NEWSLETTER No 150         AUGUST 1983


Saturday August 13th            Outing to Ashton (near Oundle) - an

excavation by the Northamptonshire Archaeological Unit. The proposed visit to the Peterborough Cathedral excavation is not now possible as the dig is finished and closed. This alternative is a rescue operation prior to a bypass development., -A Roman town once existed beside the River Nene at Ashton. The settlement evidence covers some 30 acres of mainly agricultural -land. Previous excavation has revealed traces of several buildings and features associated with them. During the last century Roman finds and a series of burials were discovered beneath the former site of Oundle Railway Station.

We will also visit the village of Ashwell in Hertfordshire with its 14th century church and tithe office of the Abbots of Westminster, which is listed as an ancient monument and houses an excellent village museum of local finds from prehistoric to present date. Time and permission permitting, we hope to make a brief stop to see the remains of a small Roman mausoleum at Harpenden, excavated in 1937.


Wednesday August 31st  - Sunday September 4th : Trip to Gower Peninsula

Saturday October 15th : Minimart at St- Mary's Church Hall, Hendon. More details in September Newsletter.



Pre-election promises and a mention in the Queen's Speech - even though not very specific - suggest that the Government really means to carry out its intention to dismantle the GLC. The process is one which is likely to take time, but perhaps we should start thinking now of the implications in our neck of the London woods.

What, for instance, will happen to the Historic Buildings Division of ILEA? It is a part of London local government which really cares for historic buildings and does its best for them, and which possesses a reservoir of knowledge and expertise that, once dissi­pated, will be impossible to bring together again. Will its ' functions be apportioned to the individual boroughs and, if so, will they be able to handle them?

What happens to the GLC Record Office and all the treasures it houses - documents, photographs, maps, plans, books - including the entire collection which once composed Middlesex Records? Again, will there be a massive share-out between the boroughs and have they either the space or the staff to cope? And what of records which go across borough boundaries?

Is there any future for the GLC's latest, newest infant, only four months old, the London Archaeological Service? Will that suffer an infant death, or will it be possible to find £250,000 annual funding elsewhere?

These are questions - and no doubt there are many others - which London historians and archaeologists should ponder in the months to come before the Government's precise plans become known.


The committee met on July 8 - its last meeting before the summer break, as there is usually no meeting in August.

It was reported that GEORGE INGRAM is now safely installed at home again. He still doesn't know how successful his eye operation has been, though he confesses that he had hoped to notice an improvement in sight by now. "It still may come and anyway tell everyone that I'm keeping cheerful he says. He also sends thanks to the many members who visited, telephoned, sent him letters and get-well cards and also imaginative gifts such as a green eye-shade. What he misses most is not being able to join this summer's HADAS outings.

A meeting was fixed for towards the end of July between members of the committee and David Whipp of the North London unit of the new GLC-funded London Archaeological Service. See the June News-

letter for Ted Sammes' description of how it is hoped this service will work.

The Hon Treasurer is adding a copy of the National Heritage Act -the final measure of the last Parliament to receive Royal Assent to the HADAS library. The Act transfers various functions from the Department of the Environment to a new Historic Buildings and Monuments commission, which will begin to function from April 1 next year. In so doing it lays down a new pattern for ancient monuments care and, in part, for archaeology.

Barnet Planning Department's concertina-type leaflet, Archaeology in Barnet, is almost ready to go to the printers, with a text coordinated by HADAS and sketches and map by HADAS members Mary Allaway and William Morris. We will let you know as soon as it is published.

The committee passed a vote of thanks to NELL PENNY for putting up and stewarding a HADAS display on June 29 at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute, and to PETER GRIFFITHS for organising a bookstall at the Teahouse on three evenings in Institute Week,



Another of the five commemorative plaques which HADAS initiated, with the backing of three other local societies, has been unveiled sadly without anyone from HADAS being present. The first we knew of the event was when we read about it in a local paper.

This plaque is to. Sir Thomas Lipton, and it is on his former home in Chase Side, standing almost on the- boundary between the boroughs of Barnet and Enfield, The house is today a home for retired nurses.

