July 24

Will begins the morning session by giving a briefing to the new volunteers. He is joined by Denise and Eli Kienwald and their grandson Joshua Wakefield. Denise is the daughter of Minia Jay, one of the Jewish child Holocaust Survivors who came to the estate in 1945.

Roger and Liz Kingston, together with Dot Yates have come from the Lake District National Park Authority Archaelogical Society and Hayley Shaw is a postgraduate student. Part of her thesis is about ‘The Windermere Boys’.

Will is also joined by his daughter Freya.

At the same time, trays with artefacts from the previous days’ finds are laid out in the sports hall.

The heavy rain overnight has cleaned both trenches, making clearer the two levels and colours of the soil, that differ from a reddy brown to grey. Last night a fairly large piece of asbestos was found in trench 6. This and an area around it at the north end of the trench, is left in situ.

The remaining half and that of the south end of trench 5 will be dug. It is suspected that there will be natural soil stratification only.

Trench 6

The remains of a waste pipe can be seen in trench 6.

Trench 5

Caroline takes some of the last students to the field nearer their school and shows them how to measure and plot out areas to scan. After lunch they use the ground penetrating radar with a different antennae to re-scan the same area as yesterday.

Hayley Shaw (on the right) discussing her research with Caroline

Today’s volunteers are taken over to the far side of the field to start trench 7. They measure the size of the trench and then take turns to cut and lift the turf and then begin to scrape away the soil with the trowels.

Eli Kienwald, Liz Kingston and Dot Yates
Joshua Wakefield on the right
Denise Kienwald

By lunchtime quite a large number of artefacts have been found including pipes, bricks, glass and tiles and these are then brushed and washed.

Morning visitors include Eleanor and David Blezard and Brian Salisbury, former residents of Calgarth Estate. Brian remembers that “in 1965, when the school opened, the bricks were still coming up in the playing fields. Detention was to pick up the bricks!”.

Mr & Mrs Blezard with Brian Salisbury

Brian’s father, Wallace, worked at Fells all his working life, and was a well known local footballer and cricketer. The family left Calgarth in 1954, and were one of the first families to move to Orrest Drive, on the Droomer Estate.

Brian had brought a photograph of himself with his brother David and Wallace in the garden of 5 Beck Island Road in 1953.

From L to r, David, Wallace and Brian
Eleanor pointing out the names of the school children

Janett and Sophia from Flock PR & Events, call in to see the progress…….

And Lorna Brunstein, the niece of Perec Zylberberg, one of ‘The Windermere Boys’ and daughter of Esther Brunstein – a Holocaust Survivor, stayed for the day. Lorna will be exhibiting with LDHP in 2020.

Lorna Brunstein

During the morning some small artefacts from trenches 5 and 6 had been washed and cleaned. One item of interest is an empty packet of Burton’s potato puffs, but it isn’t clear how old this might be. It is decided to continue digging for a while in trench 6 at the north end, and both are measured and drawn in the afternoon.

In trench 6, the stratification layer to the right of the area where the asbestos had been found, is dug and natural soil exposed. The trench is then measured and drawn, and similarly trench 5.

In trench 6, the stratification layer to the right of the area where the asbestos had been found, is dug and natural soil exposed.

Grid in pit 5

Meanwhile in trench 7 (at the opposite side of the field), further digging has exposed some pipes and is undoubtedly part of the pipe on the other side in trench 6. This could possibly be the pipe that was in the ablutions section of the former hostel.

Pipe trench 6. On the right the thin white sheet of asbestos – on the left, the natural soil
Pipe remains in trench 7
Turf, stones and sifted soil from trench 7

Towards the end of the afternoon, some of the students experiment with using a 3d scanner with some of the larger objects found this week.

Denise would like to see the path her mother, Minia, had taken when she visited the school in 2010 with Trevor and so they take a stroll down Broadfield Road that is still in existence today.