view, a sad year for HADAS - and particularly for three of our members.

Eric Wookey, one of our founder members and a Vice-President of the Society, lost his wife in the eartly autumn. Mrs. Wookey had been a member of the Society from the outset, and until recently came regularly to lectures and other HADAS meetings.

In October, Margaret Musgrove - many members will recall how entertainingly she organised the side-shows at last year's Christmas party - died suddenly after an illness from which it had been hoped she was recovering. She and her husband, Paddy, have been familiar figures at most HADAS occasions for the last four years, and Paddy is a hard-working member of the Society's research team.

Now, as this Newsletter is going to press, we learn of the tragic and untimely death of Leslie Frauchiger. He and his wife Irene (another of the organisers of last year's Christmas party) have been members for only two years, but in that short time both showed themselves among HADAS's keenest supporters, taking part in every activity.

The Society extends its most sincere sympathy to Mr. Wookey, Paddy and Irene in their great loss. HADAS, too, is the poorer for the passing of these three members.

A Cry for Help

If you enjoy reading this Newsletter, would you be prepared to offer some practical help with getting it out? We are looking -- very anxiously, too -- for a member who could do two things: first, house the Society's duplicating machine; and second, work that machine as and when necessary.

Almost every document that HADAS uses -- including minutes of meetings, notices of outings, forms, instructions for digs, and the Newsletter -- has been duplicated by Philippa Bernard at her home in Totteridge. Often Mrs. Bernard has cut the stencils, as well as being responsible for rolling them off. She has housed our Gestetner in her own the spare room -- greater devotion and service to HADAS than that it would be hard to find!

During that time our membership -- and therefore the extent of duplicating work -- has grown. So to have Mrs. Bernard's many responsibilities. Now, to our great regret, she finds she cannot continue to do duplicating, and has asked us to find out whether any other member would be prepared to step into her shoes.

As several members have recently kindly offered to type for the Society, we shall not need to ask a volunteer to cut stencils. What will be needed, however, is sufficient space to house a Gestetner 4 ft high by 2 ft square, in a position where it can be plugged into a thirteen amp point and operated. The machine can be kept covered when not in use.

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Mrs. Bernard has offered to show anyone who wishes how to work the duplicator which is, she says, very simple to manage. If anyone feels that he or she could help in this way, would they please let our Hon. Secretary know? You need to be in no doubt that your offer will be greatly appreciated, and will be of very real help to HADAS.

This is an appropriate moment at which to thank Philippa most sincerely for her help in the past. She has never once failed the Society,, no matter how short the notice at which we asked her to work; and in more than one crisis it was she who saved our bacon.

More about Pompeii

By Elizabeth Holiday.

By the time this Newsletter is circulated, I am sure that everyone will be aware of the Pompeii Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Colour supplement articles, brochures and television documentaries abound, but in the vanguard -- HADAS with, on 2 November, a superb lecture by Dr Malcolm Colledge.

A packed audience (a record figure of 175 was mentioned) Dr College recreated the bustle of everyday life in the ancient city. His quotations from contemporary literature and Pompeiian graffiti, vivid descriptions of the shops, streets and houses, the sacred and secular buildings, the wall paintings, sculptures and other works of art, brought to life the city encapsulated beneath the lava, ash and mud on that fateful day in August AD 79.

A truly unforgettable lecture.

Looking ahead to the next Minimart

Christine Arnott, chief of fund-raisers, reminds us that Christmas is coming, and asks all members please to remember HADAS if they received any "unwanted" gifts. The next minimart -- our biggest annual fund-raising function -- will be on Saturday 12 March. Unwanted Christmas presents would fit very nicely on a stall like "New -- Good as New."

There will, of course, be other stalls, and more about them next month. Meantime Christine hopes that everyone will keep an eye open for potential minimart "fodder" of all kinds.

Accessions to the Book Box

The HADAS book box increases almost weekly in scope, thanks to the generosity of members. Our Hon. Librarian, George Ingram, is most grateful to all those who have added to it recently. He reports the following acquisitions, and points out that the first fourteen volumes on the list had been presented by recently joined member Philip Venning -- a splendid gift to the Society:

Graham Connor, The Archaeology of Benin; excavations in and around Benin City, Nigeria, 1975.

Barbara Bender, Farming in Prehistory; from hunter-gatherer to food-producer. 1975.

W. S. Whyte, Basic Metric Surveying; 2nd ed. 1976.

David L. Clarke, Analytical Archaeology. 1968

J.D.S. Pendlebury, The Archaeology of Crete (reprint 1971)

J.P.M.Pannell, The techniques of Industrial Archaeology. 1974.

P.H.Sawyer, The Age of the Vikings. 1975.

E.A.Fisher, Anglo-Saxon Towers: an architectural and historical study. 1969.


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The following numbers of the 4-monthly journal, World Archaeology: June, 1969 (vol 1 no 1); Feb. 1970 (vol 1 no 3); Oct. 1970 (vol 2 no 2); Feb. 1971 (vol 2 no 3); June 1971 (vol 3 no 1); Oct. 1971 (vol 3 no 2).

Christopher Hussey, The story of Ely House, 37 Dover Street, W1. (presented by Alec Gouldsmith)

River Brent Flood Alleviation Study (GLC document, with map)

Olive Cook, Constable's Hampstead. 1976.

And the following duplicated papers, presented by John Enderby:

The Timestones of the Druids - Archaeology, Observation and Tradition at Stanehenge.

The Bowl of Glaeston by Ross Nichols (Glastonbury)

The Mysteries of Avebury - the Avebury-Stonehenge Axis of Powers by Ross Nichols.

