newsletter-091-september-1978

Newsletter

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Although summer is - we hope - not yet gone, stray signs of autumnn already begin to show here and there. Shorter days will bring some compensations, however - such as a well-planned and varied HADAS lecture programme, starting early next month. Here is a full list for the autumn and winter -in case you have mislaid your programme card:

Tues. Oct. 3 - The excavation of a Tudor Brick Royal Palace at Bridewell - Derek Gadd
Tues. Nov. 7 - The Earliest Cretans - Prof. J. D. Evans
Tues. Jan. 2 - "I've come about the Drains" – the
Development of Roman Bath Systems - Tony Rook
Tues. Feb. 6 - Stone Age Farmers in Brittany - Dr. Barbara Bender
Tues Mar. 6 - The Archaeology of the second Industrial Revolution - Kenneth Hudson
Tues Apr. 3 - The Etruscans - Geoffrey Toms


THE SEPTEMBER OUTING

-last of the current season - will be led by Elizabeth Holliday and will explore Cotswold country. It will visit Northleach, with its "wool" church and magnificent brasses; the Cotswold Farm Park, with rare and historic breeds of domestic animals; the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey; and a fine 14th c. tithe barn.

Like all HADAS outings, it is likely to be overbooked, so fill in the form which accompanies this Newsletter and post it as soon as possible to Elizabeth Holliday (please note, NOT to Dorothy Newbury this time).

EXCAVATION NEWS

West Heath digging will continue at West Heath on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am-5 pm(except Sat. Sept. 16). We propose to do as we did last year - that is, to go on digging until the weather begins to break, and the soil becomes so heavy that dry-sieving is difficult. Last year we did not have to close the site until early November- so let's hope that this year, too, we shall get a good dry "back end." All volunteers will be very welcome.

Town Hall Dig, Hendon. As the Newsletter goes to press the HADAS trial dig behind the Town Hall is starting. Details are as given in the last Newsletter, i.e. on as many September weekends as are necessary there will be digging from 2.30-5 pm (Sats) and 10 am-5 pm (Suns) - except Sat. Sept. 16, when there will be no digging because of an outing. At this stage it is impossible to tell how long the dig will last, so if you intend to join it, please check first with Jeremy Clynes that digging is still continuing.

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THE CARPENTER'S TALE

HADAS member PERCY REBOUL is working on a project which involves tape-recording the memories of some of our elder citizens. He hopes to provide the Newsletter with occasional transcripts, of which this is the first.

It seems to me that, in a local history context, one of the more encouraging features of our times is the interest being shown in the lives and memories of ordinary people. I have often suspected that, given a chance, a deep-sea diver might well prove to be more interesting to talk to than, say, a countess with Romanov connections. Unfortunately, both types are in rather short supply in Barnet, and I cannot prove my point. "But what I am hoping to prove, in a series of cassette-tape recordings, is that people in the Borough can be most interesting when they talk about their life and experience at work.

That statement needs substantial qualification; talking about work in 1978 can be boring. It is when you talk to older people about their work in the 1920s and '30s that the whole thing takes on anew dimension and becomes interesting.

The first recording, of which this is an abridged and expurgated version, was with a carpenter. I do hope that members will let me know if they have contact with any elderly tradesman or craftsman who might be willing to be interviewed. I am looking in particular for a policeman, dustman, tram driver or fireman. It's a bit traumatic for most people when they hear their voice for the first time on tape, but happily they blame it on the inadequacies of Japanese electronics. Other than this, it helps if they are not too deaf and their dentures are in good order!

My carpenter had lived and worked all his life in Whetstone - as he tells you himself:

"I was born at 6 am on September 9, 1904, at Russell House, High Road, Whetstone --near the Bull and Butcher -and went to school at St. John's Whetstone. It seems that I started school in 1908, at the age of 4, because I have seen the beautiful copperplate handwl1iting in the early school registers. I left school in 1918, just before my 14th birthday.

My first job was in the clubhouse of the South Herts Golf Club, where I cleaned the knives and forks, washed up the glasses and during the week acted as a waiter at lunch time. My pay was 10s a week, plus meals for a 7-day week, but I made quite a bit in tips, which could bring it up to 30s a week, which was good pay.

