Newsletter-272-November-1993

 

Issue No. 272                         NOVEMBER 1993         EDITED by DAWN ORR

DIARY

Tuesday, 2nd November Lecture:"Fun and Games in the Roman Baths" - Mark Hassall,F.S.A.

A return visit by this entertaining speaker, who is Reader in Roman Archaeology, at

University College. This month's subject will about the baths and bathing which were an essential element of Roman social life. In this talk Mr Hassell looks into the remains of Roman Baths from Scotland to the Sahara - and examines some of the activities that went on in them

Saturday, 6th November Visit to St Paul's Cathedral, with Mary O'Connell.

Application form in last Newsletter. There are a still a few places available. Phone Dorothy Newbury on 081 - 203 - 0950.

Tuesday,7th December Christmas Dinner at University College, Gower Street

Details and application form enclosed.

Tuesday, 11th January, 1994 Visit to the Newspaper Library, Colindale, N.W.9 - 2p.m.

Numbers are limited. Will members who have shown interest please confirm in writing to Dorothy Newbury, 55 Sunningfields Road, Hendon N.W.4. There is no charge, but a donation on the day may be appreciated.

BRITISH MUSEUM The HOXNE HOARD continues on display until 16th January, Room 69A.

Members will be interested to learn that the next exhibition at the B.M. after the HOXNE HOARD will be a collection of coins from Venice, gathered together by our former member, the late Philip Greenall. Mrs Greenall advises that the coins will be on display from 18th January until 16th May. She has presented the collection to the Museum.

MEMORIAL to the late Mrs BRIGID GRAFTON GREEN has not yet been decided. Members who subscribed earlier this year may be wondering why there is no news as yet. It appears that several suggested projects have proved unsatisfactory. The memorial will be shared by the many groups associated with the Institute and other organisat­ions in the Garden Suburb. As with HADAS, Brigid's service to any organisation was invaluable, and we hope that a decision on her memorial will be made shortly. A plaque on the Institute building was the latest idea, but permission has been re­fused.

COLLEGE CAMPUS at RAF HENDON EAST CAMP is being considered by Barnet Council for planning permission. The new Middlesex University is proposing to house 579 stud­ents in the former officers' mess site, just half a mile from the University, at an estimated cost of X2.0 million. The developers, 'CPR' of Mayfair are optimistic that the Council will grant permission in time for the academic year beginning September, 1994, and bring to an end the speculation over the new use for these historic 1915 Listed Buildings.

 

MEMBERS' NEWS

FRIEDA WILKINSON, almost a founder member, is back home again after many months in hospital and convalescent care. We are all pleased to learn that she is 'on the mend' and she will be happy to hear from old friends.

RICK GIBSON has been missed on recent outings and members have asked after him. Apart from being involved with other societies, Rick now has severe back problems following a coach trip (not one of ours !) and long journeys are proving painful. We hope he will be participating again in 1994.

ROY WALKER and BILL BASS We are happy to announce that these two keen diggers have passed their second year examination (Roman period) for the Certificate in Field Archaeology. Congratulations, Roy and Bill

Success, too, for MICKY COHEN, who has completed her fourth year for the Diploma in Archaeology. She has to face the practical section now. We wish her success in this, which will give her the full Diploma.

PAUL and MICKY O'FLYNN  We were all pleased to see both of them helping at the Minimart and to learn that they are returning to work and live in London after a three-year absence in Derby. Both have continued membership and always join us on our weekend away. We are particularly pleased to congratulate Paul on his app­ointment as consultant at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London.

CHURCH FARMHOUSE DIG has ended - perhaps to be activated again another year.
Local interest continues in the displays at the Church Farmhouse Museum, and on
National Archaeology Day over 100 visitors came, as LIZ HOLLIDAY reports :

NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY DAY - 28th & 29th August, 1993

100 visitors of all ages came to see the excavation in the garden at Church Farmhouse Museum during the Bank Holiday weekend. Society members, local residents and enthusiasts from further afield (including one family of four who came specially from Kent!) dodged round the trenches in the garden to discover what was going on. Brian Wrigley spotted Dr. Martin Bates from The Institute of Archaeology, who spent time to give an opinion on soil stratification.

it was the last weekend on site and the digging team were working against the clock to complete measuring and drawing before the trenches were back-filled. Many thanks to Bill Bass, Arthur Till, Vikki O'Connor and all the diggers who made the time to answer visitors' questions, explain what they were doing and describe what they had found. Special thanks to Brian Wrigley and Roy Walker who conducted numerous groups round the site; to Sheila Woodward who patiently dealt with queries about finds and explained how they were cleaned and processed and to Tessa Smith who produced countless cups of tea and glasses of squash for visitors.

