Last year’s Sheffield group got to revisit the Staveley Hall dig this year as well as advertising the community activities as the site.
Despite heavy thunderstorms in the morning the group from Burton Street arrived full of enthusiasm and were excited to get on with digging. Mike McCoy, site director, and his colleagues had erected a fantastic event shelter over the trench and after a brief talk about the site and a look in the main midden trench at the fantastic stratigraphy the group grabbed their gloves and trowels and were off.
I was really impressed that those who came last year remembered so much, including how to trowel and what they were looking for. They had brought three new people along as well and were soon supervising them and passing on their experience.
Finds soon started to turn up including a 10p piece from 1975, an oyster shell (not as many as last year), clay pipe, bones and a small clay ball that used to be put in kettles to stop them furring up and a couple of tiny pieces of 18th century pottery.
We also found a few more of the cobbles of the path/drive leading past the front of the old house.
As last year there were a small group who really enjoyed the sieving station and took it upon themselves to sieve everything, occasionally letting some of the new members of the group have a go.
The group really enjoyed themselves and were proud of what they achieved. It was great that their tutor Sally Rodgers could also join us and that a volunteer from the present Sheffield group, Lee, also came out to help, giving him more opportunities to experience different learner groups on the project.
A huge thank you to Mike McCoy and Richard Jackson for inviting us back and for making the digging experience so much fun.
This is a great example of how the project is attempting to keep groups involved in archaeology after the main course has finished.
Some of the Goldthorpe group will be joining with the Wombwell Group in the Barnsley Hub to do a further archaeology course with the WEA in the autumn term and we are hoping that other opportunities will arise for the other groups.
Keep watching this post for further news of how past groups are maintaining their links with their local heritage and archaeology.