Salon Archive

Issue: IFA-130

Clear evidence of the importance of the historic environment

The cry from central Government for several years now has been ‘prove to us that the historic environment is popular and then we will invest the necessary resources’. Now the biggest and most rigorous poll of its kind, funded by the Department of Culture and its sponsored bodies, has revealed that ordinary people rank the historic environment as being even more important to them than sport or the arts. Preliminary figures from the poll were released on 14 December and reveal that 69 per cent of people surveyed ‘visited at least one type of historic environment site during the past twelve months’, compared with 67 per cent attending at least one type of arts event during the year and 56 per cent participating in sport during the previous month. The figures also showed that 49 per cent visited a library, 43 per cent visited a museum a gallery and 6 per cent visited an archive during the past twelve months. Interestingly, 7 per cent said they had undertaken voluntary work in the heritage, culture or sports, which is exactly the figure predicted by a major survey of volunteering in the historic environment commissioned by English Heritage from Christopher Catling, FSA, and published in December 2003 (see www.heritagelink.org.uk/publications.asp#other).

This survey is to be repeated every three months to measure trends in participation in the areas sponsored by DCMS. Public Service Agreement targets for agencies supported by DCMS require them to increase participation, especially amongst certain socio-economic target groups. Full details of the survey are on the DCMS website.

Historic sites are key to the north east’s economy

A report just published by the North East Historic Environment Forum, researched by Ove Arup and Partners, Ltd, pins down in precise pounds and jobs how much the heritage contributes to the economy of the north east of England. The report says that six million people visit the region's historic houses, archaeological remains and museums every year, contributing £74m to the local economy and supporting 7,345 jobs. The study concluded that heritage makes an important contribution to the economy, society and quality of life in the region and that heritage assets are an important education resource, with a high level of children engaged in education activities at museums.

The report says that the economic and social benefits of the historic environment are valuable and unique, wide-ranging, multi-faceted and complex to quantify. It nevertheless bemoans the dearth of robust data collected on a consistent basis showing the wider impacts of the historic environment and recommends that all the main historic environment organisations come together to compile data on an annual basis, using a standard pro forma.

Copies of the report and associated case studies can be downloaded from the English Heritage website.

Parliamentary debate on UK World Heritage Sites

When David Wright (Telford, Lab) announced his re-election as the Chairman of the All-Party World Heritage Sites group in parliament last week, he also initiated a debate asking the Deputy Prime Minister to look into ways to ensure that world heritage sites ‘deliver the very best for us as a nation and for the communities in which they sit’ www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm051214/halltext/51214h03.htm#51214h03_head0.

In introducing the debate he called for statutory recognition and protection for world heritage sites in the UK, arguing that ‘World heritage sites sit at the top of the heritage hierarchy. The designation is one of the few of international significance that we recognise in the UK’. Secondly, he called for more consistent resourcing and management of world heritage sites, saying that local authorities ‘have individual and day-to-day responsibility for protecting, promoting and presenting sites that fall within their boundaries’ which inevitably led to inconsistency and cuts due to pressure on local authority budgets.

Thirdly, he argued that more should be done to promote world heritage sites as key destinations for visitors to the UK, and for internal tourism. Fourthly, pointing to seven world heritage sites in the UK at specific risk from development and from natural problems such as flooding, land instability or coastal erosion, he called for central Government help and support for local authority efforts to ensure that those sites are protected. Finally, he called for sensitive planning decisions, so that buildings developed around world heritage sites do not detract from those sites.

Inevitably the future of Stonehenge occupied a good deal of the debate, with Robert Key (Salisbury, Con) giving a detailed (and often amusing) account of ‘the great and sad story of Stonehenge’ and the repeated failure of politicians to come to a satisfactory solution for the monument’s future. ‘At heart it is the stones that matter, and the landscape in which they lie’, he said: ‘They matter to us and to our children and grandchildren, and we must crack this problem for their sake too … I hope that, by the middle of 2006, we will see the Government's working party produce a sensible plan that can be costed, afforded and implemented without delay’. ‘Everyone wants this to happen. Minister, please make it happen’, he emphatically concluded.