My interest in carpentering started in a funny way. My father came from Needham Market in Suffolk and in 1919 he decided to take a holiday there to see his mother. I wanted to go with him, but to do so I lost my job at the golf club because they would not let me have the time off because of my lack of service. However, when I was at Needham I happened to look into a cupboard and there I saw a box of carpenter's tools belonging to an uncle. I decided there and then that that was the job for me.

When I returned from the holiday, I joined the well-known Whetstone builder N C Wade. Harry Lynes was the foreman and he gave me a start on August 17, 1919. I was paid 4d an hour, about 16s for a 49 1/2 hour week. I learned the job working under old carpenters such ns Bill Legg and Charlie Vivian.

I bought my tools bit by bit. First week a hammer (2s 11d); second week a saw (lls); then I bought a rule for 2s 6d and a wooden jack plane which cost 15s. That was a lot of money, but today it would cost at least £8. The tools were bought from a man from Southgate called Chapman who used to bring a selection of tools onto the site and you paid him a shilling a week. He took a risk in my view, because many men moved quickly from site to site.

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WOOD WORKING IN WHETSTONE.

When I started in 1919, a foot of 2 in x 1 in. softwood cost 2d. Hardwoods, which today would cost £1 a foot, then cost between 4d - 6d.

Whetstone was beginning to grow in the 1920s and speculative builders did much of the work. The work was of a good standard. 9 in brickwork rather than today's cavity work and on roofing we used 4 in. x 2 in. timbers set at 14 in. centres. Today these things are prefabricated and delivered to the site. There were no power tools then, of course, everything was done by hand and it was hard work.

A working day started at 7.20 am with 1/2 hour for lunch at 12. Tea breaks were taken on the job and we finished at 5.30 pm on a weekday and 12 on a Saturday. We had no annual holiday and even worked on Good Friday. Easter Monday and Christmas Day were holidays, but without pay.

Many times, when working in town, I would pay my fare to get to town on1y to find that it was raining and there was no work (and that meant no pay) for the day.

When I worked for Empire Construction, we would build a pair of houses a week, working in parallel with the bricklayers, switching backwards and forwards at the various levels of construction.


CAME THE DEPRESSION.

I hadn't been long married and tried to buy a house in Woodside Grove which Wades had built. It cost £650. The deposit was £50 and the mortgage rate was 6 1/2 which was high because my mortgage was arranged privately by Mr. Wade.

After 3 years, Mr. Wade went broke and I was sacked after working 12 years for him. This would be about 1930. I was on the dole. We got 6s a week for my wife and 20s for me - and I was trying to buy a house on a 6 1/2 mortgage. I suppose that in 3 years I did 18 months on and off. A job might last 3 weeks and every Friday, as they came round with the cards, you would think 'Is it me to go this week?

If you were 6 months on the dole you went on the means test, where they looked into everything you owned. I got a letter telling me to go to a house in Finchley in which I remember there was a large table with old men and women sitting round it, talking and asking questions. It happens that before I got married I had bought a piano and when they asked me what furniture I had, I mentioned the piano. 'Can't you sell it?' they said. I left the room and later was told that I could carry on drawing my 26s a week. There were hundreds of people in the same boat and I well remember thinking that there would never be any building again.

On looking back, one of the things that strikes me about working on the building was that, in spite of the hard times, there was always' singing, whistling and plenty of joking. I remember really funny men, such as Tommy the Tinker, Bob Williams, whose father had been a tinker. It seems to me that people enjoyed work and took an interest in it, which they don't today. A1though there was plenty of joking, people were good at their job and worked hard. If you were no good you got the sack.

AUTHOR'S NOTE - I have enjoyed going back to the old-style money and make no apology for not converting into decimal.

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SUBSCRIPTION REMINDER

The Hon. Treasurer reports that over 150 members have not yet paid their subscription for the current year, due on April 1.

Members who have not paid by the beginning of October will receive one reminding letter and then their names will be removed from the membership list.

To save unnecessary work and expense, outstanding subscriptions ~ should be sent now to the Treasurer: Jeremy Clynes. Subscription rates are:


Full membership - £2.00
Under-18 - £1.00
Over-60 - £1.00
Family Membership: - first member - £2
- additional members £1 each

LOCAL HISTORY IN BARNET AND FINCHLEY

Here are details of three local history courses, organised by Barnet College, which start next month.

On Mondays from Oct. 2 Antoinette Lee takes a course on the local history of Barnet itself, 7.30-9.30., At Barnet College.