Thomas Lipton (1850-1931) is famous on three counts: as a self-made millionaire and philanthropist, as a grocer and tea-merchant and as a yachtsman extraordinary. He'd made his million by the age of 30, rising from the poorest circumstances, and he used a good deal of it appropriately, in providing better food and meals

for the poor. He spent, it's said, more than a million in 30 years of unsuccessful effort to win the America's Cup, with his Shamrock yachts.



Brian Wrigley reports on the latest HADAS dig.

Nine members have so far taken some part in this dig, which started at the beginning of July. The first weekend was devoted to surveying, marking out, recording levels and resistivity testing. We have now removed the humus layer completely over an area of the bank and ditch - proceeding at a cautious pace to avoid leaving the site between weekends in a state too vulnerable to interlopers!

One of our first finds was not an ancient one, but it gave some reassurance. It is a pre-war Express Dairy milk bottle, found on the surface beneath creeping holly. It is at least some indication that the site here has not been disturbed in recent decades.

Shallow as the excavation is, we can already see the beginnings (or rather the end, starting at the top!) of some sort of story. It seems fairly clear that after the ditch was already silted up nearly to the top, and a top soil had formed above this silting, there has been a collapse or fall (over however long a period) of the clay from the bank on to this topsoil - the topsoil layer disappears underneath the slope of the clay. How far it goes, we know not yet, and there are doubtless many more such complications to come as we get deeper.

A novel departure has been the use of a metal detector. This is at the suggestion of Dr John Kent, the object being to make sure that when the site has to be left for a period, we "clean" it ourselves leaving no objects to give a response which might excite any intervening treasure?-hunter who, one hopes, will then leave the excavation undisturbed.

All members are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays, approximately 10am to 4pm - but it may be as well to telephone during the week, to confirm times or to get directions, either Brian Wrigley

959 5982 or Victor Jones 458 6180.



Jean Snelling reports on the July outing to Wotton-Under-Edge, Cirencester and Northleach

For our Gloucestershire visit on July 16 we were, for HADAS, an unusually select group of 30, depleted by holidays and heat; an economic misfortune but the extra coach space was luxurious.

We left the steamy M4 as our driver tackled with zest the swooping lanes of the Cotswold escarpment, and reached the combs and terraced hilltops of Wotton-under-Edge. In a redundant non-conformist Tabernacle, the entire ground space is taken up by a repro­duction of the buried Woodchester Roman villa mosaic.

Its staggering size - 47 feet square and one million and a half tesserae - and the pictures of the increasingly deteriorating original as in 1973 explained the difficulties preventing the uncovering promised for 1983 at Woodchester itself and the good luck that brings to completion now a full-size model for public display.

The Woodward brothers, prominent farmers, were seized in 1973 with the idea of copying the mosaic. Their detailed photographs, with the drawings made by Lysons (published 1796-1814) and by earlier antiquarians at Woodchester, together with studies of comparable mosaics of the "Cirencester school", and advice from museums and universities, have all led to this completed repro­duction with the blank spaces filled reasonably. Orpheus, his birds and beasts, Neptune and the water-nymphs with the variously patterned marginal panels appear in a stone carpet whose tesserae match the originals in type and quality of stone, colour and dimensions.

The Tabernacle allows viewing from the ground and from the sturdy galleries above, and we heard from Mr Bob Woodward of this extraordinary undertaking over 10 years. The reproduction is very well worth the journey to Totten.

In making next for Cirencester we paused at Beverstone, a medieval castle quietly crumbling away after its Civil War battering, harbouring a 17th century farmhouse-mansion leaned -to on its walls and surrounded by moated gardens and red roses: a Cotswold dream, We climbed the tower for its ruined chapels and the views.

The museum at Cirencester-Corinium is being redeveloped and redisplayed. Its choice Romano-British artefacts include local mosaics and we were happy to see the remains of the Orpheus pavement from the rich villa at Barton Farm. The central figure, itself incomplete, complements the gaps in the Woodchester Orpheus, so enabling the Woodwards to complete their Wotton copy. The remains of Corinium, scattered around Cirencester, would require more time to visit and cooler weather than we had, and most of us took refuge in the great parish church, that mini-cathedral of the wool merchants, and in the adjacent grounds of the dissolved abbey and its Saxon forerunner.

