Newsletter-232-July-1990

 Newsletter 232  July 1990                                           Edited by Anne Lawson 

DIARY

Saturday July 21st Harlow Museum, Cressing Temple - Coggeshall Barn. (Details and application form enclosed)

Saturday August 25th Piddington Roman Villa

Friday August 31st - Sunday September 2nd Shropshire Weekend. Now fully booked - but any late applications can be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Saturday September 29th Camden Town Walk - Muriel Large

Tuesday October 2nd - Lecture Season opens with "Excavations in West Africa" - Paul Craddock.

Saturday October 6th – MINIMART

 

THE CASE FOR CHANGE OF NAME LET'S GET THE FACTS RIGHT                                            Brian Wrigley

As Secretary of the Society, whose duty it will be to do the work involved in carrying out the Society's instructions, I do not think it appropriate for me to join in with my personal opinions in the discussion; however, I am concerned that the debate (and I welcome plenty of debate!) should be on a basis of correct FACT, so I feel I must tell members the precise wording of the resolution passed at the AGM, which was (not as unfortunately misquoted in Jennie Cobban's article in the June Newsletter):

"This "Meeting calls upon the Committee to consider changing the name of the organisation to reflect more accurately the scope and geo­graphical boundaries of its activities today."

The Committee is NOT empowered to change the Society's name: this can, under the Constitution and Rules of the Society, only be done by a General meeting at which all Members attending are entitled to vote; obviously, if the Committee after consideration, recommend a change, their recommendation will have to be put to, and voted on by, a General Meeting notice of which shall have contained particulars of the proposed alteration." (Rule 9)

Whilst on the subject of correct information, can I also mention that the amount of the Society's fire claim, which was paid in full, was £3064.50 (three thousand and sixty-four pounds fifty pence), and not the larger sum mentioned in the June Newsletter.And as a footnote to the above:-

The Committee discussed the resolution at their meeting on 8th June, and it was decided that before any action was taken, the membership should be given a chance to express their view - either in the Newsletter or to the Hon. Secretary. Preferably in writing so that a correct record can be made.

(Yes, let us have as many members' views as possible on this issue. ED.)

WHAT'S IN A NAME

With reference to the question raised at the Annual General Meeting of the Hendon & District Archaeological Society as to the change of the Society's name of HADAS, I wish to register my opposition to this. I was present at the AGM, sitting at the back of the room, at the time of the discussion and it was obvious to me that not very many people were aware that a vote was being taken, nor in fact, were 100% sure as to what they were voting for.

I was one of the two people who were totally opposed, not only to the name being changed, but to the Committee, a Sub-Committee of any of the Society's valuable time being spent in this way. The amount of work involved in such a change is enormous and the time it would take for the Society to become known by another name would also take a considerable period.

I am confident if people, especially new members, who are really interested in HADAS will take the trouble to enquire as to what area we cover, in fact I personally have taken many calls of this nature, and on offering an explanation of our work and the areas we cover, usually manage to assure people.

Whilst I have no wish to bring Politics into Archaeology, I would just mention a case which comes to mind of the Liberal Party, the SDP and the Social & Liberal Democrats and the long discussions as to what colour their rosettes would be and under what name they should present themselves and look where all that has got them. It has only made for much confusion amongst the electorate and possibly the death of one or more parties - LET THIS NOT HAPPEN TO HADAS.

Please can we leave the name of HADAS alone and get on with some "REAL ARCHAEOLOGY" which after all, is what the Society is really about.

Joan M. Wrigley

"FAKE? THE ART OF DECEPTION" AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM   by Audrey Hooson

In May 25 HADAS members had the good fortune to be given a guided tour of this exhibition by Dr. Paul Craddock of the Museum's Research Laboratories. Since there are over 600 exhibits on display from all periods and cultures our guide selected for special comment items of archaeological interest plus some with an especially noteworthy history. The cases containing Piltdown Man and other "discoveries" made by Charles Dawson at the beginning of the century and finds from Glozel reminded us that today's expert may be tomorrow's embarrassed nan.

