newsletter-110-april-1980

Newsletter

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APRIL LECTURE

Tuesday April 1st, 8:00 for 8:30 at Hendon Library, N.W.4.

Lecture on Ironbridge Gorge Museum, winner of the European Museum of the Year Award in 1978. Many members will remember Ironbridge as the first weekend venture of the Society. The Museum covers six square miles of the Severn Gorge and retains much of the atmosphere of the time when Abraham Darby first smelted iron, using coke as fuel. The first iron bridge in the world is sited here, built at Coalbrookdale in 1779. Coalport china, was made here until 1926. Further reconstruction has been going on since our visit in 1974 and Mr. Ian Lawley, Research Supervisor for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is coming down to talk to us on its progress and aims.

THIS IS IMPORTANT

Please read our Treasurer's enclosure with care and respond as best you can to his appeal. HADAS gives us all so much for so very little. Make it just a little more!

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Society's AGM will take place on Thursdav, May 8, at ~ Hendon Library (please note it's on a Thursday, not our usual Tuesday).

Coffee from 8-8.30, followed by the business meeting - a formal notice of which is enclosed with this Newsletter.

To end the evening Dorothy Newbury is arranging a slide show, which will include pictures of the Roman banquet and of one of last year's outings - probably the visit to The Lunt.

Church Terrace Reports No. 4. - SEVENTEENTH CENTURY TOKENS

This is the fourth in the series of reports on material from the Church Terrace site, written by Edward Sammes.

Traders' tokens were born of the expansion of trade and the non-existence of small change. They could be called an illegal money, born of necessity! There have been three main periods when they achieved popularity, i.e. during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Lead tokens, jettons and foreign coins were often used as small change from Medieval times.

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The official coinage in England from the Saxon period was made from silver and during the Medieval period went as low as the farthing. Under the Tudor and Stuart rulers, the monetary and economic structure was changing. Those needing money were largely shop-keepers, manufacturers and merchants. The small change below one penny was especially needed by small traders and the labouring classes. The 17th century tokens are concerned with the people who issued them and do not refer to the monarchs. They began in 1648 and continued to be issued until 1679.

In 1672 a Royal Proclamation was issued for making His Majesty's farthings and halfpence of copper. This officially ended the tokens of the period but they continued to be issued in Chester until 1674 and in Ireland until 1679.

The tokens issued by tradesmen usually bear both the Christian name and surname of the issuer, the town or village and his trade or profession. Sometimes the value of the coin is added, plus a symbol of his craft or the arms of his trade guild.

It is probable that they did not usually travel very far from their point of issue, but some archaeological evidence suggests otherwise.

In London one can imagine a frequenter of inns carrying a bag with an assortment of tokens and also the publican sorting his into piles, using sorting trays, prior to their being redeemed at the place of issue. One can only wonder how often the issuer "went broke" and possibly not all such coins were freely accepted because of this.

Additionally, such tokens also acted as a kind of circulating advertisement.

One token was excavated and possibly the unidentifiable remains of a portion of a second. The first was issued at Bushey. The obverse side reads "WILL LITCHFIELD OF BUSHEY" - and in the centre it has a lion rampant holding an arrow and beneath it 1/2d. The reverse side reads "JOHN PILE OF BUSHEY" and in the centre is a maltster's shovel and the year, 1669. (Catalogued Williamson p. 307, No. 74). These men were probably partners in trade.

Williamson's "Tokens of the Seventeenth Century" notes:-

"it is singular that one of the issuers' names, (i.e. of Bushey tokens), occur in the parish registers before the 17th century".

For our own area in the 17th century, Elstree, Edgware end Potters Bar each have a single known example; Finchley, Harrow, Hendon and Willesden, two examples each; Enfield and Hampstead, three, and High gate and Barnet, nine.

Looking at this distribution, one cannot help but notice that these are all places along the main roads of communication.

For further reading: -

Berry George - Discovering Trade Tokens - Shire Books. 1969. Out of print.

Boyne W - Tokens Issued in the 17th Century. 1858. Revised edition by G C Wi11iamson, 1887-1891, (Reprinted 1967) - usually referred to as "Williamson".

