newsletter-408-march-2005

Newsletter

Page 1

DAPHNE LORIMER, MBE

It is with deep sadness that we report the death at her Orkney home of Daphne Lorimer, a member of HADAS for over 35 years and one of our Vice Presidents. Further details and a tribute to Daphne will be included in our next Newsletter.

HADAS are having a major book sale

Over the Easter weekend 26th/27th March 2005, HADAS are having a major book sale at Avenue House, 17 East End Road, Finchley, N3 3QE. During the last year or so members have been reviewing our library of books and journals with a view to cataloguing what we want to keep and assembling those duplicates and ones that are no longer deemed relevant for sale. The event coincides with Avenue House hosting a two-day Open Weekend. Entry is free, and there will be tours of the house and gardens, as well as a chance to visit the garden room where much of HADAS' activities take place. Avenue House will have refreshments, sandwiches and teas, for sale, but HADAS are offering each member who attends a free glass of wine and nibbles. Please do come along and support this unique opportunity to enhance your book collection, meet and chat with fellow members. Don Cooper Can you help? HADAS will be at the Open Weekend at Avenue House on 26th_28th March, publicising Hendon & District Archaeological Society, alongside The Finchley Society and others. We will need helpers over the three days. If you would like to volunteer, please phone 020 8201 9271.

HADAS DIARY

Tuesday 8 March — Pinner Chalk Mines - Ken Kirkman. A talk about a unique 19th C industrial site. Ken Kirkman, a member of Pinner Local History Society, has been going down the mines for 25 years. He has the access rights from the London Borough of Harrow, and guides groups of visitors. A book was published in 1992. http://www.pinnerlhs.freeserve.co.uk.

Tuesday 12th April — Sutton Hoo and the Horse Burial - lecture by Angela Evans.

Tuesday 10 May — The Road to Rome — in the steps of a Medieval Pilgrim — Mark Hassell Tuesday 14 June — AGM - Avenue House.

27-31 July - HADAS Trip to Northumbria - a message from Jackie Brooks. This trip is now fully booked, but people can go on a waiting list. (Tel 020 8349 2253).

Lectures and meetings start at 8 pm in the drawing room (ground floor) of Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, N3. Buses including the 82, 143, 260 and 326 pass close by along Ballards Lane, a five to ten minute walk from Finchley Central Tube Station.

Page 2

50 YEARS OF CHURCH FARMHOUSE MUSEUM

To mark the occasion of its 50th Anniversary this year, the Museum will be mounting a major exhibition from 30 April to 4 September — on the 350-year history of Church Farm. HADAS has always had a close relationship with the Museum, and, of course the exhibition will reflect that. But I also wonder whether any individual members might have more personal material — from memories to milk-cans — which they would care to contribute to the exhibition. If you have anything you think relevant, please ring me or Hugh Petrie on 020 8203 0130. I look forward to hearing from you.

BATTLE OF BARNET PRESENTATION

The Battle of Barnet Working Group is making a presentation on the battle of Barnet at 2.30 pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March in the Swords Gallery of the National Army Museum, the occasion being the Annual Conference of the Battlefields Trust (South Eastern Region). The Group began work in September 2003, and its object is to collect and collate evidence concerning the Battle which took place on Easter Day, 1471. The Group enjoys the support of the Battlefields Trust, HADAS, and many other organisations. Its membership, expressed loosely in percentage terms, may be described as HADAS 60%, Battlefields Trust 40%, Richard III Society 20%, and local historical and archaeological societies 40%. These proportions do not reflect in any way the importance of the input received! The entire event should prove a stimulating weekend's entertainment, expecially for those making presentations. Do come and give us your support. Andrew Coulson The National Army Museum is located in Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT (Tel 020 7730 0717). There is no charge, a restaurant is available, car parking is metered on Saturday and free on Sunday. The nearest Tube is Sloane Square follow the brown signs to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, and the museum is just to its west.

