Sun 30 Aug 2013
Blenheim and London to see the Pompeii and Herculaneum
45 members and
friends travelled south, courtesy of a Tyrer’s coach on Sunday
30 August. We stopped first at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire,
built to Vanbrugh’s design for the Duke of Marlborough. We had a
fascinating tour of the building, including material relating to
Winston Churchill, who was born there. The weather was fine and
warm so many of the party explored the grounds which had been
landscaped by Capability Brown/had lunch on the terrace, and
even watched a cricket match on the Duke’s lawn!
We travelled on
to London where our hotel, the Guoman Tower, was superbly
situated next to Tower Bridge, on the River Thames. There were
lots of options for an evening meal. Many took advantage of the
eating places around St. Catherine’s Dock, whilst more
adventurous members of the party went up the Shard and went to
Ronny Scotts’. It was great to return later to our hotel to see
Tower Bridge illuminated.
Our coach took us after breakfast to the British Museum to see
the Pompeii and Herculaneum Exhibition. It lived up to our
expectations with artefacts from every aspect of ordinary life
and wonderful frescos and mosaics. More shocking were the
plaster cast bodies of victims who were caught and given no
chance of escape.
Hilary and Lionel
It was amazing
to be there with relics of Roman life which had survived the
catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius 1700 years ago.
Our time in London ended in mid afternoon and we headed back
north, with our heads still spinning with memories and thoughts
of a memorable couple of days.
Thanks to John Harrison for the report and photos.
Lilian and Jim
Tower Bridge from the hotel
Tue 13 Aug 2013
Heather Davis – of Lancashire County Council Conservation
Lancashire Roman Tombstone / Silverdale Viking Hoard
conservation studios are based in a church converted during
2005-06 on St Mary’s Road, Preston. A team of conservationists
is based there, each member specialising in a particular field
that includes painting, natural history and textiles. Each of
Heather’s two topics have a strong connection with the
The Tombstone at the time of discovery
tombstone – Heather explained that the centurion tombstone
was found in pieces by workmen in excavation work in Lancaster.
The site, close to the bridge that carries the A6 over the
Lancaster Canal just south of the city centre, was being
developed for a new apartment block. Once the conservation team
was alerted to the find the slow process of drying the stone
However, the real conservation work could only start once the
county owned it. With the help of Heritage Lottery money it was
bought off the developer for ‘a little less than £50,000’.
Cleaning it revealed a detailed carving of a cavalry officer
holding the head of his victim. An inscription reads that it
dates from 110AD and commemorates a quartermaster from Trier,
Germany and was provided by his wife.
It took a team of 8 from the conservation studios a total of
3,500 hours to get to the point of cementing pieces of stone
together. Once the conservation work was completed it was
decided to display it at the Lancaster City Museum. It was a
delicate exercise to transfer the 840kg sandstone tombstone from
Preston to its display site on the museum’s first floor.
You can now view this important find, a product of this
successful conservation project, for free at the museum.
The Tombstone now in the Lancaster City Museum
Silverdale Hoard – This is a Viking hoard of 171 pieces
that were found in a lead pouch. Heather announced the good news
that today, the 13 August, the hoard had been purchased from the
finder and the landowner.
It was found in December 2011 when a metal detector hit upon
this find on private land. It is classed as a portable antiquity
and Heather said the conservation studio’s portable antiquities
officers’, Dot Broughton and Stuart Noon helped in its
identification. The hoard was sent to the British Museum for
further identification and valuation at just short of £120,000.
It will be split 50-50 between finder and landowner as a written
agreement was made between them before the find took place.
Image courtesy of the Portable
It is a
treasure trove that includes 4 inch long silver ingots, coins
and bracelets in different styles. It is not the first Viking
hoard found in Lancashire. There is the Furness Hoard and, of
course, the Cuerdale Hoard. Work will now be able to be done to
compare these hoards with the Silverdale hoard to see if there
is a connection between them. It is believed the Vikings had
been forced out of Dublin and sailed to this part of the Irish
Sea coast. The reasons why these hoards were buried around the
time of the late 8th century remain unknown.
There are 26 coins included in the hoard and one that depicts a
named Anglo Saxon king that was previously unknown. It is hoped
the hoard will be put on display in Lancaster, closest to where
it was found.
Heather’s enlightening talk that was supported by excellent
images and shone a light on these additions to Lancashire’s
Sun 11 Aug 2013
Yarrow Valley Park Exhibition Day
Valley Park had an exhibition day open to all members
and users of the park. Our Society, along with a number
of other groups, including, Model Aircraft, Walkers,
Chorley Nats, Friends of River Yarrow and Lower Burgh
Meadow, were there to promote their groups and help
people to be aware of all the interests and activities
that are available in the Chorley area.
Borough Council did us proud by supplying the marquees,
tables and chairs.
There was a steady stream of people looking, asking and
enquiring about the groups' activities.
We also had the benefit of drinks and light snack
throughout the day, from the newly opened Cafe at Y.V.P.
Quite impressive, with helpful staff, bacon butties and
a drink - very acceptable to start the day.