Lowe R - The History of Trade Tokens - HADAS Newsletter No. 36, February 1974. pps 2-.3.

Seaby P and Bussell M - British Tokens and Their Va1ues - Seaby's Numismatic Publications Ltd. (my copy is dated l970).

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MEDIEVAL KING' LYNN. MARCH LECTURE GIVEN BY DR H. CLARKE

Dr. Clarke's lecture, which concentrated on the work of surveying medieval King's Lynn, was well illustrated with colour slides of many old buildings as they exist to-day, together with constructional diagrams and maps. The work carried out at Lynn had a three-fold aspect, we were told, namely:

i) A general survey for likely excavation sites

ii) A survey of standing buildings with significant historic features

iii) A thorough documentary survey to support the above aspects.

The efforts of those who took part were well rewarded; King's Lynn is not only one of the best preserved medieval parts but also one of the best documented and recorded towns. The report on the excavation work between 1963 and 1967 is to form Volume II of a series of three books. Volume I, The Making of King's Lynn by Vanessa Parker, published by Phillimore and Co., 1971 is recommended to medieval buffs as well as to those interested in the town itself.

The impulse to carry out this exploratory work came in 1961 with the realization that extensive re-development would soon be under way: King's Lynn was to expand and become a London overspill area. Ironically, much the same kind of activity had taken place in the 11th century, when the Bishop of Norwich founded a church and priory there, at the same time regularizing commercial activities by the grant of a market and a fair. Presumably the families of the five salters who, according to the Domesday Book, owned the land thereabouts, thought it was a good idea, too. This nearby town of Bishop's Lynn, (Lynn is thought to be derived from "Len", Celtic for "lake" or "1agoon") with its Saturday Market held near St. Margaret's must have been successful as by the 12th century more land had been reclaimed. This Newland, as it was called, was used for docks and merchant housing to satisfy an increased demand for water frontage either on the main River Ouse or on one of the smaller tributary rivets, the fleets.

Newland, lying between the Fisher Fleet and the Purfleet has the Tuesday market site next to its own church of St. Nicholas (rebuilt in grand manner in the 15th century and reflecting the wealth of the town in that period) but apparently it has always played a role second to St. Margaret's with its Saturday market.

In the South-West corner of St. Margaret's tower is the trace of a crossing arch Romanesque colonnade retained in the brickwork fabric - one of the oldest surviving structures in the town. Dr. Clarke pointed out the area of South Lynn, lying adjacent to Bishop's Lynn, between the Mill Fleet and River Mar, which has an enigmatic Saxon church, as well as the South Gate of the city wall.

The interesting buildings discussed included Clifton House, Hampton Court, the Hanseatic Steelyard, the Guildhall, the Greenland Fishery and the Valiant Sailor Inn, now a private house. All had major features dating from the 15th century or before. Later buildings of interest included the Custom House and the present Duke's Head Hotel, both built by Henry Bell and showing the influence of Christopher Wren with whom Bell had studied.

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Many of the medieval buildings were difficult to date: there was a shortage of local stone, a town wall buttress being the only example shown, so there were few clues from stone-dressing techniques: the dominant brickwork offers less help in dating. A good example of East Anglian building is the Guildhall, whose frontage is of chequer work in limestone with flint.

Although the bricked-in four-curve arches of Hampton Court, the medieval doorway and the Hanseatic warehouse are good examples, Clifton House, with its vaulted undercroft and locally produced (Bawsey) tiles came out tops for me.

An interesting lecture.

BRIAN WIBBERLEY.

DAVID GARRICK, 200 YEARS

The year 1979 marked the two hundredth anniversary of the death of the actor David Garrick. To mark this, the British Museum has staged an exhibition in the King's Library of the Museum until 11th May 1980, and it traces his career as an actor.

His connection with Hendon began when in 1756 he purchased, through a buyer, the Lordship of the Manor of Hendon, and the right to present the living of St. Mary's church. He built Hendon Hall (now Hendon Hall Hotel). There seems to be no record of his actually living there, but during the rest of his life he spent much money on the hall and grounds.