Dozens of people visited the museum to see the splendid selection of finds from three previous digs in the Hendon area which had been brought together by Ted Sammes. Ted, helped by Victor Jones, filled three showcases and supplemented the display with screens showing maps, plans and texts.

Unfortunately, arrangements for tours round the parish church did not work out so well. The vicar had only limited time on Saturday and was not available at all on Sunday. Nevertheless, our visitors seemed to enjoy themselves and certainly found out more about HADAS, the excavation and the museum.

 

AND FOR OUR NEXT DIG ......................  

As forecast in the August Newsletter, the former Victoria Maternity Hospital in Wood Street, High Barnet, is to be redeveloped — the central office block, a Listed Building, will be retained, and the building work will be 'restrained pending archaeological evaluation and advice re preservation or protection..'

ROY WALKER has prepared the following information sheet and request for helpers: EXCAVATION AT THE VICTORIA MATERNITY HOSPITAL, WOOD STREET, HIGH BARNET

Following hard on the heels of the excavation at Church Farm is the above excavation due to commence on Monday 1st November, 1993. at which your assistance would once more be greatly appreciated. The hospital is a listed building, being a former Georgian mansion constructed on enclosed common land. Two cottages were on the site prior to the building of the house. It is currently proposed that two 15 by 4 metre trenches aligned north/south be dug beneath the now-demolished 20th century wings of the hospital, partially on the site of the previously-demolished 18th century wings of the original house. A third trench, 30 x 2 metres running east/ west, will be dug on open land to the rear of the hospital.

This will very much be a rescue excavation in advance of building works. It is very likely that a service road will be under construction on the site while we work so every attention must be given to site safety - hard hats and stout boots are essential. HADAS has some of the former but if possible please bring your own. A tool-store and a portaloo will be placed on site but there may not be much protection from the weather. Finds processing will be carried out at Avenue House, preferably at the same time as we excavate and assistance for this will be needed.

If you will be able to participate in this work, please let me know as soon as possible so that our plans can be finalised. It may be possible, if there are sufficient volunteers, to work on site weekdays, not just at weekends.

Please reply to: Roy Walker, 2a Dene Road, London. N11 lES. Telephone: 081 — 361 — 1350

NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, A THIEF PLUNDERED AN ARCHABOLOCIECAL SITE.....

This alarming headline appeared in The Independent just this summer ! The villain was operating a few miles north in Bedfordshire — let us hope that he does not transfer his attentions to the Victoria Maternity Hospital site     

Thanks to the vigilance of Mrs Evelyn Baker, an Archaeology Officer with Bedford County Council, who was supervising a site under investigation before a new sewage pipe was laid, “Charlie” with metal detector and at least one Roman coin in his pocket, was caught on site and arrested. Alas — despite the keen cooperation of the Bedfordshire Constabulary —the Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute 'because there was not a 51% (sic) probability of success the site had not been ringed with notices saying that this was an archaeological site and that theft would lead to prosecution ....' Protective legislation is mooted — but when ??? 

A ROMAN PAGE ....

The Maidenhead Advertiser (August 27,1993) featured a familiar figure in an illustration of a display of Roman finds from villas excavated in the Maidenhead area. Quotations from the same familiar figure - none other than our own Ted Sammes - are included in the accompanying article, for he was responsible for the display at the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, recently re-opened after three years of planning and re-styling. We are pleased to see Ted's meticulous work appreciated elsewhere and suggest members would be interested in the wide range of finds to be inspected at Maidenhead if an autumn drive up the river can be arranged.

The Sunday Times (July 18,1993) defiantly spells archaeology with only one 'a', but may be forgiven (a little) since their account of 'Saving the City's Roman Amphitheatre' was well presented and illustrated with detailed diagrams. According to the project engineer, Mike West of Oscar Faber, the remains of the amphitheatre, already a scheduled ancient monument, will be left intact while the basement and upper floors of the new building (art gallery and offices for the Corporation of London) are built under and around it...'We are putting in an 18-metre deep base­ment with the equivalent of Stonehenge perched above it.' The work is to be com­pleted by 1996 - cost about £10 million. Part of a future London Walk with Mary ?