Also on Mondays at the same time from Oct. 2 Mrs. M E Campbell lectures on the origins and development of Finchley at Stanhope Road Centre, Finchley (just north of Tally-ho).

Finally, on Thursdays, 7.30-9.30, starting Oct. 5, there is a Local History Workshop, run by Antoinette Lee, at East Barnet Junior High School. It will investigate the growth and development of New Barnet from its early days.

Fees for each course are £7.60; enrolment is at Barnet College on Sept. 12 (10 am-8 pm) or Sept. 13 (6 pm-8 pm).

AIDS TO RESEARCH

JOANNA CORDEN, Archivist to the Borough of Barnet, continues her series on archives for local historians. This month, for the first time, she goes outside the Borough to describe sources of information

IV. External Sources: Pt. I: The Public Record Office The Public Record Office holds material created by central government which is nevertheless of local interest and importance. Its earliest major source of information is the Domesday Suryey (1086-7). This consists of two volumes, of which the first is the more detailed, but the second alone is of relevance to this area. Only Hendon (of all the districts which make up the present Borough of Barnet) appears as a separate entry.

The next major medieval source is the hundred rolls of the late 13th c, which contain the results of enquiries undertaken in the reign of Edward I by hundreds (that is, divisions of counties) into royal rights and prerogatives. (For anyone planning to work on the hundred rolls, the best introduction is still Helen Cam's 1930 classic, 'The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls.' Also of importance are the lay subsidy rolls of 1290-i334. These were sometimes known as the tenths and fifteenths, because the contribution of townsmen was based on one-tenth of the current valuation of personal property, and that of country dwellers on one-fifteenth.

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Both hundred and lay subsidy rolls have defects. The hundred rolls do not include people who did not hold land (e.g. hired labourers, servants), and some individuals appear more than once; lay subsidy rolls may not cover all property owners or even all inhabitants, certain types of goods were exempt, and there was, moreover, considerable evasion. After 1334 the lay subsidies were levied on communities, not individuals, and are therefore useless.

Of greater use during the 14th c. therefore are the poll taxes, levied in 1377, 1379 and 1381, the first being the most useful since the tax levied was 4d per head for all inhabitants over 14 years of age. Clergy paid ls. The 1379 poll differed by being graded by rank, and the 1381 by being levied on all over 15.

There also occurs in this period the Inquisition of the Ninths (1341) which indicates the prosperity of benefices, and where and why income derived from tithes differed from the 1291 assessment made for the Taxation of Pope Nicholas IV. The Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535), produced on the eve of the break with Rome, is a more detailed and exact valuation of ecclesiastical benefices. It is calendared by diocese.

Other taxation records found in the PRO are the Tudor and Stuart subsidies first introduced in 1523. The first four taxes fell on the whole population, the rest (after 1527) on the wealthier classes only. Later they became stereotyped, so the earlier taxes are the most useful. The useful 17th c. taxes are hearth taxes, levied from 1662, of which those for 1664 probably contain most information. Copies of these are also found in the county record offices, as are copies of poll taxes for 1641, 1660, 1666 and 1677.

More recent records of importance are Tithe Apportionments and Maps. Under the Tithe Act of 1836 tithes in kind were finally commuted ~ by fixed rent charges apportioned on each field and plot. Surveys of each parish were carried out and the resulting records formed an apportionment: they consisted of a copy of the voluntary parochial agreement or, after 1838, the compulsory valuers' award declaring the total rent charge; and a large scale map. Three copies of each were made, for deposit with the Tithe Commissioners (these are the copies now held by the PRO, and copies of some of them are held in LBB Local History. Collection), the Diocesan Registrar and the incumbent respectively. There are also Tithe files, kept with the Apportionments. They contain correspondence concerning the Apportionment and offer basic additional information.

There has been an official census every decade since 1801, apart from 1941, and these records are with the PRO. The returns held by the PRO for this area begin in 1841, although the original enumerators' books for~ 1801, 1811 and 1821 for Hendon only are in the Local History Library. The information contained in these records varies for each census, as do boundaries of census districts, and there are therefore difficulties in comparing them.

A most important collection of PRO material is the records relating to the Poor Law, now filed under the Department of Health. The most useful class is probably the Poor Law Union' Papers (1834-1900), consisting of correspondence (arranged by counties and unions) of the central government department with poor law unions and other local authorities. After 1871 these also contain information on health and general local government matters, although none exist after 1900. The correspondence of assistant Poor Law commissioners and inspectors is at the PRO; it is arranged under officers' names, not under the areas or unions covered.