Found in East Anglia: evidence of tool-using humans 700,000 years ago

The January/February edition of British Archaeology, published this week, positively scintillates with excitement as the editor, Mike Pitts, FSA, MIFA, dedicates ten pages to the discovery of the earliest evidence of humans north of the Alps to be discovered so far. The extraordinary finds of worked flints from 700,000-year-old deposits from the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts is hailed as one of the greatest recent archaeological discoveries in the UK. The tools are older by 200,000 years than the previous evidence for human activity in northern Europe, consisting of cut-marked animal bones from Boxgrove, in West Sussex.

The thirty-two flint tools were found in sediments exposed by erosion at the bottom of a cliff in Pakefield, near the Suffolk seaside town of Lowestoft, in deposits laid down during an interglacial warm period in the early Middle Pleistocene. The rooted molars of the Mimomys vole found in association with the flints are a key indicator of the age of the deposits. Also important to the dating are the ‘trapdoors’ (opercula) found in snail shells, whose proteins break down at a constant rate.

Professor Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, London, one of four leaders of the project team that made the discovery, said that ‘Until recently I certainly wouldn't have believed humans go this far back in northern Europe. The traditional view was that the colder climates of northern latitudes had blocked migration beyond the Alps until 500,000 years ago’. He then added that ‘I am sure it won't be the only site of this particular age and there may be older ones.’

Of the human species known from this period there are two candidate tool-makers: Homo heidelbergensis (represented at Boxgrove and in Mauer, Germany) and his/her probable ancestor, Homo antecessor (found in southern Europe, notably in Ceprano, Italy, and Atapuerca, Spain, and dated to around 800,000 years ago).

Cave paintings reveal Ice Age artists

Norman Hammond, FSA, Archaeology Correspondent of The Times, reported last week that the age of the Creswell Crags cave art had been confirmed as more than 12,800 years old, disproving any suggestion that they were modern fakes. A study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science (32: 1649—55), looked at the thin film of stalagmite ‘flowstone’ that had formed over the engravings since they were made, using a process known as uranium-series disequilibrium dating, which relies on the relative insolubility of the radioactive element thorium-230 compared with uranium-234 and 238. Alistair Pike, of Bristol University, concluded with 95 per cent statistical confidence that the art was at least 12,800 years old. This fits with a series of recent radiocarbon dates run by Oxford University on cut bones and antler artefacts from the caves.

Ancient drought forced humans out of Africa

Reporting from a meeting of the American Geophysical Union last week, the BBC (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4505516.stm) said that a major climate crisis that struck Africa about 70,000 years ago might have been the cause of a major migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa, leading to their subsequent population of the globe. The evidence comes from sediments drilled up from the beds of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika in East Africa, and from Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana. The cores show that prior to 75,000 years ago, Lake Malawi, which is currently an inland sea some 550km long and 700m deep, was reduced to a couple of pools no more than 10km across and 200m deep. Worse still, Lake Bosumtwi, currently a 10km-wide lake that fills an old space impact crater, lost all of its water.

Christopher Scholz, from Syracuse University, US, said that ‘equatorial Africa experienced a prolonged period of drought that had a profound impact on the landscape and on all species in equatorial Africa at this time. Genetic studies suggest modern human society is descended from a group of around 10,000 individuals who lived in East Africa at the time of this crisis’.

Export deferral: working or not?

According to the Fifty-first Annual Report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, just published, cultural items totalling £5.6 million in value were saved for the nation following intervention by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport during the period 1 May 2004 to 30 April 2005.

But against this positive news has to be set the fact that this represents only 12 per cent of the ‘export-stopped’ objects. The majority of national artistic treasures blocked from export last year were eventually sold overseas because museums and galleries are so short of funds that they cannot find the money to keep them in Britain.

Altogether, twenty-five objects, valued at £46.4 million, were initially refused a licence by the Government’s advisory body, the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. Of those, only nine objects, worth just £5.6 million, were saved.