PROPOSED SPIKE MILLIGAN STATUE

The Spike Milligan Statue Fund has already raised £4,000 towards their target of £30,000 to put up a statue to Spike Milligan, author and humorist, at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, (where HADAS lectures are held). The aim of the Fund is to make this a nationwide appeal, but they think it important to have local support, and are approaching a number of significant local organisations in the London Borough of Barnet area to seek their support. They hope to raise the remainder of the £30,000 by the end of 2005. Any donation made will be acknowledged and incorporated into future publicity material. (Contact: David Smith, Secretary to the Spike Milligan Statue Fund — Tel 020 8883 4154)

ACCESSING OUR ARCHIVAL AND MANUSCRIPT HERITAGE

A new project under development at Senate House Library, University of London This project is to provide access for lifelong learners in the SE to archival and manuscript holdings held in higher education libraries. The project will develop a web interface, as well as providing opportunities for group visits to Senate House Library . Christine Wise, the Head of Special

Collections at Senate House Library, says they are now actively seeking feedback from target users such as family and local historians, genealogists, archaeologists etc. and hopes they will be prepared to comment on the development of the webface so far. Focus groups can provide feedback on Friday 11 March and Friday 18 March 2005 at Senate House Library. In return for attendance at the focus group for a maximum of two hours, the Library would be pleased to offer a free day reference ticket for the Library on either date. If you are interested to take part in the focus groups, for further information please contact Dr. Richard Butterworth, Project Technical and Liaison Officer (Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU). Tel. 020 7862 8477

Page 3

FROM THE PAPERS

Pay agreement - at present anyone can call themselves an archaeologist and bid for work (reports Prospect in their Dec/Jan 2005 issue). The only current form of regulation are the minimum standards set by the IFA (Institute of Field Archaeologists) for employers who are IFA members. Discussions are taking place between Prospect and SCALTM (the Standing Conference of Archaeological Unit Managers) on the principles of introducing a national pay agreement. Give us back our chariot — the Daily Telegraph reported on a tiny Umbrian village challenging the Metropolitan Museum in New York to return a unique 6th C Etruscan bronze and ivory chariot, sold to two Frenchmen by a farmer about 1902, and illegally exported to the US hidden in a grain shipment. (Family tradition holds that the farmer received two cows in exchange.) Metro reported the discovery of a mysterious burial in the Roman cemetery at York — 49 young men and seven children. Most of the men had been decapitated, one was shackled, and the skulls were placed in the graves beside their feet, legs or pelvis. Dr Patrick Ottaway of York Archaeological Trust suggested that the bodies could have been those of Rhineland soldiers serving under Septimus Severus (c. 200AD), and that they had been buried according to their own local customs.

Another Internet Success! Jim Nelhams

During January, the newsletters have proved useful to another member of the public with his research. On On January 1st, our Secretary, Denis Ross received the following Email from a Mr Andrew Wells, who lives near Maidstone: "I have seen your website and hope you won't mind my bothering you in this way. I am researching the Puget family who lived at Totteridge in the 19th century. In particular I am trying to track down Puget Family by P G Dawson. This is mentioned in Vol 6 of the VCH of Middlesex (1980), under Education in Finchley. The HADAS Newsletter, April 1978, issue 86, p 4 refers to the family among other residents of the area. Kent County reference library can't throw any light on this publication, which I suppose may have been privately produced. Can you tell me where I can find a copy please?" Mr Wells had used "Google" to search the intemet for matches with PUGET and TOTTERIDGE — leading him not just to our website but to individual newsletters. The article he discovered was one of a series written by Joanna Corden detailing AIDS TO RESEARCH held by local archives. His interest was because three members of the Wells family had married members of the Puget family. Denis then used our website to circulate this message to other members of the committee. First into action was Graham Javes; - his response - "I cannot help with the Puget family but I did a few quick net searches. There is a copy in the British Library. Its book catalogue gives more info. t was published privately in 1976 by the author, Percy

