Newsletter-405-December-2004

 

 

Number 405                                              December 2004                                      Edited by Liz Holliday

HADAS DIARY 2005

Tuesday 11 January

COLCHESTER Lecture by Kate Orr. A follow-up to our summer visit.

Tuesday 8 February

THE SILK ROAD Lecture by Dr.Susan Whitfield.

Tuesday 10 May

THE ROAD TO ROME in the steps of a medieval pilgrim. Lecture by Mark Hassell

Lectures start at 8.00pm in the Drawing Room at Avenue House. East End Road, Finchley, N3. Non-members £I. Tea or coffee 70p. Meetings close promptly at 10.00pm.

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS at Church Farmhouse Museum Every Winter, the Museum's 1850s Dining Room is decorated for a Victorian Christmas.The display reveals that so much of what we think of as the 'traditional British Christmas'- Christmas trees, Christmas cards, crackers, turkey for dinner, even Father Christmas and the giving of presents on 25 December - was either invented or introduced here from other countries in the 19th Century. The Dining Room display will be on show from 6 December until 6 January 2005.

Note: the museum will he closed on 25 and 26 December and I and 2 January.

CHRISTMAS DINNER at AVENUE HOUSE on FRIDAY 10 DECEMBER

There are still some places available as the change of date due to a double booking at Avenue House has led to some cancellations. Please phone Dorothy on 8 203 0950 as soon as possible if you would like to come, or if you have already booked,

WEEKEND TRIP TO NORTHUMBRIA 27-31 JULY 2005

Enclosed with this Newsletter is a booking form for the HADAS trip to Northumbria next year Members who attended the November lecture were able to collect booking forms and many places have already been taken. If you wish to come, please complete the form and send it with your deposit to Jackie as soon as possible.


SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT MOVES AGAIN! It is always pleasing when an oganisation achieves its aims and can disband. After nearly 30 years the Temple Bar Trust can do just that, for Temple Bar is once again resplendent in London's Square Mile.

Members who joined the HADAS outing to Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills in August 2001 will remember that we visited Temple Bar in its leafy but lonely setting in Theobald Park. Hertfordshire. where it had been re-erected after removal from its original Fleet Street, Strand location. Designed by Christopher Wen and inaugurated in 1672, the huge gateway had become an impedance to London trafic and was demolished in 1877. Fortunately for us its 2,650 stones were numbered and saved on the orders of brewing magnate Sir Henry Meux and his wife who relocated the famous arch to their country estate north of London.

Now, thanks to the efforts of the Temple Bar Trust and as part of the redevel­opment of Paternoster Square, Temple Bar once again enjoys a splendid setting in the shadow of St Paul's, Wren's other great masterpiece. It was officially opened with great ceremony on November 10 by the Lord Mayor of London. Alderman Robert Finch. For further information and a view of the City's newest landmark, a visit is recommended, either in person or on the Internet at www.templebar.info.                                                         Stewart J. Wild

MEDIEVAL CODE BREAKERS

HADAS member Dr Okasha El Daley has discovered evidence in Arabic texts that scholars could decipher hieroglyphic signs in the 9th century The medieval alchemist Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Washiyah knew that hieroglyphs had associated sounds and could be read as a phonetic script. Howe\ erArab scholars had little interest in the grammatical structure of hieroglyphs. script and it wasn't until 1822 that the French scholar Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered the language by using the Rosetta Stone which is carved with hieroglyphs, demotic Egyptian and Greek.

Okasha's discoveries will appear in his book The Missing Millennium due to be published shortly (Source: New Scientist) '

News from Church Farmhose Museum

THE EXPLOSIVE HISTORY OF FIREWORKS on show until 5 February 2005

The current exhibition at Church Farmhouse Museum gives a wonderful overview of the history of fireworks and it has proved to be very popularwith over a thousand visitors by 15 November

Fireworks probably first appeared in China about two thousand years ago and were introduced into Europe, via Arabia, in the 14th centuryThe first record­ed use of fireworks in England was in 1242.

By the 17th century elaborate firework shows were common throughout Europe. Fireworks are often associated with religious festivals - saints days in Spain and Portugal, Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Light), Chinese New Year, Independence Day in America and of course, 5th November in England. The exhibition is based on the amazing private collection of Eileen Amabilino. It includes books, posters and photos of 19th century displays as well as numerous postcards and hundreds of examples of fireworks (explosives removed!). In 1989 a set of stamps were produced based on photos taken by fireworks photographer Davis Amabilino.

DOLLS' HOUSES

A smaller exhibition currently on show in the Dunlop Room at Church Farmhouse Museum until 9 January features dolls' houses from the collection of Anne Styles. Anne is a former TV costume designer and now an interior designer and romantic novelist. The dolls' houses are decorated to represent different periods, with many fixtures and fittings made by Anne herself. There are also some fascinating miniature room-sets on show including a grand Edwardian house, a Victorian haberdasher's shop, a scene from Gone with the Wind and a bedroom from the swinging sixties. A perfect exhibition for Christmas!