The concluding sections of the exhibition concern the craft of faking and methods of detection. This was an equal conflict but modern scientific analytical methods applied by large organizations such as the BM have changed this. Among the examples shown are the use of the scanning electron microscope, ultra-violet radiation, X-radiography, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), TL dating, C-14 dating, and oxygen isotope analysis. These results are compared with documentary and stylistic evidence. However, there are still many objects which can neither be authenticated nor declared fake.

Every exhibit is of interest and many are of great beauty. It was intriguing to consider the way in which their monetary and artistic value is changed by re-attribution. The reasons for faking are as diverse as the artifacts themselves and many pieces that were made as as acknowledged copies later became used as fakes. The BM has actually purchased known fakes in order to examine their manufacture and to use as reference material.

It is an indication of how fascinating Paul Craddock's tour was that a number of Fake HADAS members were acquired during the afternoon. The exhibition continues until September 2nd 1990. Admission £3, concessions £2. The very interesting catalogue is £14.95 in paperback.

 

DIGGING NOW                                                                               Andy Simpson

As always, volunteers are welcome. Details from Hon. Sec.081-959 5982 Arthur Till 081-368 6288, Andy Simpson 081-205 6456 (evenings).

Despite the recent and belated heavy rain, work on the three trenches at the 19-25 High Street site in Chipping Barnet has now started in earnest.

As mentioned in Newsletter 231, little of archaeological interest is visible in Trench No. 1 at the front (N-E) of the site, other than a post hole in one corner and a possible pit in one of the other corners, both cut into natural clay and sealed by the floor makeup of the shop; no date has yet been determined for these features.

The centre trench, on the other hand, is proving to be very productive; this has led to extensions being marked out to the North and East. An overall modern soil layer appears to seal a pebbly surface, possibly a yard surface, which itself seals a greenish tinged sandy matrix that contains much medieval pottery, approximately of the 1150-1300 period. With the exception of later pots/postholes, the archaeological material is within a foot or so of the surface.

The third trench at the rear of the site is currently being emptied of modern pit fills and construction trenches for garage walls, recently demolished. Finds from the trench so far are mainly Victorian.

CHURCH FARM HOUSE MUSEUM NEWS

The exhibition Picturesque Hendon held at Church Farm earlier this year, and based on paintings and drawings (from c. 1790 to c. 1930) from London Borough of Barnet's Local Studies Collection, was a great success. Indeed, so successful was it that a sequel, using paintings, drawings and photographs of Finchley from the early 1880s to the 1960s, will now be shown at the Museum this summer. Again selected from the wealth of pictorial material held by the Local Studies Collection, Picturesque  Finchley will run from 21 July to 2 September, and will include work by artists such as George Shepheard, F K Agar, G R Smith, E Harcourt Smith, Walter Colbert and Herbert Norman, amongst many others.

JOHNSONS of HENDON

Church Farm House Museum intends to mount an exhibition on this important photographic firm, which was based in Hendon until 1973. I would be very pleased to hear from any HADAS members who have material either manufactured by, or otherwise associated with, Johnsons, which they might be prepared to lend or to donate to this project. Also of interest would be photographs of local subjects which were processed using chemicals or equipment made by the company. Please contact me at 081-203 0130. All information or material used in the exhibition will of course, be credited.   GERRARD ROOTS

EDGWARE IN 1851                 by  NELL PENNY

Nostalgia is a growth industry today. Some city folk fondly imagine nineteenth century villages of thatched cottages the gardens rioting with old fashioned flowers. They picture generations of rustic wiseacres living in the same cottages as their ancestors had done before them.

I don't think this is a true picture of "Merrie England". Many of the cottages were rotting shacks inhabited by families "on the move" in search of work. I am going to use the 1851 census of Edgware to help prove my point.