Among treasures that British museums have been unable to afford is Jan Steen’s masterpiece The Burgher of Delft and his Daughter, which came off the walls of Penrhyn Castle in North Wales. It is of course arguable that the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which bought the painting for £8.1 million, is a more appropriate home, but objects like the Wenlok jug, which our Fellow Marian Campbell is trying to save from export in her role as 'champion' (the DCMS term) for this object, are also in danger of being sold overseas. This English royal medieval jug probably dates from between 1340 and 1405 and was unknown to scholars until its recent sale for £750,000. According to Marian ‘Luton Museum is bravely going to try and buy the jug and all offers of funding help will be gratefully received by Maggie Appleton at the museum’. Luton would be an appropriate home as the Lord Wenlok whose name is inscribed on the jug was probably connected closely with the town’s church of St Mary with its handsome Wenlock chapel.

Lord Inglewood, chairman of the Reviewing Committee, said that the situation could only worsen, and he had trenchant words of criticism for the Government which saw the Heritage Lottery Fund as the principal source of money for acquiring objects of cultural importance, but made it work under rules which seemed to defeat its ability to save such items; HLF money was ‘being spent like there’s no tomorrow on areas which aren’t to do with heritage’, he said.

The items that have been acquired by institutions and individuals in the United Kingdom this year include a rare embroidered linen doublet, purchased by the National Museums of Scotland (£25,935), a rare silver Iron Age coin, purchased by the British Museum (£2,000), the Macclesfield Psalter, purchased by the Fitzwilliam Museum, (£1,685,600), the Melchett cast-iron fire basket, purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum (£66,000), a drawing by Sir Thomas Lawrence of Mary Hamilton, purchased by the British Museum (£165,000), and a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, The Archers, purchased by the Tate (£3,200,000).

The National Art Collections Fund charity, which provided £1m of the £5.6m needed to acquire these objects, claimed the funding situation was at crisis point. David Barrie, its director, said: ‘These figures underline the pressing need to reverse the disastrous decline in the purchasing power of our museums and galleries’ and he called on the Chancellor to use tax breaks to encourage the gift of important works of art to museums and galleries and to establish an independent national acquisitions fund.

£2.5m saves historic science collection

The future of the Science Museum’s world-class library, which holds original works by Ptolemy, Newton and Einstein, has been secured through a £2.5 million agreement with Imperial College, London, according to a report in The Times. The most important elements in the collection, the Science and Technology Studies Collection, will remain at Imperial’s central library on campus in South Kensington, allowing students and academics full access, while works that are less frequently used will be moved to the Science Museum’s auxiliary site in Wroughton, near Swindon, in Wiltshire. The library contains about 500,000 items, and receives more than 500,000 visits each year.

1630s font drawing found in a barrow

The Times reported last week on the finding of a drawing, made in ink and watercolour on vellum in the 1630s, during the reign of Charles I, of a design for the baptismal font at Canterbury Cathedral. The drawing was spotted in a Portobello Road market barrow by an anonymous finder, who recognised its significance, bought it ‘for a song’ and took it to Christopher Gibbs, a leading Old Master sculpture dealer in London, who sold it to the Victoria and Albert Museum for £79,000. The V&A’s purchase was made possible with a grant from the National Art Collections Fund.

The museum’s director, Mark Jones, said: ‘The Canterbury font design is unparalleled in terms of similar drawings of this period and will be a wonderful addition to the V&A’s British Galleries’. John Harris, FSA, curator emeritus of the RIBA drawings collection, described the font design as the ‘most important English Renaissance architectural drawing to have been discovered in recent years’. The 25in (63.5cm) by 17œin (44.9cm) work is one of only a handful of English sculptural design drawings that survive from this period.

The font, which was completed in 1639, survived for only two years before being vandalised by Puritans and dismantled during the Civil War of 1642—9, although it was subsequently rebuilt.

Research to aid the conservation of limestone buildings

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced that it is putting £546,000 into a study of the physical and chemical processes at work in limestone blocks used in buildings. The three-year research project, ‘Rapid Catastrophic Decay of Building Limestones: Implications for Masonry Selection and Lifetime Behaviour’, will be carried out by Geomorphology, Physics and Civil Engineering teams from Queen's University Belfast, City University in London and Oxford University and will start in January 2006.