Time Travellers of London         A Roman Day at the Museum of London with TESSA SMITH

On a lovely sunny Saturday (18th September), a group of HADAS members visited the Museum of London. The High Walkway to the museum gave us a panorama of old and new: the Roman Wall in fragmented ruins beneath towering modern architecture, as astound­ing to us today as the Roman buildings must have seemed to the native Catevellauni tribe 2,000 years ago.

Francis Grew, Curator of the Roman Department, together with Cheryl Thorogood, the Asst. Curator, shepherded us round the Roman gallery in leisurely fashion,sharing their expertise and knowledge. We marvelled at the Roman swords, the carpenters' tools, the golden brooches, the hairpins ( how did they stay in ?), the face paint and make-up bottles, the wooden ladder still intact found in a well, and a thousand other small and fascinating items of Londinium Roman life.

The main reason for our visit was to handle and view a selection of Brockley Hill pottery normally kept in the store rooms of the museum. Although the display cover­ed a nuge exhibition table, it comprised only about Sig of the total collection, the choicest pieces : amphorae, mortaria, bowls, lids, rims, handles - most of which was excavated by Stephen Castle. However, of her items found at Southwark,London and St. Alban's were on show, the Southwark Hofheim 'collared' flagons being the earliest examples of Brockley Hill ware, about 55 A.D. None of the very early flagons have been found in London, indicating that the earliest Roman advance settled in Soutwark, not London. It was also very interesting to read the site note-books and letters relating to the Brockley Hill excavations.

Outside the museum, Francis challenged us to identify the age of the bastion of the Roman Wall, and we were disappointed to have our illusions shattered - the actual structure is medieval, only the foundations are Roman. Down in a large vault below the museum building, silent as a time capsule, we walked around the preserved remains of the West Gate, so eerie and dusty, a contrast to the noise and smells that must have surrounded it 2,000 years ago.

Back in the museum, Francis gave us a short but comprehensive interpretation of the Brockley Hill wares and their importance. Finally, we watched a video 'Barnet before Domesday’, made for Channel 4 by Steve Herman, starring Daphne Lorimer, Brigid -Grafton Green, Ted Sammes, Helen Gordon, Isobel McPherson and Paddy Musgrove.

It was a marvelous day, wonderful value - our entrance tickets to the museum are valid for another 3 months. The museum restaurant food is excellent and most of all we thank Dorothy and Francis for organizing it all.

P.S. The Museum will be updating its display methods in the near future, 'after all it is 20 years old nowTo some of us, 20 years ago is quite modern - onlya blink - but to others it is history... such is the experience of time travellers


OUT AND ABOUT WITH HADAS IN NORTH LONDON              DAWN 0RR STANMORE OLD CHURCH AND 'NEW' - PINNER VILLAGE - HEADSTONE MANOR

Setting the alarm for Saturday morning means a HADAS OUTING - always worth the passing torture of getting to the pick-up point on time! Saturday, 14th August, 1993, was worth almost a whole Newsletter in itself; yet another example of what Dorothy can plan, organise, cost and deliver to us, seemingly without fuss, always with good cheer.

It was a surprise to find that a red double-decker 'SHIRE' bus had been privatised for HADAS for the day, and we trundled happily out of the vulgar commerce of NW this and that into leafy Metroland - half an hour to our first destination at Stanmore and a rendezvous with other members from the Harrow area.

A visit to Great Stanmore 'Old Church' was an addition to the original itinerary, and we have to thank a member who told Dorothy about it. Another member, Helen Gordon, has family connections with the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, whose tomb was recently discover­ed at Great Stanmore and featured in our Newsletter of February, 1992. A pity that Helen was unable to be with us to hear our enthusiastic guide, Dr Frederick Hicks, relating the rather sad romances of the Victorian Aberdeens and their connections the Abercorns, and the excitement of discovering their lost family vault during the work of consolidating and making safe what remains of the 17th century church. Dr Hicks was Chairman of the Works Committee.