In 1851 Edgware was a small parish stretching from the modern junction of the Al and A41 in the east to the Edgware Road - but not across it. Northward it included the southern part of Elstree. There were 146 heads of households in the village. Like all villages within a ten mile radius of the City and West End it was starting to become a commuter satellite of London. There were five omnibuses daily to the City. And most of the houses were along the eastern side of Telford's renovated Watling Street. The heyday of the stagecoach was over, but the railway network was not complete and the passing coach trade provided employment for ostlers, more than the usual quota of innkeepers and shopkeepers and a farrier.

 

1851 CENSUS - EDGWARE

HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS - PLACES OF BIRTH




 

The pie graph shows what a small proportion of Edgware householders had been born in the parish and what a large proportion had not moved far from their birthplaces in Harrow, Hendon, Willesden etc. It is dangerous to generalise from such a small sample as Edgware, but the high propor­tion of "foreigners" in the parish is a reminder that the poor man's bogey of having to prove a settlement when applying for relief, had all but disappeared in the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. And I need to remind myself that most working people had not bounded from birthplace to Edgware in one leap. The police sergeant who lived in the Stonegrove area had been born in Scotland but he may have been recommended by his officer when he left the army. Similarly the mail cart driver in the High Street may have made several moves from his native Suffolk.

Edgware had not a significant number of gentlemen's houses but there was a sprinkling; a F.R.C.S. born in Somerset lived in the High St., Hill House was the home of a gentlewoman annuitant who had been born in Worcester, and Stonegrove Cottage housed the Page to the Gentlemen of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal.

There were six farms listed in the census plus Stonegrove Nursery Garden, cultivated by a man born in Surrey. In the fifteenth century All Souls' College Oxford had owned practically all the village, but by 1851 the College had sold two-thirds of its property, rarely to the men who farmed the land. According to the Tithe Award of 1845 86% of the land was grass, 7% arable and a tiny 18 acres woodland was all that was left of that part of the Middlesex Forest which had covered the northern half of the parish. Manor Farm, 500 acres, with the farmhouse off the High Street, was the largest. It was rented by Henry Child who had three adult sons living at home and employed 16 labourers. Grove House Farm appears to have been between tenants so the enumerator did not record its acreages the farmhouse was tenanted by a farm labourer who had been born in Hayes. Samuel Lipscombe born in Middlesex farmed 220 acres at Pipers Green Lane Farm. Again we do not know the size of Edgwarebury Farm where the farmhouse was tenanted by a farmer's son. There was a small farm of 15 acres on Elstree Hill worked by a man born in London, and a bailiff had been put in the farm at Beacon Hill.

However, the majority of the -foreigners" in Edgware parish were labourers or labourers' widows caught at one stage of their migratory lives perhaps: a shepherd from Buckinghamshire, a bricklayer and a pauper charwoman, both from Hertfordshire, an agricultural labourer from Ireland, a dressmaker from Essex, a laundress born in Norfolk, and a gardener from Oxfordshire.

LIGHT, HEAT AND POWER

This is the second instalment of the article by Geoffrey Gillam, Chair­man of the Enfield Archaeological Society. Part I appeared in Newsletter 228 (March 1990), and discussed candles and oil lamps. - Ed.

Development of the oil lamp continued, but they too were hazardous with the risk of fire from the unenclosed wick or from an upset lamp. In 1784 Aime Argand patented a lamp with a round burner, a tubular or hollow wick and a glass chimney. These refinements gave a steady flame within the protection of the chimney and the heavy metal base now fitted preven­ted the lamp from being easily overturned. Messrs. Bertrand and Carcel added a clockwork pump in 1800 which further improved the design of the lamp, and in 1865 Joseph Hinks introduced the use of vaporised fuel in his new pressure lamp. Glass globes placed over the chimney of the lamp diffused the light and many of these globes bore intricate and pleasing designs. Other lamps were fitted with green shades to reduce glare and came to be known as "student lamps".