We then followed the Posse Way to Northleach, where the Cotswold Countryside Collection is housed in the restored House of Correction - that is a stone-built country jail of the 18th century for

local poachers, vagrants, incompetents in charge of carts and deserting fathers. This excellent small museum illustrates a reforming prison and also presents farming and country domestic equipment, selected with discrimination and imaginatively shown. Its charm includes ample parking, a good cup of tea and homemade cake: for heartier needs there is a little Chef round the corner on the A40,

We came home in evening sunshine, across the Cotswold plateau where corn is already being cut, and thanked Dorothy Newbury for a day well planned, well executed and full of interest and variety.



Here is our monthly selection of sites which have appeared recently on planning application lists and which, were the applications to be granted, might prove to be of archaeological interest:

Land adjoining 4 Parsons Crescent, Edgware (off Edgwarebury Lane) (a bungalow).

189-191 High Street, Barnet (amended plan for office block), land beside Farringdon Cottages, Moon Lane, Barnet (a house), 1500 High Road, N20 (amended plan for flats).

Anyone noticing signs of activity on these sites is asked to let Elizabeth Sanderson know, on 950 3106.

A development is also planned on the corner of Burnt Oak Broadway and Stag Lane. It is in Brent, not Barnet, but members passing by might look into any open trenches for evidence of Roman Watling Street,



It is always tricky to keep pace with HADAS members' examination results, since a number of people are working at different stages of the two external courses - the Diploma in Archaeology and the Certificate in Field Archaeology. As we went to press these results were not through, but we hope to publish a round-up of them in September. Would anyone who sat an exam this summer care to let us know how he/she fared, so that we can include everyone's results?

One bit of exam news has reached us, however - from a member who, after first doing the diploma, went on to take an internal degree at the Institute of Archaeology. MARGARET MAHER, a West Heath "veteran", obtained her degree this summer, with excellent results in her finals.         Now, she is hoping to undertake a special research project in connection with rest Heath post-excavation work.

Another HADAS student at the Institute of Archaeology,  Myfanwy Stewart' did very well in her second-year exams.



The University of London Extra-Mural Department, which organises the excellent lectures and evening classes in archaeology and other subjects that are available in Greater London each winter has fallen on lean times nowadays. The department reckons it has lost about £400,000 of grant support in two years and, in its own phrase, "we've had to shed absolutely every bit of fat".

The result must inevitably be fewer courses in all subjects and higher fees. A look at an advance copy of the 1983-4 archaeology prospectus shows that regrettably one of the casualties this year is a course beloved of HADAS members - the Thursday evening public lectures at the Institute of Archaeology at which experts have described the latest research into particular problems. You could either attend the whole lot or pick out specific subjects that interested you; and the effect was to keep everyone up to date with the latest thinking.

Other post-diploma courses, "intended to introduce students to the problems of analysis of excavated materials", will however continue, on subjects similar to those of previous years:

Human Skeletal Remains in Archaeology, Wednesdays, Miss R. Volleson, PhD.

Animal Bones in Archaeology (beginners group), Thursdays, Mrs D. Sargeantson, MA.

Animal Bones in Archaeology (advanced), Mondays, Tony Legge, MA. Plant Remains in Archaeology, Mondays, Richard Hubbard, MA; MPhil. Recent Developments in the Prehistory of Africa,- Thursdays,

David Price Williams, BA, PhD.

All the above are central courses - ie, they take place at the Extra-Mural Department or the Institute of Archaeology. They begin in the last week of September and are from 6.30pm.

For the external Diploma in Archaeology (a four-year stint, with two terms of lectures, plus essays, practical work and exam each year) you will have to go to the Institute of Archaeology in Gordon Square for years two, three and four. But you can do year one at

Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute - the Archaeology Paleo­lithic and Mesolithic Man, Mondays 7.30pm to 9.30pm, fee £25 for 24 lectures and four visits.

Up to now HGS Institute has always offered also the second year of the diploma, on the Archaeology of Western Asia, but now that has fallen by the wayside, The Principal (John Enderby, a founder member of HADAS) hopes that if the 1983-4 first year course goes well, he may be able to revive the second year course next year. So we urge any HADAS members who would like to have a stab at the diploma to sign on this coming winter at the HGS Institute for year one.

