Newsletter-330-September-1998

            

HADAS DIARY

 

Saturday 26th  September:     Outing: Kensal Green Cemetery with Stewart Wild. All Souls' Cemetery

was the first of the great commercial cemeteries. It opened in January 1833 with 54 acres, and now covers 77 acres. Famous people are buried there and many of the monuments are Grade 2 Listed for their historic and architectural interest (application and details attached).

 

Saturday 10th  October          MINIMART - our annual fundraiser. Will helpers and contributors please

phone Dorothy Newbury (0181-203 0950). Cake, jam and marmalade makers with anything for the food and produce stall, please ring Sheila Woodward 952 3897. Quiche-makers and ploughman's lunch contributors please ring Tessa Smith 958 9159

 

Tuesday 13th  October           Lecture: "The Wroxeter Hinterland and Survey" - Gordon White

 

Tuesday 10th  November        Lecture: "Bronze, Brass and Zinc in Ancient and Modern China" ‑ Paul Craddock

 

Thursday 3rd December PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE. CHRISTMAS DINNER at Avenue House with talk about "Inky Stephens" and the history of the house by Norman Burgess.

(Lectures are held at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3 - 8.00 pm for 8.30 start).

 

HADAS OUTING TO FISHBOURNE AND THE WEALD         (Serious-minded people

AND DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM AT SINGLETON     must ignore the italic text)

The coffee halt at Compton gave time for a brief visit to St Nicholas' Church, with its unique double chancel. The upper chamber dates from about 1180, and the metal-like wood of its rail is some of the oldest remaining in Britain. [Our bearded guide elected to remain anonymous. "I am a nobody," he said. "But my wife is the Sacristan!"].

The site of Fishbourne Palace was occupied in three stages from AD 43 to AD290, beginning with a Claudian supply base near what was then a good harbour in a friendly area, and culminating in a very splendid building occupied by someone important and now unknown. Was it Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, a local king who helped the Romans?

Text Box: 2On arrival at Fishbourne, HADAS were initially hustled through the museum, the covered palace site with its mosaics, and the reconstructed garden which was at the centre of the old palace. Mr David Rudkin was waiting to talk to us at the dig on the south side, where volunteers were tackling a re-examination of Professor Barry Cunliffe's earlier dig. [Mr Rudkin, author and broadcaster, sported an "I'VE DUG AT FISHBOURNE PALACE" T-shirt, and despite constant betrayals into silence by his mike with its shoulder power supply, proved a lively and expert talker.] Members are referred to "Fishbourne - A Guide to the Site" by Professor Barry Cunliffe/D Rudkin, a copy of which is in the HADAS Library.

The first glimpse of the Open Air Museum at Singleton seemed uneasily Disneyesque: sunlit morris dancers jigging to ethnic squeezebox tunes in a square of half-timbered buildings. But the houses turned out to be authentic and fascinating, warmed into life by log-fires. A 17th C mill sold delicious shortbread, there was a splendid medieval hall complete with four-poster and homespun hangings, a little Victorian schoolhouse and exhibits on ancient building construction methods and lost country skills. [The pseudo blacksmith in the forge was very friendly and owned up to working in the construction industry at Heathrow during the week.].

Alarming clouds of blue smoke trailing from the back of our coach heralded a breakdown and being marooned for nearly two hours in Haslemere. [Some HADAS-ites scattered to forage. Haslemere is so up-market that no inexpensive food outlets are allowed to sully its center. Even a harmless silver kebab kiosk - with its moustachioed inmates in situ? - had been forcibly towed "beyond the city limits".]

Our driver confided that "the turbos had gone", but his mobile summoned a replacement coach, and we reached home after dark. [One horrified lady then realised she had left her handbag on the coach! But rigid strictures on drivers' hours meant that the replacement driver had headed to St Albans instead of West Sussex, and she was able to retrieve the lost bag.] Our thanks to Tessa Smith and Sheila Woodward for reconnoitering an excellent outing. [Dorothy still has her special arrangement with the weathermen for sunshine.] DB

MEMBERS' NEWS

Marjorie Errington, lecture tea-maker, regular outing and weekend attender, has had an unexpected stay in hospital. She is now home again. We wish her well, and look forward to seeing her again soon

Some happy news - HADAS member Trevor Tucker's wife was recently delivered of their second child. Baby Jacob Benjamin weighed in at a robust 101b 1 oz - hopefully a future member of the digging team! (Trevor dug at Brockley Hill and the Hendon Ice House).

From the Membership Secretary;

A reminder about those outstanding renewals - standard membership is £8.00, joint membership £10.50. We would like to receive the overdue subs as soon as possible ...