Lace makers needed strong light in which to carry out the detailed work of their trade and they soon discovered that if a glass sphere filled with water was placed between the lamp and the lace being made, the light was then considerably improved.

Oil lamps, as well as candles, are still used for occasional dinner parties - they are also held in reserve in case of a power failure. One of the more bizarre forms of oil lamp was to be found at Ypres during the First World War when soldiers floated wicks in the rancid oil of sardine tins to provide at least some illumination in their trenches.

FUEL. Olive oil was plentiful in Roman times and was used as the fuel for lamps throughout the Roman Empire, even though the use of oil lamps was confined to those rich enough to afford them; the poor, as in later ages, had to make do with a rush light or tow steeped in tallow. The little pots with handle and spout used to fill Roman lamps are dug up from time to time on archaeological sites. They are similar in shape to tettines (feeding cups) for which they are often mistaken. One such lamp filler was found during the excavations on the Roman site in Lincoln Road, Enfield in 1974.

A glance at the street directories of the 19th and 20th centuries will show numbers of shops which sold fuel for oil lamps, spare wicks, wick trimmers, lamps chimneys and globes, candles (always sold by the pound weight), candlesticks, candle guards and candle snuffers. A distinctive feature of shops which sold lamps oils, as well as a wide range of other types of oil, in the London area was the large red-painted storage jar placed above the shop front to advertise the product being sold within These jars were the subject of some interesting articles in the "London Archaeologist" in 1977.

As well as obtaining oil from animals and vegetable sources, mineral oil from natural seepages was known and used from quite ancient times. Pliny in AD 50 mentions the use of oil found on the shores of the Adriatic; during the 13th century Marco Polo refers to oil obtained from the Baku oil springs and used for lighting; a Japanese history of 1615 makes reference to "burning water".

Whales were a major source of oil, the exploitation of which began in the 10th century. The Basques were the first to organise whaling as a commercial activity - by the 14th century whales had disappeared from the Bay of Biscay and whaling fleets began to penetrate the Arctic in their search. Whaling was an industry which in its early days must have provided fuel for most of the lamps of Europe.

The Victorians used oil for their lamps obtained from rape-seed as well as from animal sources, but the discovery of new fuels, mineral oil and paraffin in 1830, further improved the performance of oil lamps and made obsolete many of the existing types. It was not, however, until 1859 with the discovery of petroleum oil from a well dug in Pennsylvania specifically for that purpose that the widespread use of oil lamps occurred.

LIGHTING THE LAMP. The use of tinder boxes continued until the end of the 18th century. During the 1780s a form of phosphorous match was invented, but igniting them was often a dangerous business. In 1826/7 John Waller invented the friction match, from which came lucifers (immortalised in the words "While you've a lucifer to light your fag" from the song of the First World War, "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag") and congreves. Safety matches as we know them were invented in Sweden in 1855.

THE GREATER LONDON SITES AND MONUMENTS  


RECORD FOR BARNET AND HADAS ARCHIVES

Earlier this year, we received from The Museum of London a printout of their newly computerised Sites and Monuments Record for the area of the London Borough of Barnet. This, intended to contain all the archaeo­logical information for the Borough, is obviously not only of great interest but is also an invaluable and indispensable tool of our trade in Borough archaeology. However, the paper printout is 40 metres long: What we need to produce is a concise version in a form that can be readily copied and circulated for manual use, without a computer at hand, for research and reference.

Alice Watson, who devoted much hard work in 1988 to the RCHME Excavations Index, and produced there from our own HADAS computer record of excavations now on "floppy disc", was intending to continue this work on the new SMR. Unhappily, because of work demands, she has had to say she cannot continue. We are most indebted to her for all the work she has done and her help will be much missed.