George Dawson, born 1905. - 40 copies only printed. ISBN no 095052221, pbk, 91 pages for only 3.50 pounds. The London Borough of Barnet has a copy in the Archives and Local Studies Library at Mill Hill — a prior appointment is needed. There is another copy at Chipping Barnet Public Library, Stapylton Road, Barnet, EN5, in the Local History Reference Collection. Ring first to check that it is available. Books do 'disappear' and often the catalogue entry is not deleted after the book has been officially withdrawn." The name PUGET also rang several bells in my memory. Firstly, from my work on the newsletters, I was aware of the work done by Daphne Lorimer and others on the Dissenters' churchyard at Totteridge. More particularly, I recalled seeing a foundation stone at Trinity Church, Nether Street, North Finchley, where I rehearse every week with Finchley Chamber Choir. So at my next rehearsal, I checked and sure enough, there is the foundation stone from a school that used to stand in Dale Grove close to the old Congregational Church on the corner of Dale Grove and Ballards Lane. With the merger of this church with Trinity church in 1984, both the school and church were demolished but the foundation stones were preserved and moved to Trinity church. John Hey Puget had given the land on which the Congregational Church and school were built, so the foundation stone had been laid by his daughter after his death. Discussions with another choir member who is also a church elder revealed that Mr Dawson, the author of the book being sought, had been a member of Trinity church, and his interest in the church's history had led him to writing the history of the PUGET family. The copy of the book in the Barnet Library Archives had been sent to them by Trinity Church. Because Trinity has just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the merger with the Congregational church, they have recently held an exhibition, and this contained a history of the two churches, including some information on John Hey Puget — and a picture of him — a photograph of a portrait. They kindly gave me two copies, one of which is now in our library at Avenue House. I visited Avenue House on the following Sunday to check our library for the Puget History. It was not there — but I also checked the folder on the Dissenters' churchyard — to find that it contained a copy of the book with a compliment slip from Mr Dawson. This has now been loaned to a happy and grateful Mr Wells. I have also sent him the church history, some other information from Trinity Church, and photographs of two memorials, which are in St Andrew's Church, Totteridge. Work on the transcription of our newsletters to the website continues.


Page 4

A MYCENEAN ODYSSEY by John Enderby

I have recently returned from the Peloponnese, having travelled by road from Athens on an ancient road network which took in Corinth, Epidavros, Argos and, above all, Mycenae. This prehistoric town the most important in Greece, was built on the north-east side of the Argive plain, and was once the centre of a glorious civilisation lasting from 1600 BC until 1100 BC. Even today, modern Mycenae is an important point on the road system leading to Nafplion, the first capital of Greece after Independence (1822) and thought by many (including myself) to be the loveliest town in the whole of Greece. I visited Mycenae, a thirty-minute journey from Nafplion, on a bright sunny day but, even so, the extensive ruins of this once regal ancient city were invested with a brooding sense of darkness and horror. Here, Orestes committed the heinous crime of matricide. I hope to tell the chilling story in a future article on the curse of the House of Atreus. The remarkable Mycenean civilisation reached its zenith in the 2nd millennium BC, as can be seen from the fabulous gold objects — including the gold mask of Agamemnon in the Athens Museum. Many such priceless artefacts were excavated by the German discoverer of Troy, Heinrich Schliemann, who led a series of excavations from 1874. I visited the house — now an hotel — in which he lived in Mycenae and was honoured to sign the Distinguished Visitors' Book in the name of HADAS! Like Epidavros, which is still being excavated by Greek archaeologists with a grant of £2M from the European Union, similarly-funded workers were busily engaged in excavating several areas of the huge site, some 170 years after the "first" dig! Today one enters the site (on payment of 1,500 drachmae, about £3) through the Lion Gate, a colossal monolithic limestone tympanum flanked by two headless lionesses of impressive dimensions. On the right are the concentric stone circles that form the Royal Tombs in which Schliemann found no less than nineteen skeletons. After transversing a large ramp there is an exhausting rough climb — no English Heritage—type path or handrail — to the summit (912 ft), the early part of the way bordered by walls made up of blocks of stone that weigh as much as 20 tons, and are 26 ft wide in places. They are all so accurately cut that no mortar was needed. The view from the Acropolis and the remains of the Royal Palace was fantastic in all directions, and one realised that it must have been impregnable to attackers. Fortunately, water was not too much of a problem for the residents of the Royal Palace, as there was a "secret" water source and cistern in the eastern fortress if one was prepared — I was not — to descend ninety-nine steps in total darkness. On the way back to the modern village, I came to a true masterpiece, the so-called Treasury of Atreus, thought to have been the Tomb of Agamemnon, dating from C.1300 BC. Entrance is gained through the dromos, a long stone tunnel cut deep in the hillside. The tholos, or circular interior, is reached through an impressive portal with a lintel of enormous stone blocks, one of which has been estimated to weigh 120 tons. The vault itself is an amazing beehive structure built of thirty-three courses of ashlar mansonry (again no mortar) reaching a height of 76 feet. To me, it proved to be one of the wonders of the ancient world and, without doubt, a landmark in the history of European architecture.