A Saxon church at 'Stanmore Magna' recorded in Domesday Book, and a medieval church dedicated to St Mary both came before the 'Old Church' rose to the glory of St. John the Evangelist - tall and splendid with rich red bricks, graceful arched windows, wide nave and soaring buttressed tower. It was rare in the troubled reign of Charles I to have a new church, rare to have one built in brick so lavishly, and perhaps rarest of all to have one consecrated by a Bishop of London, later Archbishop of Canterbury, who lost his head for High Treason. This hapless prelate was,of course, William Laud, ex­ecuted in 1645, four years before his sovereign met the same fate. At Laud's trial, one of the accusations against him was that he 'outwent Popery in the consecration of chapels..(such as).. St. John at Stanmore..' To this charge Laud replied that Stanmore was 'no chapel but a trueparish church'. Indeed it was paid for by one of the parish­ioners, one Sir John Wolstenholme ( many of the same name are prominent in the local history) whose profits from merchant adventuring also helped to sponsor the explorat­ions of Henry Hudson and William Baffin in Canada and Greenland. Wolstenholme's supp­ort is honoured in the naming of a Cape and a Sound. Three other parishioners gave the land, notably the Lady of the Manor, Mrs Barbara Burnell, widow of a wealthy cloth mer­chant. According to Dr Hicks's calculations, some 250,000 bricks, probably from nearby sources, were used in the construction. 360 years later, 250,000 pounds sterling were raised - not all from nearby - by appeal, to rescue the building from the elements, the vandals and the ivy. How did it come to fall into decay? Human frailty perhaps ?

It seems that, after two hundred years, Laud's 'true parish church' needed repairs and was too small for the growing congregation. Land adjoining was on offer from a Colonel Tennant and it was decided to build a new church, designed by Henry Clutton in Kentish Rag and Bath Stone in the Victorian 'early decorated' style. The memorials and many of the fixtues and fittings of the brick church were transferred to Clutton's building, but when the roof was removed and demolition imminent, there was much opposition. Public support, as it might today, kept the building standing, though sadly neglected and unused, except for burials in the nave. One such tomb is to be found right in the middle, the Hollond family mausoleum, a solid display of Victorian opulence, about the size of a bus shelter

The new church was consecrated in July, 1850, almost on the anniversary of Laud's ceremonies in 1632. This time, the celebrant Bishop was imported from Salisbury. One wonders if his brother London had declined? We noted Dr Hicks's assurance that the present Bishop of London, Dr David Hope, came willingly to dedicate the conservation works in July last year.... Many parishioners who supported and served the church throughout the centuries are remembered in the memorials, but a Wolstenholme tomb could not be missed. The effigies of an 18th century Sir John and his wife rest on a giant four poster bed of stone. He, resplendent in curled wig and elegant clothes, seems almost to be smiling, while Lady W. gazes fondly at him, turned affectionately

towards him with her head propped on her uplifted arm. A caption is certainly called for....

 


Another arresting and unusually colourful memorial commemorates the Burnells of almost four hundred years ago; it has been in three churches on the site. Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, who lived in the neighbouring Bentley Priory after Victoria's accession, was a generous benefactor; the font is among her several gifts. The royal connection continues with the present Queen Mother's patronage of the conservation appeal.

Outside in the colourfully planted and well-tended graveyard, we could have spent another happy hour in warm sunshine with the good Dr Hicks and his colleagues, but we had to be content with a passing glance at the graves of W.S. Gilbert of 'G.&S.' with a snow white guardian angel; William Knox D'Arcy, founder of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and a pioneer in Queensland ore mining; and the infant daughter of Lord and Lady Jellicoe. A charming cottage, Church Lodge, looks like the work of Norman Shaw. Did he convince Mrs Hollond, who had it built in memory of her husband, that the woeful style of the mausoleum need not be repeated?

From the bus, as we left, there was a fine panoramic view of the two churches and the graveyard. Definitely worth a return visit - and only a bus ride away.

AND SO - TO PINNER

A welcome cup of coffee awaited us at the 'Hand in Hand', a 16th century pub where we sat in the old coach yard or inside in the cool dining-room, reflecting on the Aberdeens and Abercorns, the religious and political zealots of times past, the marvels of 17th century bricklaying, the parish pride of Dr Hicks and so many gen­erations of benefactors and fund-raisers. Soon we were joined by Mrs Pat Clarke, Vice President of Pinner Local History Society, and her colleague, Mr Jim Gollond, who led us firmly out of the dream-time of Stanmore and its church-builders, aristo crats and wealthy merchants.

Now we were to meet a whole village, with a broad array of people and places. Here another church of St. John, this one the Baptist, has stood for at least 600 years; a midsummer frolic, the Pinner Fair, has continued uninterrupted since the charter of 1336 in the week after Whitsun (they still have Whitsun in Pinner); the little shops of the gently sloping High Street have but a thin veneer of 20th century glazing and decor, overlaid on Victorian Georgian and Tudor structures above and behind; the Beaumont family live and work and repair cars in the same premises used by their wheelwright ancestors at the time of the French Revolution; the Pinner Self Drive is run from and ancient barn; and with another nod to modern times a handsome Georg­ian house has been filmed for the solicitors' offices in the TV series 'May to Dec­ember'. Nor is the grisly hand of the developer missing, though the new Sainsbury's is discreetly hidden up a lane, whereas the 1880 entrepreneur, Daniel Gurney, boldly destroyed several timber-framed structures and erected an ugly row of tall Victorian monsters in their stead, still a scar on the high Street. Surely he deserved to wait 15 years for his rents, while his houses stood empty and unloved.