In the new project, optical sensors will be developed that can monitor how limestone blocks are affected by traffic pollution, road salt, temperature, humidity and wetness, detecting subtle changes in the blocks due to changing moisture levels and salt movement, for instance. The sensors will be installed in a boundary wall at Worcester College, Oxford, and other limestone structures. Information will be fed from the sensors, via fibre-optic cable, to a data logger and analysed to assess how decay correlates with the limestone's precise physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics and with different environmental factors.

By radically improving our understanding of how and why limestone decays, the new research will make it easier to develop better ways of tackling the problem. Understanding what lies behind these processes is vital not only to enable action to be taken before decay spirals out of control, but also to ensure that conservation decisions do not lead to premature and unnecessary replacement of limestone blocks — and avoidable expense.

Limestone is the main construction material used in many of the UK's most historic buildings, including St Paul's, Lincoln and Wells Cathedrals and many Oxbridge colleges. Although basic knowledge exists about the general causes of limestone decay, it is not known why decay takes place in unpredictable fits and starts or why it accelerates in some parts of a building but not in others. Dr Heather Viles of Oxford University is one of the Principal Investigators leading the project. She says: ‘This is really the first time that electronic and other engineering expertise has been applied to the problem of rapid limestone decay. As well as informing anti-decay strategies, our research will generate knowledge about types of limestone best suited to particular environmental conditions, and so will benefit renovation and new-build projects.’

Further information from Dr Heather Viles,, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, University of Oxford.

Retail Development in Historic Areas

A policy document on Retail Development in Historic Areas was launched by English Heritage on 5 December explaining how new shops can be added successfully and profitably to the high street, helping it to compete economically with other retail centres while still protecting the historic character of the area. The document is aimed at local authorities and the development sector working within the framework of Planning Policy Statement PPS6: Planning for Town Centres (ODPM, 2005), which sets out the Government’s objective to promote the vitality and viability of town centres.

Developed over an eight-month period by English Heritage, Urban Practitioners and CB Richard Ellis through a process which included workshops with government, the development industry and design specialists, the guidelines also draw on the experience of English Heritage and the retail development industry and on recent advice from ODPM, CABE, the English Historic Towns Forum (EHTF) and others. Case studies illustrate how the expectations of the developer, the trader and the customer can be accommodated while preserving historic places and enhancing their surroundings to achieve creative, robust solutions for new retail development in historic areas.

Copies of the guidance can be downloaded from the HELM website.

Listed house owner faces £20,000 fine

The owner of an eighteenth-century Grade-II listed house has been summoned to court in a dispute with Salisbury District Council over her use of yoghurt to dull the appearance of the building. The owner was required to apply a weathering agent to new pointing so the brickwork exactly matched that of the neighbouring property. Instead, the owner employed her window cleaner to paint the pointing with plain organic yoghurt, claiming that this was ‘an age-old remedy for making a house appear dated’. The owner also claims that Council officials had advised her that yoghourt would be acceptable, after she refused to use horse manure and tried to use soot but was unable to match the required colour. Instead of encouraging lichen growth, the yoghourt flaked off within days.

The Twentieth Century Society campaigns for Peckham landmark

The Twentieth Century Society is trying to prevent the demolition of St Mary’s Church in Peckham, which it describes as ‘a bold and innovative 1960s landmark building, forming the climax of a London street rich in twentieth-century heritage, including the Grade II* listed Pioneer Health Centre by architect Owen Williams, a block of listed flats by the acclaimed modernist Maxwell Fry and a handsome 1930s telephone exchange’. The church itself sits in the centre of the road and forms a stunning visual endpoint. St Mary’s Church was built in 1961—2 to designs by Potter and Hare, an architectural practice specialising in ecclesiastical architecture and designers of, inter alia, the listed All Saints Church, in Bristol and St Aldate’s Church, in Gloucester. The Church of England owns the building and is planning to replace it with a building described by the Twentieth Century Society as having ‘no architectural merit’, adding that ‘St Mary’s Church is an impressive, well-designed building which is structurally sound. Its demolition would be an act of vandalism’. For more information see the C20 Society website.