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

From 17 January until 11 February 2005 a special exhibition to mark Holocaust Memorial Day will be on show in the Dunlop Room.I Never Saw Another Butterfly will feature drawings and writings by children caught up in the horrors of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.

NORMAN BURGESS

22 February 1922 — 21 October 2004

We regret to report the death of Norman Burgess, a keen HADAS member who, amongst many other interests, dedicated his life to preserving the historical aspects of Finchley and district. Although Norman only joined HADAS relatively recently, he and his wife Betty took a keen interest in all our activities ties and were with us on our outing to Greensted Saxon Church and Colchester only a few weeks ago. Unfortunately Norman suffered a minor stroke at the beginning of October and died peacefully in Barnet Hospital three weeks later as a result of complications.

Norman was born and educated in Finchley and spent his life as a teacher and school principal. He was an energetic member and archivist of the Finchley Society and led the editorial committee for Finchley Remembered, a book of residents' memories published with much success in 2002. He was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Stephens Collection, the museum in Avenue House dedicated to the work and achievements of ink magnate Henry Stephens, who bequeathed 'Venue House to the people of Finchley in 1918. From its inception in 1993, Norman was Chairman of the Collection management committee and its principal fundraiser well known throughout the Borough for his talks about the Stephens family

Our sympathy goes out to his wife Betty three children and four grandchildren. A memorial service held at Ballards Lane Methodist Church on October 28 was attended by several hundred people and followed by a gathering of friends and family at Avenue House.                                               Stewart Wild


MARIE PICKERING

We send our condolences to our Vice-Chairman Peter Pickering fol­lowing the death of his wife Marie. Since her retirement Marie had been coming on HADAS outings and to Christmas dinners. Her quiet, friendly presence will be missed by all her friends in the Society.

DOROTHY AT THE PALACE My investiture at Buckingham Palace on 3 November; accompa­nied by Jack, Christopher and Marion went without a hitch ­except that both the Queen and Prince Charles were unavoidably absent and the Princess Royal stepped into the breach.

On arrival all recipients are given their instructions and then you arc on your own. However because of my failing eyesight, 1 was allocated my own footman to guide me throughout. He was a smasher and treated me like a queen!

It occurs to me that 1 am the fourth member of HADAS to receive the M.B.E., all of them connected with archaeology.

Daphne Lorimer received her award for servces to archaeology in Scotland. Members will remember that she was our guide and hostess on HADAS visits to Orkney

Ann Saunders, our recent President for two years received her M.B.E. for services to history.

Ann Kahn, whose earliest interest was archaeology; actually received her award for services to yachting. Ann is one of our regular Newsletter editors.

Is this a record for a small society' like ours? Are there any other mem­bers who have been honoured?

Dorothy Newbury

MEDIEVAL SURGERY

Detailed analysis of the skull of a 40-year-old man from the cemetery at the deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy has revealed sophis­ticated Anglo-Saxon cranial surgery. Evidence of trepanning to remove depressed bone fragments has been found. The patient survived, lived for many more years and died of other causes. (From: The Times 6/10/04)


 

LOCAL HISTORY AND THE FUTURE

Archivist Hugh Petrie introduces "The Free to View Internet"

Only eighteen months ago it could have been argued that the Internet was no place for the serious local history researcher However, in the last few months a number of digitisation projects (the putting images of old documents, pictures, and maps, on to computers) have just come "on line" including the Ordnance Survey County Series and Clive Smith' Memories postcard collection, as well as a number of irregular collections, such as: Corbis, Frith, British Pathe, the pie ture collection of the Guildhall in London. By simply filling in a box with an appropriate place name, and waiting a minute or two, the image appears before us (albeit with a watermark to preserve copyright).

In the old days we would have had to visit various institutions and companies, spent a morning consulting their lists, filling in slips to order the material in from the back, and then paying for a copy to be made. Even if the collections themselves have not been put on the Internet, many of their lists have. For example A2A, quite literally Access to Archives, substantially lists the collections of many archives in the country (including Barnet Archives). This enables the user to search all these lists at once, and even if the material is not fully transcribed it is still of benefit when it is found. Who would think that Coventry City Archives had records pertaining to the manor of Hendon for example.

There are also a number of word searchable transcriptions online. These include some which are regularly used by local historians, like the Middlesex sections of the Victoria County History. Others are more unusual. There are the Reports of the Old Bailey which list over a hundred cases involving Hendon from about 1675 to 1800. The Times online (avail­able now at Hendon Library) list over 13,000.The British Library has started to put its newspaper collection on line, a process which will take a very long time; but already it is testing a selection. This morning I found a reference to cases of scarlet fever in London in 1886, which emanated from "a model dairy" in Hendon, using this site.