THE FIRST SASH WINDOWS

The date of the first sash windows is challenged by R S Nichols of the Mill Hill Historical Society (item on the Visit to Bletchley Park, August Newsletter). He writes: "With respect to the visit to Winslow Hall and the statement that this was the first country house to be fitted with sash windows, this assertion is incorrect. According to the authors of the most recent history of Bethlem Hospital (of which Robert Hooke was the architect) this was fitted with sash windows in 1676, as was the Royal College of Physicians, of which he was also the architect. The patients' cubicles had no glazing, as fresh air was considered to be good for them, as with

sanatoria today. The History states that Hooke was the inventor. He designed a house at Bloomsbury for Sir William Jones which had sash windows, as had his country house, Ramsbury Manor. This was started before Sir William's death in May 1682, and the history of its building is the subject of an article in Architectural History 30: 1987 written by H J Louw and in the Guildhall Library. '1

The principle of sash windows (continues Mr Nichols) is the pulley wheel and counterbalance, such as Hooke used in his invention of the wheel barometer, but with two required in this case. The article states that Ramsbury Manor is one of the finest examples of a medium-sized house of the post-Restoration period, and has been maintained in an excellent state of preservation, its present owner being Harry Hyams, developer of Centre Point.

(Mr R N Nichols is the author of The Diaries of Robert Hooke. the Leonardo of London, and says that HADAS members are welcome to a signed copy of his book for £10, postage paid (0181-958 3485))

 

LOST AND FOUND                                             by DOROTHY NEWBURY

West Heath, Hampstead Mesolithic Excavation 1976-1981 and 1984-1986

June Porges was visiting Burgh House Museum and discovered that our case of West Heath flint finds was not there. June talked to the new Curator, Marilyn Green, and the detective work began.

Way back in 1987, we had been asked by Christopher Wade, who was Curator then, for the loan of a display of our finds from the West Heath Mesolithic excavation. Daphne Lorimer and Margaret Maher made up and labelled a case of flints (including one of our hand axes). We believed it was still on display. We contacted Margaret who spoke to Daphne. Both confirmed the above and recalled that a letter was sent setting out the details of the loan. Margaret has searched for the letter at Avenue House and was about to investigate further into Tessa's inventory of some of Brigid Grafton Green's paperwork, which is lodged at another store. In the meantime we contacted Christopher Wade direct, who remembered all about the arrangement. He has found the collection in the stores at Burgh House. It had been dismantled by a previous Curator who intended to reorganise it, but never did.

Happily the new curator who is showing "The History of Hampstead" will be meeting up with Margaret shortly to help sort out and relabel the flint collection and put it on display again. Daphne supervised the Phase I excavation (Published) and Margaret supervised Phase II (to be published).

Burgh House is well worth a visit any time - and refreshments are available. Opening hours on request. We will let members know when our West Heath Collection is on view again.

 

TREASURED CHURCHES                               by CELIA GOULD

Re Andy Simpson's reference passing reference to the redundant church of Wroxeter St Andrew in Newsletter 329: the earliest parts of the present church are believed to replace a smaller Saxon predecessor. In addition to the Saxon cross mentioned by Andy Simpson, the church also features reused Roman material. The gateway of the main entrance to the churchyard is formed by a pair of Roman columns, and there are Roman stones in the north wall. Inside, the font is part of a Roman column.

St Andrew's is one of more than 300 pastorally redundant Anglican churches now in the care of The Churches
Conservation Trust (formerly the Redundant Churches Fund, and established almost 30 years ago). Nearly one‑
third of Trust Churches will be participating in the Heritage Open Days Weekend on 12/13 September. (Details

of Trust Churches including a guidebook to Wroxeter St Andrew (£1,30) from Celia Gould, Administrator, The Churches Conservation Trust, 89 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1DH Tel 0171-936 2285)

Other Societies'Events

The Finchley Society

Thursday 24 September Talk: Agenda 21 by Karl Ruge

at the Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 3(2E - 7.45pm Enfield Archaeology Society

Friday 18 September   Talk: The King Arthur Cross by Geoffrey Gillam

at Jubilee Hall, junction of Chase Side & Parsonage Lane, Enfield - 8.00pm Barnet & District Local History Society

Wednesday 9 September Talk: The Fatal Gallows Tree by John Neal at Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet - 8.00pm

Something useful in the wood shed?

Our old aluminium draining board in the Garden Room at Avenue House looks like the surface of the moon - pitted, corroded and pretty disgusting. It occurred to the Digging Team that a more respectable item could easily be hiding away in a HADAS loft or shed. We need the sort that hooks on to a butler sink - if you think you have

just the item we will be happy to give you back the space it is taking up, plus a mug of Digging Team coffee and biscuits! Again, please call Brian or Vikki...

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