In the laying out of the grounds, he built an octagonal temple in the Classic style which was demolished when the Great North Way, (now the Al) was constructed. On the North side of what is now Manor Hall Avenue, he erected a memorial to Shakespeare, which stood until the 1950s.

Admission to the exhibition is free, and there is a lecture at 1:l5 p.m Mondays to Fridays. Visit. This at the same time as you view the Vikings!

THE BRICKLAYER'S TALE

Another of PERCY REBOUL'S transcripts of tape-recordings.

I was born in January 1910 and went to All Saints School at Oakleigh Road, Whetstone and later to St. James's, Friern Barnet Lane. I left school at 14 and went to work with my father who at that time was building man-holes for Sir Thomas Adam of Wood Green in Netherlands Road, East Barnet.

In those days bricks cost 16s. per thousand, sand was 6s. per yard and cement 1s. 6d. for a 1 cwt sack. We bought our materials from local suppliers such as Knowles at Totteridge Station and they were delivered by horse and cart.

My father specialised in the building of man-holes and sewers and he arranged contracts for the work. I think the price for man-hole brickwork was 6s. 6d. per rising foot - that is about 250 bricks. I got paid 6d. per hour.

We worked irregular hours, sometimes until nine or ten o'clock at night until the job was done. Funnily enough, Monday afternoon was often taken off by builders doing piece-work and many of them met together at the Griffin Inn, Whetstone.

In those days, the man-holes were dug by the 'navvies'. There were no mechanical diggers. All the wheelbarrows were wood with iron-rimmed wheels and the navvies wore straps around their knees into which they tucked their 'little old man' - a small scraper used to clean their grafting tool. A lot of them wore mole-skin trousers. They came from all over the country and got about ls. per hour. There was also the 'timber-man' who shored-up the trenches - he was the most important member of the team because your life could depend on him.

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When I was about 15 1/2 years of age, I worked with my Dad building houses in Oakleigh Avenue, Whetstone. As it was summer, work started at 7 a.m. and at 9 a.m., it was my job to collect from home the breakfasts that my mother had cooked for the men. About 9.30 a.m., I was told by my father to take the haversack containing six quart bottles to a back door in the Griffin Inn to be filled with beer. This was drunk up to midday. In the afterneon they drank tea. In those days it was all green fields. Mr. Floyd, a dairyman, kept his cows in fields where the new Whetstone Police Station now stands at the top of Friern Barnet Lane. I used to milk a friendly cow direct into an empty milk bottle but in the end Floyd 'tumbled' to it.

Sir Thomas Adam, the engineer, was a funny old man. He would come to the site on pay-day (Friday). I remember a terrible storm one pay day and heard Adam say to his foreman "Mr. Chalkley, please shut the door {of the site office), the lightning may strike the notes!". One week my father earned the colossal sum of £20 and Adam offered to escort him home!

Monday morning was 'sub-day'. Things were so hard in those days, particularly if the weather was bad, you might not even have your rent money. So on Monday you could draw, say, 15s. which was deducted at the end of the week. You had to 'sub' to live in those days; it was standard practice but mostly the sub went on buying beer and you might need another sub on Wednesday. The men were a good crowd, good at their jobs. The worst years were 1926 and 1928 but just before the war it was really good - plenty of work.

I remember building man-holes in Hendon around the Welsh Harp - Mount Road and that Area. They were about 105 ft deep. Bricks were lowered by crane and it was 18 ins. brickwork at the bottom, reinforced with concrete and iron bars. At certain hours of the day, the sewers, which we were repairing and enlarging and which were closed when we were working on them, were opened and the water rushed through at about 60 m.p.h.

I was one of the first bricklayers on the Ideal Home Estate which is Gallants Farm and all around there. The purchaser could pick his own site for his bungalow - they were £675. When finished, Jelks of Finchley, the furniture people, invited you to see their show house. These houses fetch about £35,000 today. There was such a rush for these houses that within months they went up to £1,000.

They were built in sand and cement, (not the old-fashioned lime mortar) and Belgian bricks were used. They were extremely hard bricks, hard on the hands to lay but ask anyone on that estate how hard it is to drill a hole in their walls!