Local Historians at Guildhall

The eleventh annual Local History Conference was organised by the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society at Guildhall on 20 November. Over a dozen societies and groups displayed their work, showing the increasing interest which this function arouses. When HADAS first started attending, there were wide open spaces between the various stands. Nowadays it would be difficult to insert a digger's trowel between them.

HADAS was well represented. Christine Arnott and Daphne Lorimer, to whom the Society is most grateful, mounted an excellent exhibit on the background research which led to our booklet, Money, Milk and Milestones. Examples of Hendon tokens (lent by Ted Sammes) and photographs and other material connected with Philip Rundell (the millionaire jeweller who lived at Renters Farm, Hendon in the early nineteenth century and is buried in Hendon St. Mary's churchyard) illustrated the "money" side of the title. Photographs of College Farm in 1893 and actual diary bygones from Totteridge (lent by Mr. And Mrs. Morley of Laurel Farm) came under the "milk" heading; and "milestones" was shown by photographs and a history of milestones on for routes in the Borough of Barnet.

There were three speakers as the Conference, the principal one being transport expert Charles E. Lee. He showed an encyclopaedic knowledge of both road and rail transport, speaking apparently without the use of a single note and handling questions with great fluency. His talk was as full of fascinating detail as a pudding of plums -- alas, that you couldn't all hear all of it. This is just one of the interesting and unexpected to bits of knowledge which Mr Lee produced: the passage of the Limited Liabilities Act profoundly affected the flow of capital into -- and therefore the growth of -- transport services. The first company was registered under the act only on 17 July, 1856. Till then there had been no limitation on liability: any partner in a concern was deemed to be liable for a company's debts up to the limit. This had been off-putting, to say the least, to a rich patron who, while putting a trifle of money into a concern, wanted also to have some part in their handling of it.

The Brass Cow

Charles Lee was particularly interested in the HADAS exhibit because of the link between transport and the early milk supplies to London. (The Express Dairy, which owned College Farm, is so called because in its early days the milk distributed in the capital came by express train).

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He asked if we had ever come across "the brass cow." This was a system by which, if you ran short of milk in the evening, you could go to the local Dairy with a jug, insert a coin, turn on the brass tap and get your pint of milk. Does any member recall this system, or can you remember any Dairies in our Borough at which it was in use? Are there any "brass cows" still in situ (even if not in use) anywhere?

This may be the last year that the Local History Conference will be held against the sombre and somewhat sumptuous background of Guildhall. Plans are in hand -- though not yet complete -- to transfer its next year to the Museum of London.

Which reminds us that as from 2 December London will have a new and very modern Museum -- when the Museum of London opens in Barbican, combining the collections of Guildhall Museum and the London Museum. The new museum will cover the history of the whole Greater London area. Its scouts were out, at least two years ago, collecting material in our Borough -- from College Farm and from the Hampstead Garden Suburb.

British Museum Exhibitions

Two special displays showing from now until 1 February at the British Museum are worth a visit.

One is the British Library's commemoration of the quincentenary of printing, coupled with the name of William Caxton. It is beautifully mounted and shows some mouth-watering documents. The catalogue costs £2 but is worth it. It contains photographs of illuminated MSS – for instance, Edward IV at exile in Bruges in 1470, just before he returned to England to win the Battle of Barnet, receiving the Chronicles of England from the author, Jean de Waurin. It has reproductions of title pages and gems like the opening page of the prologue to the Canterbury Tales (1483). It also reproduces some delightful woodcuts, such as a clerk enduring the miseries of medieval arithmetic (from Mirror on the World, 1481), and an illustration from The Game and Play of Chess, 1482, with the unlikely caption "King Evilmerodach – a jolly man without justice" – feeding his father to the vultures.

The other exhibition is "7000 years of Jewellery." The earliest exhibit is an obsidian bead necklace of 5000 BC, excavated at Arpachiya, Iraq. The collection goes up to the mid-19th century AD. Exhibits were found all over the world. They include a Minoan gold pendant; Chinese animal, fish and insect pendants in jade; Sumerian jewellery from Ur; a bronze dress-pin from Luristan; an Anglo-Saxon gold shoulder clasp, decorated with millefiori glass (from Sutton Hoo); Peruvian ear ornaments, a Chinese silver comb and Persian, Mughal and Spanish treasures.

New Members

HADAS has pleasure in welcoming the following new members, who have joined since mid-July:

Mary Ambrose, Garden Suburb; Lewis Baker, Totteridge; Deirdre Barrie, Hendon; Paul Baylis, N2; Mrs. Bohn, Hampstead; John Bomben, East Finchley; Kate Cabot, Hampstead; Mr. & Mrs. Chapman, Colindale; Laura Chernaik, Hampstead; Mrs Clinch, Mr. & Mrs. Cooper, all Finchley; Mrs. Dawson, Mill Hill; Mrs. Earle, Temple Fortune; Miss Edwards, Garden Suburb; Angela Fine, Highgate; Clive Gould, NW6; Miss Hall, Temple Fortune; Elizabeth Howard, Edgware; Mrs. Jolly, Hendon; Miss Johns, Hendon; Terence Keenan, Hampstead; Christina Kicman, Kingsbury; Jocelyn Kingsley, NW6; Mrs. Lund, Mill Hill; Mrs. McKenzie, Finchley; Mrs. Morgan, Totteridge; Mrs. Pestell, Temple Fortune; Paul Phillips, Edgware; Simon Porges, Finchley; Mrs. Raab, Garden Suburb; Miss Silver, Hendon; Mrs. Whitcombe, Finchley; Miss Williams, Hendon; Miss Withers, Hampstead; Mr. & Mrs. And Stephen Wrigley, Colindale.



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