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Finally, I should perhaps mention that part of the PRO moved in October, 1977, to a new home at Ruskin Avenue, Kew. The records kept there come from modern departments of state, mainly 19th/20th c. For instance, the Tithe records and the Poor Law records will both be found at Kew.

Medieval records, state papers before 1782, modern legal record~~ and census returns l841-7l are kept at Chancery Lane (census returns, in fact, in a special office in Portugal Street, but when telephoning to make an appointment to see them, you ring the main Chancery Lane number - 4050741 - and the switchboard connects you with Portugal St.

NEW MEMBERS

Since we last welcomed new members in the May Newsletter the following have joined the Society:

Mrs. Adler, Edgware; Mary Allaway, High gate; John Angus, Garden Suburb; Cecily Ashcroft and Geoffrey and Max Bilson, all Hampstead; Ruth Biziou, Finchley; Wendy Chitty, Hendon; Miss S. David, West Hampstead; Mr & Mrs Day, Stanmore; John de Morpurgo, Hampstead; Irene Dessartis, Cricklewood; Denys Franzini, Earls Court; Jo Gilbert, Finchley; Sheila Harragan, Hampstead; Mrs. Hood, Garden Suburb; Simon Ivens, Golders Green; Helen Jacobs, Edgware; Mrs. Jampel, Golders Green; Iris Jones, Barnet; Victor Jones, Garden Suburb; Janet Landau, Hampstead; Sandra Lea, Finchley; Charmian Lewis, Barnet; Deborah O'Connor, New Southgate; Ronald Pittkin, Leyton; Michelle Rudolf, Golders Green; Caroline Sampson, Garden Suburb; Mrs Serre, Barnet; Miss Sheldon, Garden Suburb; Yolande Steger, Finchley; E P Williams, N10; Fred Wright, Camden Town.

May we welcome them all and hope very much that they will enjoy their membership and will join us in our many activities.

WEEKENDS AWAY

News comes this week from the University of Leicester of a full winter programme of residential weekend courses at their adult education centre at Knuston Hall, near Irchester (a quick run from LBB up either the Ml or the Al).

Courses cost an average of £14 a weekend and the tutors are experts in their own fields. Subjects covered include Wood for Archaeologists, Drawing for Archaeologists, Air Photographs and their Interpretation, the Art and Archaeology of SE Asia, Glass for Archaeologists and the English Castle.

Statistics for Archaeologists starts the series at tbe end of September; the others follow, at roughly one a month, till The English Castle early in May. Members can get further details from Brigid Grafton Green.

Leicester also sponsors a course which has become something of an archaeological classic – Chris Taylor's Field Archaeology and the Landscape. This is a week's residential course at Knuston, Apr. 6-12, 1979, mainly practical - recording, surveying etc. Fee £42.

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FROM NORMAN CASTLE TO GEORGIAN HALL

A report on the August outing by VALERIE and PETER HARMES.

Our first stop on this trip, planned and entertainingly led by John Enderby into the very English county of Suffolk, was at Saxtead Green Mill, a magnificent example of a post-mill. We had been warned that recent storms had damaged two of the sails, so it was a surprise and pleasure to find them repaired - full marks to the Department of the Environment for that prompt action.

Originally built in the 18th c. and rebuilt in 1854, the mill presents a fascinating study in construction, pivotting around a huge central post to ensure that the sails would always derive maximum benefit from the wind.

The climb up the narrow winding staircase inside proved well worthwhile, with many items of old-time milling on display in the low-roofed timbered rooms. Rewarding, too, was the equally perilous haul up the steep, close-stepped outside staircase, which led many an ashen-faced HADAS enthusiast to the lofty sail-room.

Next the coach nosed its way through the crooked streets of Framlingham to the Castle - once the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. The first record of the site suggests that it was given by Henry I to Roger Bigod in 1100 or 1101. He constructed the first buildings - almost certainly a motte with an outer bailey, protected on three sides by a palisade and on the west by an artificial mere. About 1190 Roger - the second earl, grandson of the first Roger - built a strong castle with stone walls and towers. In 1513 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk - who had re-gained the estate on a pardon from Henry VII - modernised the Castle with copious use of brick. In 1635, it was so1d to Sir Robert Hitcham who bequeathed it to Pembroke College, Cambridge, on the understanding that it would be pulled down and a poorhouse built. The outer walls were left standing, but the internal buildings were gradually demolished. The poorhouse went out of use in 1837.