On the other side a number of diferent institutions are keeping their records on line, as with HADAS and the Finchley Society, and no doubt the Barnet and District Historical Society are not far behind. Most particularly are the local news papers. A site called "thisislocallondon" represents the Hendon and Finchley limes, and they have already archived nearly all their articles back as far as 1998 as well as many of the accompanying picturesThe Archer, East Finchley's local paper, has done much the same.

Many of us will have heard ofEbay, the Internet auction site. At this site it is possible to search for objects for sale on a given subject, such as Hendon. I have noticed that objects sold, particularly images and documents, are often sold again a few weeks later It is clear that people are buying historical pictures, copying them (presumably) and then selling them on. This means they have the copyright to the copy and can, with a minimum outlay create picture libraries, which they can store on computer or copy for sale on to DVD. If this is the trend then we could be awash with cheap local history pictures in a few years time.

Despite all the benefits, is all this a good thing? I am not sure myself. The pleasure in finding something few living peo pie have seen or touched will not be there and it has to be said that there is a certain value in seeing a document the way our predecessors saw it and understood it. However we feel about this, the Internet is here to stay

Links

A2A

British Libraries newspaper catalogue

British Libraries digitised collection 

British Pathe

Corbis Photographs:

Francis Frith

Guildhall Picture Collection

John Norden

Cary's survey of 1786

Memories Postcards

Ordnance Survey 1st edition

The Old Bally on Line

Times on line 1785 — 1985is available at Hendon Library

Victoria County History.

1914 Kelly's Hendon

 

OTHER SOCIETIES' DECEMBER EVENTS

Prepared by Eric Morgan

Thur. 2 Dec. 7.30pm             London Canal Museum 12-13 New Wharf Road, Kings Cross, NlCanals From Before 1940 to the Present Talk by Hugh Compton with illustrations from the Railway & Canal Historical Society collection

Concessions £2 Preceded by Christmas shopping in the museum shop ,linn 6.00pm with a glass of wine and mince pie. Discount on purchases.

Fri. 3 Dec.      6.30pm            Geologists' Association Lecture Theatre, Geological Society Burlington
House, Piccadilly W.1 The Evolution of the River Medway in the Context of Quaternary Paleoclimate and the Palaeolithic Occupation of North West Europe Talk by David R. Bridgland. Tea at 6.00pm

Sun. 5 Dec.      10.30am         Heath and Hampstead SocietyBurgh House, New End Square, NW3
Artefacts of East Heath Walk led by Michael Welbank, Donation £1

Tue. 7 Dec.    8.15pm            The Finchley Society: Local History Group 31 Court House Gardens, N.3
(off Nether Street, near West Finchley Underground station) The Role of a Local History GroupTalk by Hugh Petrie (Borough Archivist) The Finchley Society proposes to set up a local history group and need committee members and people interested in doing research. This first meeting is to hear about proposals at the home of the Chairman, David Marcus. The future work of the group will be discussed.

Wed. 8 Dec. 6.30pm        London & Middlesex Archaeological Society Interpretation Unit, Museum of London, 150 London Will, EC2 "Where there's Muck There's Brass" - Doulton Pottery and the Sanitary Movement in the 19th Century. Talk by John Brown. Refreshments at 6.00pm

Wed. 8 Dec    8.15pm            Mill Hill Historical SocietyThe Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway
NW7 The History of the English Public House Talk by Graham Javes (a HADAS member)

Wed. 8 Dec. 8.00pm              Hornsey Historical Society Union Church Hall, corner of Ferme Park Road, Weston Park, N.8 Charles Dickens in LondonTalk by Michael Slatter

Sat. 11 Dec.  10.15am            Amateur Geological Society, St. Mary's Hall, Hendon Lane, Finchley N3

to 3.30pm           Mineral and Fossil Bazaarincluding rocks, crystals, gemstones, jewellery
Refreshments. Admission 50p

Tue. 14 Dec. 8.00pm             Amateur Geological SocietySt. Mary's Hall, Hendon Lane, Finchley N3 Now I Understand - Geology Texts Come Alive in the Field Talk by Marilyn Carter from the Natural History Museum

Thur. 16 Dec 7.30pm            Camden History Society Burgh House, New End Square, NW3Sir Henry Cole: from Agitator to Autocrat in ArtTalk by Anthony Burton with wine and mince pies before and after the meeting.

Fri. 17 Dec.    8.00pm           Enfield Archaeological Society Jubilee Hall, at junction of Parsonage Lane and
Chase Side, Enfield Cursus Publicus: the Roman Imperial Post Talk by

Geoffrey Gillam. Refreshments at 7.30pm. Visitors £1

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