Page 5

UNDERGROUND NAPLES by Deirdre Barry

Our guide pushed aside the old black bed in the tiny flat, and lifted a large trapdoor. We peered warily at the steps leading down into the gloom. Somewhere down there were the remains of part of a Roman theatre where Nero had sung. If you are in Naples, don't miss the recently-opened Napoli Sotterranea at 68 Piazza San Gaetano, off Via Dei Tnbunali, which was one of the old Graeco-Roman main streets. It is said that "sixty per cent of Naples rests on nothing". Excavation of the soft yellow tufa stone began 5000 years ago. Then in the 4th C BC, the Greeks quarried the stone to build their city wall (remains of which are still to be seen), and used the resulting caverns for burials. In the Roman Augustan era, some of the tunnels were used as shortcut pedestrian underpasses. (Nothing is new!) During the war, the caves became bomb shelters. An amazing amount of debris (toys, helmets, even a small military tank) remains from those days, together with sad graffiti. My eeriest experience was when our group navigated a long, very narrow stone tunnel in single file, each of us clutching a candle in a china holder. Not an adventure for claustrophobes. The tunnel, carved from solid rock, had been part of the Graeco-Roman underground aqueduct, in use until the early 1600s, when more water was needed. The Roman theatre is nearby, partly under the basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, which itself stands on the site of the Roman Temple of the Dioscuri. Not much to see, only part of the backstage, but from the curving passageway and arches, you can deduce the size of the theatre, and our guide suggested that the builders had perhaps used opus reticulatum to make the building a little more flexible in the event of earth tremors. There were earth tremors on the day that Nero sang at the theatre. Like a real trooper, he ignored them and sang on, commenting afterwards that the tremors had of course just been favourable applause by the gods. Apparently it took him a day or two at the baths afterwards to recover from the stress of his performance.

Page 6

OTHER SOCIETIES' LECTURES AND EVENTS - Eric Morgan

Sunday 6 March, 2.30 pm Heath & Hampstead Society — Kitchen Garden, Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, N6. Hidden Heath — its History and Archaeology - walk led by Michael Hammerson (HADAS member). Donation £1.

Wednesday 9 March, 6.30pm, LAMAS Lecture Theatre, Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2 — First Celebrity Lecture — given by Julian Richards.

Wednesday 9 March, 8.15 pm, Mill Hill Historical Society, Harwood Hall, Union Church, The Broadway, NW7. Statues, Temples and Follies at Kew Gardens. Talk by Chris Sumner.

Thursday 10 March, 8 pm, Pinner Local History Society, Village Hall, Chapel Lane car park, Pinner. The Nelson Connection — talk given by Research Group. £2.

Monday 14 March, 3pm. Barnet & District Local History Society, Church House, Wood Street (Opposite Museum) Barnet. Background to the Wars of the Roses — talk by Alan Smith.

Friday 18 March, 8pm. Enfield Archaeological Society, Jubilee Hall, Junction of Chase Side/Parsonage Lane, Enfield. Excavations at Copped Hall — talk by Christine Holloway of WEAG (HADAS did resistivity and surveying here). £1.

Saturday 19 March, 11 am-5.30pm .— LAMAS CONFERENCE, Lecture Theatre, Museum of London. Cost including tea £4, non-members £5. (For details, please see February Newsletter). HADAS will be there. http://www.lamas.org.uk/conference_arc_2005.html

Thursday 31 March, 8pm, The Finchley Society, Drawing Room, Avenue House, East End Road, N3 — Spirit Experiences in Finchley and Friern Barnet. Talk by Oliver Natelson (HADAS member, Friern Barnet & District Local History Society.



Comments