Today what is left of the Castle is in the hands of the DoE - the walls, with their 13 towers and a fine deep moat outside, the remains of the first stone hall and chapel, built c. 1150, the great hall, the shell of the poorhouse and some superb ornamental Tudor brick chimneys on the ramparts.

Another "perk" at Framlingham was a visit to the elegant, perpendicular-style parish church with its beautifully carved Howard tombs. The little, mainly Georgian town also offered much to delight the eye, so that to spare time for lunch was something of a luxury and departure came all too quickly.

By mid-afternoon we had reached Hevingham Hall. Built in an age inspired elegance, this fine neo-classical house presented a striking contrast to the quieter, more sombre beauty of Framlingham Castle. The curator, Mr. Shepherd, told us that the house had been built in 1780 by Sir Robert Taylor in the Palladian style for the Vanneck family. Then the architect was changed and James Wyatt became responsible for the interior design.

The print-room - formerly the small dining room - was unusual with its main decoration 18th c. prints, .. now very discoloured, pasted on the walls. Impressive were the library, with its Corinthian columns at one end, and the saloon, with a barrel-shaped ceiling which declines at either end in gentle curves to the walls.

Outside the house was fresh delight, in the beautiful ornamented Gardens, designed - by Capability Brown. By the walled rose garden, originally intended for fruit and vegetables, there is an interesting example of a "crinkle-crankle" - or serpentine wall.

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We enjoyed tea in a converted coach house, and began the long ride home with both stomachs and spirits well replete and with a glow of gratitude to John Enderby for a day into which much thought and loving planning had gone.

ANOTHER GRANT FOR WEST HEATH

They say things go in threes - and it seems true of HADAS's financial fortunes this summer. We have just heard that we've gained our third financial grant in 4 months.

In May Lloyds Bank granted us £100 towards surveying equipment, and as a result the Society now proudly possesses its own brand-new level, tripod and stave. In July the Mrs. Smith Trust gave us a grant of £100 towards the cost of publishing the West Heath report. Now the GLC's Department of Architecture and Civic Design has provided us with a grant of £100 for archaeological laboratory work - in fact, for obtaining a carbon-dating on the charcoal taken from the possible Mesolithic hearth at West Heath.

We are deeply grateful to the GLC for their help - which we hope may provide an absolute date for early occupation of one of their own most famous properties - Hampstead Heath.

A CENTURY AND A HALF OF METHODISM

Methodism in Hendon will celebrate its 150th anniversary this month, when on Sep 16/17 the Methodist Church in the Burroughs will have a weekend of special services and other events.

In the two weeks leading up to the celebrations, an exhibition of documents and photographs from the Church's Muniment Box will be mounted at Hendon Library. On Sept. 16/17 this display will move to a building with which HADAS has happy connections - the Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, named after the man who first brought Methodism to Hendon.

Henry Burden (1793-1889) came to the district in 1820 as head gardener to the Vicar of Hendon St. Mary's - the notorious Theodore Williams. Burden lived in Brent Street and his first Methodist meetings were held in cottages or in the open air by the old Burroughs Pond.

The first place of worship was opened in 1828, on ground between the Burroughs and Brent Street. In 1891 a church was built in the Burroughs. The earlier chapel beside Burden's cottage was demolished; on the site there is now a Hindu temple. Finally in 1937 the present Church was built on the site of the 1891 building.

IS THERE A SKELETON IN YOUR CUPBOARD?

By Christine Arnott.

This frivolous headline is t draw your attention to a suggestion from the fund-raising Committee We hope to run another Minimart next spring. Usually we appeal for contributions near the chosen date, but it would help greatly if contributions started arriving earlier and were spread over a longer period. We therefore suggest that members ring either Dorothy Newbury or Christine Arnott from now on if they have clothing, bric-a-brac, books etc to be collected.

About that headline ...a Minimart sideline has been to provide a notice board for advertising articles for sale or wanted. Successful ads meant a small donation to the funds. Recently a member wished audibly that the Minimart was here, as she badly wanted a skeleton. Evan without a Minimart, HADAS was not defeated. Word went round and lo a skeleton will soon be provided!


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