We must now look for someone else in the Society able to carry on with this work on the SR and continuation of our own computer records. It may be a job that could occupy two people - one to do the cross­checking and research, and one to operate the word processor. Are there out there some volunteers who would like to take on this job, which is essential and could also be informative and interesting? If you can help, please get in touch with Brian Wrigley - 081-959 5982 or at 21 Woodcroft Avenue, NW7 2AH.

OUTING TO QUAINTON, BUCKS 20th MAY    JOYCE I.CORLET

The day out to Quainton, Bucks was described as being a leisurely one and it was just that, but as usual packed with interest. Ted Sammes gave us a running commentary en route. .We drove over Boxmoor which I was surprised to find was in a valley while the Common was on higher ground.

Barely discernable in a field further on a white stone marked the grave of Snookes, the last highwayman who was executed in 1801. He had robbed a mail rider on horse back and took a number of £20 and £50 notes worth a very great deal in those days. While in hiding he ran out of small change and foolishly gave a boy a £20 note to go and buy him some provisions. This naturally aroused suspicion and eventually led to his capture

Further on we saw a notice advertising Terry Cottle's circus, the only circus in Britain which has no animals. Originally he wanted to take the circus abroad and ran into difficulty with taking animals, so decided to have a circus without then.

After coffee at the White Hart Inn in Quainton we walked to the village green where we were met by Mr Elliot Viney FSA, President of Buckingham Archaeological Society. He showed us the 'Preaching Stone' on the village green which in Medieval times travelling preachers used as their 'pulpit'.. He then escorted us round the Church of the Holy Cross and St Mary probably originally built by the knights Hospitalers in 1200. This church seemed to have a fatal fascination for builders as it was rebuilt in 1380 and again in the 16th century and yet Again in 1877.

The Quainton Windmill Society took members it two parties to visit the tallest windmill in Bucks with six floors, which they have been restoring since 1974.

After lunch railway buffs had a field day visiting Quainton Railway Station Museum with its many vintage carriages including an underground train from the District Line. Our day was completed with a ride on a steam train and then tea in a converted railway carriage.

THE BOHEMIA SUMMER AND WINTER GARDENS AND CINEMA. FINCHLEY.

The Hendon Times for June 7th carried the news that Vacuum Interrupters is to leave its premises at 68 Ballards Lane, Finchley by Christmas. This site is of considerable historic interest and some vestiges of its past still remain.

Originally a music hall, The Alcazar, was built on the site, which in due course was enlarged into what we would now call a leisure centre including an open-air tea garden, a winter garden, where orchestral concerts were given, and a dance hall. This was about 1900 because the buildings are not marked on the 1894-96 OS map.

The cinema 'remained in operation at least until June 1916 because a film of Lord Kitchener's death, which occurred in that month, was shown there, but in the later years of WW1 it was used as a balloon factory.

After the war the KIWI Polish Company took it over and it is reported that the first automatic filling line for polish tins was installed there. Later Derwent Radio, which became Vacuum Interrupters, which is now part of GEC, occupied the premises.

The site can be identified because the row of shops fronting Ballards Lane is obviously more modern than those on either side. However; behind the shops the old music hall still remains. It has been gutted internally but the arched roof and the proscenium arch remain - or at least they did in 1976 when I was shown round, and there is no reason to suppose that there has been any change since then.

At that time the Works Superintendant told me that when the floorboards were taken up for maintenance polish tins were still found underneath. In due course this may be a site worth watching.                                           BILL FIRTH.


THE MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY'S URGENT MESSAGE...

This is to remind you that some members have still not paid their subscriptions and I should be pleased to receive them shortly. The subs are as follows:

Full Member: £6.00                        

Senior Citizens and Juniors             £4.00 each

Family Members: £2.00 each.

Schools and Corporate Members: £8.00 each.

With many thanks, Phyllis Fletcher - Membership Secretary 31 Addison Way, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW11 6ALA

MEMBERS NEWS

We sadly report the death of Mr. E. Halse from Edgware. He has been a member since 1980 and frequently attended HADAS Lectures.