There will not, either, be any courses in the three years of the Certificate in Field Archaeology anywhere in the borough of Barnet in 1983-84. The third year at Barnet College (where the certif­icate courses were put on at HADAS's instigation) ended this summer and to replace it the college is starting the Diploma in Ecology and Conservation.



There is one course at HGS Institute - also on Monday evenings 7.30 to 9.30 - which we would like to encourage all HADAS members (other than those prepared to take on diploma responsibilities) to consider joining. It is the course, starting September 19, which HADAS itself has organised, under the title Aspects of  Archaeology.

There will be 12 lectures, each on a particular topic, and a museum visit, and the fee is £14. The lecturers will be five HADAS diploma-holding members (Margaret Maher, Daphne Lorimer, Sheila Woodward, Brigid Grafton Green and Dave King) and the visit will be led by Christine Arnott. Topics will include: Archaeo­logical Research: How Do You Begin? The Why, Where and How of Cave Art; Travelling Man: Carts, Chariots and other Transport: Circles and. Bumps: "Mainly About Megaliths; Whence and Whither: Roads and Trackways; Food in History: What Did They Eat?

Last year HADAS arranged a basic chronological course at HGS Institute. This year's course has been designed so that those who took the original course will find they are covering new and different ground; at the same time, the topics will be suitable for new students starting from scratch.

So if you are one of the last year students, please come along again: it will be a pleasure to see you. And if you didn't make it last year, please come too, you will be equally welcome.



A week of celebrations marked the 150th anniversary of the conse­cration of St Paul's, Mill Hill Ridgeway. William Wilberforce overcame strong opposition to build what started as his private chapel but soon became, as he intended, a focal point in the religious and social life of the village.

A dedicated band of organisers and stewards, including a HADAS team - Tessa Smith, June Forges and Phyllis Fletcher - set-up in the Church Hall an array of documents, photographs and other exhibits illustrating the history of the church and of the district it serves.

The Middlesex Regiment display, commemorating its long association with St Paul's, included the switchboard from Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia, the photographs spanned over 100 years of church and village life and, in addition to the original grants of patronage and Wilberforce's deed of endowment, more humble docu­ments attracted the eye. The vicar's cash accounts for 1841 mention "boys weeding, before Chapel, 1s 6d" and "tuning seraphine, l8s". The seraphine, an early harmonium, needed this expensive attention every two months.

The Mill Hill Historical Society mounted an interesting selection of photographs and publications, and HADAS provided a neat and attractive exhibit of screen-mounted photographs, documents and field walking finds. Handbills and membership forms disappeared at a pleasing rate and we hope that some, at least, will come home again, filled out and signed. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the team who presented our society so effectively.



Bill Firth reports on 100 years of STC

Recently I discovered from one of the local papers that Standard Telephone and Cables plc (STC) is celebrating its centenary this year. As one of the major industrial employers in the borough with a large site on our eastern marches at New Southgate, this seemed to be the right time for some investigation.

When I probed further I found that it is only just too late to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the company in the borough, since it moved to the New Southgate site at the end of 1922. I found, too, an unexpected connection with the borough at Hendon Aerodrome in the 1920s, Here is a potted history of the company.

The origin of STC was the Western Electric Company which was the manufacturing branch of the American Bell Telephone Company, Western Electric set up the first factory in Europe for the manu­facture of telephone equipment in Antwerp in 1882 and established a sales office in London in 1883. This embryo organisation of "one man and a boy" in an office in Moorgate was the origin of the large manufacturing company which became STC in 1925.

For the first 15 years of its life Western Electric in this country was a sales organisation only but in 1897 it acquired the Fowler Waring Cable Company and with it a factory at North Woolwich, (This was closed by STC in 1977 and it seems that it has been at least partially demolished.) Despite a fire which destroyed the factory in 1899 the company prospered. An entirely new cable plant was opened on the site in 1904 and gradually the manufacture of other telephone components was added. In 1910 the organisation was incorporated as Western Electric Company Ltd.

Expansion continued, the company not only supplied vast quantities of equipment during World War One but also contributed a number of new inventions including mining and submarine detectors, a device for jamming enemy listening posts and an early guided missile system. Moreover the war isolated the company from its American parent and British talent was encouraged.

