July 23 2019

After a briefing by Will, the new volunteers – Helen, Immy and Rowan Warwick and Susie Rendell start to wash some of the material already found this morning. Linda, Gillian and Elise have returned and continue scraping in trench 6. Rowan particularly likes washing because “I haven’t done it before”!

Rowan (wearing blue)
Gillian and Susie

Kevin and the students are already busy also scraping in trench 6, and in trench 5 Will prepares a metal and string grid to make an accurate drawing of the possible foundation stones. If they form part of a possible foundation, an extension of the trench may be started at right angles.

Caroline takes some students back to another part of the field that was surveyed yesterday, to measure out an area, 30m x 90m, that is nearer to the school, for ground penetration radar. She shows a different set of students the techniques involved using the equipment.

By lunchtime 62 ‘lines’ have been completed with 17 remaining.

Some new visitors arrive!

Meanwhile Joshua Wallace, the History student, is bagging artefacts from yesterday and today, and labelling the bags with the appropriate context for each trench they were found in.

Some include a small tack, much brick, glass and piping as before. One of the more unusual items is a tube of baby curling gel. The weather has improved and by the afternoon it is very hot and everything can dry quickly in the sun and be bagged outside.

Caroline also shows the students how the digital data is displayed on the computer and how to interpret it.

Peter Wilson visits. He lived at 20 Broadfield Road and thinks that one of the photographs on the banner is of him in the picture of the class at the school. Unlike visitors the day before, he “hated the school dinners…..The houses were single brick and we used to freeze in winter. There were icicles on the insides of the window!”

Rose & Peter Wilson

All the artefacts of the day are carefully separated and put into trays that are labelled with the stratification they were found in, For example the first part dug in pit 5 is numbered 5001 so anything found there is placed in the appropriate tray…..and so on.

At the latter part of the day, Chris and Muriel Gerrish pay a visit. They live near Penrith and saw a news item on television about the dig, Chris lived at 73 Droomer Drive and his father, Billy (William Alfred) worked at the Flying Boat Factory. “Mother always used to talk about offering father a job on the engines…but he would have had to go out on the wings, so he turned it down.”

Chris remembers that he and his brother often used to play at archery in the nearby woods.

All the students and volunteers have worked incredibly hard in extremely hot conditions. The temperature is about 27 degrees. Immy, pictured above in the green t-shirt, prefers scraping to washing because “its interesting finding old bits”. Her mother, Helen, thought “it’s nice to have a go”.

This is Linda’s last day but she is reluctant to leave. She heard about the dig via the Lake District National Park Authority’s Archaeological Society. “I’ve done things here I have never done before…sieving, pot washing. You have some very special archaeologists here”.

Finally the site is cleared for the night and marker tape is put round each trench.