We were glad to sit awhile in St John's, built safely at the top of the High Street, secure from the often boisterous river Pinn, and listen to Mrs Clarke and Mr Gollond tell us something of the history of this ancient flint church, a 'chapel of ease' since 1321. The centuries of its life are marked by various features and additions, including a 15th century font and windows, a niche containing a chrysom for a baby of 3 weeks, whose grieving grandmother and father are mentioned in the inscription, but whose mother is unaccountably not named. What would the Social Services have made of that? Almost modern is the late Victroian Lady Chapel built for the girls of the Commercial Travellers' School, who no doubt entertained themselves during tedious services with a handsome stained glass window at the east end, at its best with the mid-day sun behind it. All too soon we were out in the mid-day sun our­selves, briefly pausing in the graveyard to wonder at a strange narrow pyramid tomb, designed 150 years ago by an architect, John Lowden, to shelter the remains of his father. About six feet above the ground a marble coffin protrudes from two sides of the pyramid, but Mrs Clarke was confident that the coffin is merely symbolic since father Lowden rests more conventionally 'six feet under', beneath a sinister warning in the large fan-shaped decorative ironwork at the base of the pyramid : 'I byde my

time'.     

We strolled along the old coaching route to London in front of the church, admiring a trio of pretty cottages, and stopped in front of a large mansion, Pinner House, to hear more fascinating snippets from Mrs Clarke andMr Gollond. Pinner House has for many years been part of a sheltered housing scheme, with modest brick and weather­board additions blending quietly with the elegant brick pile. At least one of the incumbents of the church was wealthy enough to use this big house for his vicarage, in preference to the more humble dwelling behind. He also extended the front in offence to the symmetry of the Queen Anne original, and exercised his influence to have the road moved away from his front door so that now it has a bend at the top of the hill. One cannot imagine a latter day vicar bestriding his 'world' like such a colossus I Alas, no time for Pinner Park, but we were promised an inspection of its former granary, moved a few years ago to Headstone Manor, which was our next stop.

HEADSTONE MANOR

Between Pinner and Headstone Manor there are large villas with large gardens which bespeak comfortable incomes - the recession is not evident here. Nor is the London Borough of Harrow careless of its treasures, as we found in the Museum and Heritage Centre, developed during the last twenty years in the 14th century moated Manor House and farm buildings. At present the old Manor House and a small barn are partly cover­ed in a white plastic shroud, like the eyesore presently obscuring the Albert Memor­ial, but one has the feeling that the worthy burghers of Harrow will see to it that the 1990's shortage of funds will soon be overcome and the expertise and craftsman­ship displayed in the work already done on the great barn and the Pinner granary will be continued in the other buildings. Meanwhile, the work sites are tidy and well looked after, almost as though the workmen have just gone off for lunch-break.

We enjoyed our own lunch in the great barn, 160 feet long, beneath a roof covered in beautiful hand-made clay tiles. It is not recorded how often the barn has been repaired since it was built in 1506, but it can never have been in better condition than it is now, certainly fit for the Archbishops of Canterbury who were Lords of the Manor from 825, or indeed for a King, the predator Henry VIII, who 'acquired'it when Thomas Cromwell fell from grace.

Two more guides arrived, kindly arranged by Mrs Jan Strode, Chairman of the Museum Committee, and looked after us for a tour of the whole estate. We are so often led to explore and excavate remains of times past under the ground, but at Headstone the 'skeletons' are all exposed - no digging required! The timbers of walls and roofs of about two-thirds of the Manor House have been stripped of plaster and tiles, repaired and strengthened, ready for the next staged' restoration. A wooden walkway right round the roof looks frighteningly high from the ground, but once up there the fasc­ination of looking down on the regiments of rafters dispels any vertigo. In one of the startlingly wide lead gutters lay a large tabby cat, fast asleep and quite obliv­ious to our shuffling feet and the chatter, maybe dreaming of his adventures with two entirely empty birds' nests perched on a beam below him. Our guide revealed devoted interest in every inch of the building, as we were enlightened on the details of the timber framing and its many alterations, along with speculations and evidence of various uses and abuses. Our own Ted Sammes was able to offer an opinion on the age of the residual floor tiles. The opposite end of the Manor House is still a dwelling, a charming farm cottage on two sides of a sunny sheltered courtyard, where tomatoes and herbs share planted tubs with lobelia and petunias. Two rooms are set apart, furnished in 1930's treasures, many just like those at home. This area has been the scene of a recent Hovis advertisement on television.