In 1925, in the sort of deal which only financial wizards under­stand and appreciate, International Telephone and Telegraph. Company (ITT) took over all the Western Electric interests outside the USA and Western Electric Company Ltd became STC,

Because of the need for more space to meet the post-war demand for telephones the New Southgate site was purchased in 1922.

It had been first developed by J. Tyler and Sons Ltd during the war for the manufacture of lorry engines, but the firm went into liquidation in 1922 and STC was able to obtain a 27-acre site with a two-storey concrete building alongside the Great Northern Railway for a bargain £60,000. There was plenty of room for expansion but also much room for improvement - for example the washing facilities, which were mixed, were austere troughs.

The building on the site was not large enough, however, and in 1925-26 short leases were taken on some 400,000 square feet of Grahame-White's premises at Hendon Aerodrome on the north side of Aerodrome Road, Radio transmitters and receivers were made there. Activities at Hendon were further increased a few years later when laboratories were established in the former London Country Club. The ballroom became one laboratory, another, perhaps appropriately the chemistry lab, was set up in the kitchens.

The bedrooms became executive offices. In trying to make something like polyethene for insulating cable the chemistry lab was set on fire, but the chemists put it out themselves.

However, it was not economic to operate from several dispersed sites and when the slump came first the laboratories were closed (1931) and then the factories (1933). The labs became the Police College and were later demolished for new Police College buildings. One building from Hendon, which actually originated elsewhere,

went to New Southgate. The Alderman Cafe from the 1924-25 Wembley Exhibition site had been re-erected at Hendon and was transferred to New Southgate to continue its life as one of the early self-service cafeterias. (By implication this building is no longer in existence.)

By 1939 there were 15 acres of factory floor at New Southgate on a 40-acre site where 3,500 men and 2,500 women were employed. The company expanded enormously during World War Two not only at New Southgate but also at many other sites both around London and further afield. New Southgate did not escape war damage - there was a nasty incident in August 1944 when a V1 rocket fell as the night and morning shifts were changing, resulting in 33 deaths and 200 hospital casualties.

There is a nice post-war story of the visit of some top brass from the American company who were making an inspection at New Southgate with particular reference to the full utilisation of space. While they were at lunch an entire floor of offices was moved from one building to another and when the inspection was resumed none of the visitors noticed that they had seen the same people in the morning. It must have been some lunch:

In the post-war years STC was very much a telephone company and to some extent it became stultified. But it gradually got into the electronic age and developed a new type of telephone exchange which put it in the forefront of developments again with a system which was compatible with the digital exchanges to come.

What began actually as a two man/one boy import office in London is now a high technology company employing about 22,000 people in this country and with a turnover of £600 million. Moreover, ITT has relinquished much of its holding so that STC is now a company with a majority British shareholding.

To commemorate the centenary STC has issued a booklet entitled One Hundred Years of STC and has commissioneda full history, Power of Speech by Peter Young, published by George Allen and Unwin. This article relies heavily on these sources.




One of our colleagues in the Camden History Society, Deirdre Le Faye, occasionally comes across information about Hendon in course of her research- and she very kindly takes the trouble to send us details of it. Last month she sent us the following excerpt from The Lady's Magazine for April 1907, with the comment: "Road accidents are no modern creation."

"April 1. On Saturday last, as the lady of Mr Williams was going from Mill Hill to Hendon, in her chariot, accompanied by two of her children and a gentleman, the coachman drove against a cart on the road and the shock was so violent that it threw him from the box; the horses being much frightened soon disentangled the carriage, and went off at full speed.

The road along which the vehicle had to pass was so extremely narrow that at any time it required great caution to drive with security- notwithstanding which, the carriage was not overturned.

The horses having to pass another cart, they had the sagacity, though they were going at the rate of 20 miles an hour, to pass on one side of it, but so near that the handle of the chariot door was struck off by a collision with the wheel.

Mr Williams was at a friend's house on the road when his chariot passed, and almost fainted on seeing his wife and children in so perilous a situation. Mrs Williams shrieked for assistance to no purpose. The gentleman in the carriage contrived to open the door and jump out, by which mean she escaped unhurt.