And again sadly, Mrs. Isabella. Jolly died suddenly one week after-the death of her husband. Isabella has helped on the clothes sales at all Minimarts and was a regular at outings before her husband became ill.

BOOK REVIEW

THE STORY OF MILL HILL by John W. Collier 
published by the Mill Hill Historical Society
£3 (add 50p p/p) from Mr. Ralph Calder,

2 Featherstone Road, NW7 2BN

This 94-page booklet, illustrated with a map line drawings and well-reproduced photographs, is the last word from that keen local historian who was such a good friend to HADAS - the late John Collier, for many years secretary of the Mill Hill Historical Society. He died last autumn, and up to the time of his death he had been collecting material for a "little book to help those who live in Mill Hill to find greater pleasure as they walk about by seeing something of the past behind the present." The booklet has been completed and edited, as a memorial to John, by the Chairman of the Mill Hill Historical Society, Ralph Calder.

The early history of Mill Hill is, in fact, the early history of Hendon and is inextricably entwined with it. The first recorded appearance of the name Mill Hill does not occur until a document of 1533, and its first appearance on a map is on Norden's map of Middlesex of 1593. These documentary references were pre-dated, however, by the Black Survey of Hendon (1321), which pinpointed - without mentioning the place-name Mill Hill - the mill which stood on the high ridge (now the Ridgeway) between Holcombe (then Hocomb) and the top of what is now Hammers Lane.

After its general historical introduction (which pays tribute, among other things, to HADAS's discovery of a Roman presence on Copthall Fields, and to the records of medieval Hendon discussed in HADAS's "A Place in  Time" booklet), the Story of Mill Hill studies then suggested walkabouts in the area, describing in detail what is to be seen there today - walks, for instance, from Lawrence Street to Hammers Lane, around Nan Clark's Lane and Moat Mount, down Bittacy Hill or around the Broadway and The Hale.

The second part of the booklet switches from walks to local institu­tions -with notes on schools, churches, inns and various societies, as well as on one-off organisations like London University's Observatory (linked with "the only University degree course in astronomy in England and Wales") and the National Institute for Medical Research (which "has a world role in tracking and containing" 'flu).

You will find all sorts of unexpected facts sandwiched into this (mainly recent) history of Mill Hill. The first edition, by the way, came out last March and is already almost a sell-out. A second revised  edition is in hand.        BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN

 

THE TADBOURN                                   Bill Firth

Recently I was looking through a pile of rather dated "glossy" magazines when I lit upon the November 1988 issue of "Hertfordshire Countryside" and inside I found an article on the Tadbourn.

I wonder how many members recognise this stream, I certainly didn't, but Folly Brook (Folley Brook on some maps) will be more familiar.

According to the writer, Julian Waters, the name derives from the same man, Tata, who gave his name to Tata-ridge and thus to the Tata-bourn in the valley.

An why should the Tadbourn feature in a Hertfordshire magazine? Well, before London Boroughs, the Tadbourn formed the boundary between Middlesex and Hertfordshire almost throughout its length from its source (visible from the road according to Mr. Waters) near Highwood Hill to its confluence with the Dollis Brook at Woodside Park. Hertfordshire could reasonably claim a half share in the stream.

Mr. Waters also mentions the Wallbrook, the "brook of the serfs" which rises near Wykeham Rise on the ridge and flows down through Bluebell Wood into the lake through which the main stream runs.

(Bill's article includes that fascinating study the origin of place-names. Whilst "Tata" is of impeccable Saxon origin, "Wallbrook" could hint at surviving Celtic occupation of the area, since "wealh" has been interpreted as meaning "Briton/Welshman" as well as serf. Perhaps the two forms were interchangeable. The origin could also lie in the similar words "weall" - wall or "weald" - wood. The problem is discussed in depth in K. Rutherford Davies' book, "Britons and Saxons - the Chiltern Region 400-700", published by Phillimore in 1982. - Ed.)

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