Back over the sturdy moat bridge and across the great yard to the Pinner granary, where our learned lady guide treated us to a potted feast of up-to-date archaeology, relating to excavations for the re-erection of the granary, a lengthy dig by the Wessex Archaeological Society which revealed evidence of a previous building some 30 feet long, flint over brick walls, possibly a stock barn with a sheltered yard. We could have got digging there and then, but we trooped obediently inside to find an excellent exhibition space on two floors: farm tools on the ground floor and local industry upstairs, complete with tape-recorded history to accompany displays by Kodak, Hamilton Brush Co., and the White Friars Glassworks.

A traditional sit-down HADAS tea with our friendly guides, an all-too-brief browse in the barn museum and bookshop, and we were back on the bus for home. Thank you,

Dorothy, and our guides, for a wonderful 'London' day. 


MINIMART '93                                         DOROTHY NEWBURY and DAWN ORR

It was a clear sunny day for the great load-up at 55 Sunningfields Road as stage two of the annual fund-raising effort began. Stage one, of course, is the long labour of sorting the goods, pricing them and storing them in the elastic-sided Newbury garage and other secret dens. Stage three sees us staggering up and down the stairs of that quaint Church House bearing boxes and cases, glancing longingly at the meringues and other goodies arriving more delicately in the ground floor eaterie. Stage four is the laying-out of the endless surprises which emerge from the packing cases and boxes, along with the inevitable last-minute offerings. Stage five is coffee time..the last pause for sanity before the pinnies, the cash floats and the final instructions from our faithful colonel-in-charge make stage six. Then the shrill command of the whistle, action stations and stage seven lasts for as long as it takes before we slink down to lovely Tessa's lovely lunches. The meringues are all gone, naturally, but there's good gossip and plenty of cheerful banter, often with a stranger who may be a new member, or a member's friend, or someone's son and a small digger whose tool is a wobbly plastic spoon being shoved round a ditch of quiche... so that's stage eight, and then we must summon up the strength to return to the trestles or perhaps a swop with someone on another stall after a hasty hiding of the potted columbines safely (?) on the steps that go to nowhere behind the table. (That hall has many steps and passages that go to nowhere'.) Stage nine, the final 'sell for whatever you can get' is short but the tenth is another like seven, which lasts as long as it takes to get it all cleared up and packed away, floor swept and cars loaded to transport the 'vestigial remains' (a phrase beloved of our much missed Brigid) back to Dorothy's hideaway until next time...

DID YOU HEAR OR SEE THE INEBRIATED PIANIST?? Dorothy says she missed him and so did several others, but the witnesses assert that he was playing the piano NEAR THE HIDING PLACE FOR BAGS AND OTHER PRECIOUS ITEMS. Dorothy was asked 'to come up and remove him' - one shot only required, perhaps? Later reports became rather fanciful, with vivid descriptions of party-like interlude with customers and helpers dancing and singing. Well, he went of his own accord, but did he buy anything? Did he discover the bubble-cut hair drier that was almost snapped up by a would-be flower arranger?

Total receipts so far amount to a,£1, 300 and rising. There is a small collection of articles to go to auction, and Dorothy says she 'may raise the energy to do a couple of car boot sales with some of the relics, including two boxes of bric-a-brac which WERE UNOPENED.'The bric-a-brac helpers will not hear the end of that in a hurry.

Also from Dorothy, a big thank you to all helpers on the day, to the members who helped with the pricing, those who collected carloads beforehand, the NEW TEAM of strong young men who heaved goods up and down, and most particularly all the mem­bers who provided the excellent items for sale. Lastly, 'Apologies to anyone to whom I was ratty (sic). I was unable to spend the planned week beforehand getting everything ready and had to rush around in the last few days - sorry, all!!

SHOPPING DAYS TO CHRISTMAS - you need not count - just buy your friends and relations a HADAS BOOK FOR CHRISTMAS. There is a good variety to choose from, and they are proper books - not just an 'air trip read' Ask Dorothy for details.

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