The horses still continued their pace; the flapping of the door tended to increase their speed, until they came to a narrow part of the road, when providentially the door of the chariot became entangled in the hedge, which stopped for a moment the career of the animals, but they soon ran off again with great rapidity. They broke all the traces, leaving the carriage behind; and fortunately Mrs Williams and her children received no injury whatever.

They suffered much, however, from the alarm. The coachman was taken up with three ribs broken, and so violent a concussion in his head that his recovery is despaired of."

Deirdre Le Fay also asked us if we could guess where the drama had taken place, and whether we knew the Williams family. That whetted our detective instinct, so off we went to look in the Local History Collection at the census enumerators' lists for Hendon in the two census years nearest to 1807 - 1801 and 1811.

Hendon parish is fortunate in having original census returns for 1801, 1811 and 1821. These are missing in many parishes; indeed, many historians consider that the first four censuses (there was one also in 1831, but the Hendon original of that is missing) are unreliable; they tend to start census work with the 1841 census, However, it seemed likely that the name of either Mr Williams or "the lady of Mr Williams", or both, would appear in either 1801 or 1811.

For census purposes in those years Hendon parish was divided (as indeed it was for highway and other matters) into "South End" and "North End". As Mrs Williams was coming from Mill Hill to Hendon, it seemed possible  that she might have been living in North End (though of course she might just have been visiting in North End, and returning to her home in South End).


We started, anyway, with the two 1801 books for North End. These produced only one Williams - Edward, whose occupation was labourer and who had a wife, two sons and a daughter. Pretty clearly it was unlikely that a labourer would have either a chariot or, in those class conscious days, a wife important enough to be mentioned in The Lady's Magazine, so we ruled Edward out. The two books for South End were devoid of Williamses in 1801.

For 1811 there were three enumerators' books each for North and South End. It was in the first of the North End 1811 books that we struck oil. There we found Robert Williams, gentleman, with a total household of 10 persons (five male, five female), "including children of whatever age". This census is less detailed than the first in that it does not mention wives nor does it differentiate between children and servants. However, of the 10 people in the household on the night of May 27, 1811 (when the census was taken), we think it fair to assume that Robert Williams, his lady and at least three children (the smallest number inferred by The Lady's Magazine paragraphs) were present.

We also found Edward Williams again, described this time as working in agriculture and now with a household of three, not five. We checked the Hendon South books too, just to make sure there wasn't

a likely Williams there. There was a Mr Williams (no Christian name given), engaged in agriculture, with a total family of five, four female and himself.

It seems more likely that Robert, gentleman, of North End, was the' man who almost fainted at seeing his chariot pass in such disarray, rather than Mr Williams, in agriculture, of South End.

Finally, the chariot was probably on the most direct route from Mill Hill to Hendon (though of course it could have taken a round­about way: there are two other possibilities) which would have been down Milespit Hill, along Dole Street and along Ashley Lane. All of them were probably very narrow at this period. That is clearly the most

direct route on John Cooke's map of 1796, and it would probably have been the same route 11 years later. There is a map of 1801, which is nearer the date we wanted, but it is said to be merely a copy of Cooke.

We would like to thank Deirdre Le Faye for providing that interes­ting sidelight on life in Hendon in 1807, and for starting off such an unexpected bit of documentary research.


... who have joined the society in the last four or five months. May their HADAS days be happy and their HADAS life be long:

Mrs E.L. Barrie, Hendon; Hannah Cohen, N12; Mrs Cohen and David, Golders Green; Harold Fine, Garden Suburb;' Mrs Jane Jones and son, Muswell Hill; Jennifer King, Finchley, Alan Lawson, Garden' Suburb; Alf and Rose Mendel, Garden Suburb; Douglas Morgan, NW3; Gwilym and Lloyd Norris, Garden Suburb: Andrew Powell, Hendon; John Raisin, Kingsbury: Alan Roberts, Hammersmith; and Mrs P. Trenaman, NW6.

Welcome also to a new corporate member: North London Collegiate School (and thanks to junior committee member Kate Balen, who attends NLCS and encouraged the school to join).

Hendon and District Archaeological Society