The head of Ideal Homes was Mr. Mayer. He said to us "You've got the best of materials that money can buy. I want no shoddy work." But we had trainees on the site with only 6 weeks training behind them so you couldn't help but have bad work in some places. The late 30's was the time of the jerry-builder but the estate, on the whole, was well built. We would lay about 1000 bricks a day and were paid 2s. 6d. per hour, which was good money.

One of my most vivid memories is of 1926 when I went with my father to Marylebone Cemetery to build a vault for a Mr. Salmon. After the mourners had left the Superintendent ripped down the vault and took all the tapestries off the coffin just before they roiled the stone over. My father said "Now you've seen people with money buried, I'll show you how people with no money are buried."

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We went to the far side of the cemetery and I saw a deep hole with about 6 or 7 coffins on top of each other and finished off with about 6 babies' coffins. It was then filled in and grassed over and that was the end of them.

HADAS RESEARCH COMMITTEE

Good news for those itching to delve deeper into Barnet's past.

The HADAS Research Committee is being revitalised and its members have plans - which will be described in more detail next month - to instigate a variety of projects, ranging in period from Prehistoric to Post-Industrial Revolution. Enthusiastic researchers, expert or otherwise, will be warmly welcomed on them. Anyone keen to be involved from the beginning should contact Sheila Woodward or Liz Sagues.

JUST TO REMIND YOU

...that, as announced in the last Newsletter, there will be two processing weekends this month at the Hampstead Garden Suburb Teahouse, Northway, NW11. They will start on Sat. April 19 and Sat. April 26 respectively, and will be mainly concerned with work on finds from and projects connected with the West Heath dig. Please come and help if you possibly can - and it will be much appreciated if you can let Daphne Lorimer know if you are coming (up to April 14) or Brigid Grafton Green know (after April 14).

HADAS AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON

Those members who are going to the Museum of London for the Prehistoric Society's Spring Conference (29th/30th March) or the LAMAS Conference of London Archaeologists (26th April) should keep their eyes open when they are drinking their coffee or tea. The Museum is mounting a special exhibit in the Educational Department to mark the occasion and HADAS has been honoured by being asked to lend some West Heath material.

Since the Spring Conference is on Experimental Archaeology, some of HADAS' own experimental work will be on show as well as our two axes and a representative selection of tools.

The exhibit will remain on display for the whole of April for Educational parties but those members of HADAS who are unable to attend the two conferences will be able to visit it by request at the entrance kiosk.

A London Kiln Study Group Seminar will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 10th and 11th, at the Museum of London. Applications to the Secretary, L.K.S.G., 155, Walworth Road, S. E. 17. Course fee: £8:00 (Members) £8.50 (Non-Members), to include tea, coffee and a Saturday night Wine & Cheese Party. A splendid opportunity to discuss techniques and theories with a wide range of experts in this field.

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COLLEGE FARM OPEN DAYS

A reminder that College Farm is being opened to the public during the weekends of 12-13 and 19-20 April. Visitors will be able to see the wide variety of animals kept at the farm, watch the farm's horses being exercised and enjoy rides on a horse and cart. HADAS is organizing exhibits on farming and College Farm itself, and a Finchley Society exhibit will deal with the farm's recent past and somewhat uncertain future. A number of other activities will be going on, including a barbecue, organised by local scouts, on the afternoon of April 20.

Admission is free, and refreshments will be available.

We hope a large number of HADAS members will be able to come along to see how Mr. Owers manages to be "a farmer in suburbia". A few stewards are still needed to assist with the exhibition. If you can help, please ring Dave King.

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE RESIDENTIAL COURSES

The current programme offers much of interest to HADAS members, including a course for beginners and experienced students in the elements of digging technique within the context of an actual excavation and in skills such as surveying, archaeological photography, recording, biological data sampling and the recognition of archaeological material.

July 5th - August 2nd. Fee: £55.00 per week, including accommodation and breakfast. Applications to:

The University of Cambridge Board of Extra-Mural Studies, Madingley Hall, Madingley, Cambridge CB3 8AQ.

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