Free advice now available on the archaeology of Christian burials

A panel of experts — including churchmen, archaeologists and museum staff — has just been set up to provide free advice on the archaeological treatment of Christian burials and related matters in England. The Advisory Panel on the Archaeology of Christian Burials in England (APACBE) is sponsored by the Church of England, English Heritage and the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

The establishment of the panel follows the publication in January 2005 by English Heritage and the Church of England of Guidance for Best Practice for Treatment of Human Remains Excavated From Christian Burial Grounds in England, one of whose chief recommendations was that a panel be set up to provide supporting advice and to facilitate the progress of policy and strategy relating to this field, with appropriate consideration of relevant religious, ethical, legal, archaeological and scientific issues.

This advice is free and open to all. Enquirers are encouraged to use email to communicate with Joseph Elders (Chair) or Simon Mays (Secretary). Further details can be found on the Panel’s website.

Standard and Guidance for Stewardship of the Historic Environment

Professional organisations supporting the UK historic environment sector are to create a new framework of standards and guidance to embrace modern conservation and management practice in all its breadth. The project is being sponsored and jointly led by the Institute of Field Archaeologists, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, with support from central government. The work will be taken forward over the next year through a series of consultations and cross-sector workshops. It will run in parallel with the consultation on English Heritage’s ‘Principles and Policies for the Conservation and Management of the Historic Environment’ that is due to be announced in spring 2006.

A Project Advisory Panel, representing a cross-section of professional interests drawn from across the UK, will guide the project. The Panel will in turn work with a series of national and regional Working Groups that will moderate the detailed content of the standard and guidance. The principal consultant for the project is David Baker, FSA, MIFA, IHBC, working in collaboration with Dr Gill Chitty, FSA, MIFA, IHBC, and Dr Rowan Whimster, FSA, MIFA.

Formulating a commonly agreed Standard and Guidance for Stewardship is a matter of central importance to strengthen partnership across the sector and promote wider understanding of and access to its decision-making processes. It will also help harmonise approaches to key professional issues, such as accreditation and regulation. The project has a web page at www.britarch.ac.uk/conserve/stewardship. All communications about the project and responses to consultations should be sent to Beth Asbury.

High tenders could be criminal

Dan Johnston, MIFA, Principal Archaeologist with IFA RAO Jacobs Babtie, has drawn the Salon-IFA’s attention to an interview recently broadcast on the BBC's ‘Today’ programme in which Simon Williams, Director of Investigations at the Office of Fair Trading, reported on a recent investigation into tendering practice amongst construction firms in the East Midlands. It is apparently a common practice to submit artificially high tenders where a firm does not want to win a job but does not want to be seen not to tender, in case that resulted in their being excluded from future tender lists. This practice has apparently been found in the courts to be unlawful, and may constitute fraud and/or collusion between contractors (ie it is potentially a criminal rather than civil offence). While the OFT's greatest concern arises where money changes hands between contractors as part of a price-fixing cartel, archaeologists should be aware of the potential illegality of submitting a high tender for work they don't want to win in order to stay on a client's tender list.

The Scottish Treasure Trove System: notification of nomenclatural and procedural changes

Alan Saville, FSA (Senior Curator, Earliest Prehistory, Department of Archaeology, National Museums of Scotland) has written to draw the attention of Fellows and MIFAs to a notice recently issued jointly by Norman McFadyen (Queen’s & Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer) and Professor Ian Ralston FSA (Chair of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel) concerning recent changes to the Scottish Treasure Trove System.

‘Following the recent Normand Review of treasure trove arrangements in Scotland, the subsequent consultation and the Scottish Executive’s final response on the reform of the arrangements, various changes in the treasure trove system are in progress and will be announced as they become operational. This notice draws attention to three changes that have already been implemented.

‘1. Renaming of the Panel and its replacement of the former Finds Disposal Panel

‘The former Treasure Trove Advisory Panel for Scotland has, with effect from 1 April 2005, been renamed the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP). This reflects the abolition of the former Finds Disposal Panel operated by Historic Scotland and the passing of responsibility to SAFAP to make recommendations on museum allocation of assemblages from fieldwork funded by Historic Scotland. Individuals, archaeological units, or other organizations undertaking fieldwork funded by Historic Scotland and which results in the collection of artefacts, should report to Historic Scotland as before. Historic Scotland will now liaise with SAFAP over the allocation process. Museum storage grants for assemblages from Historic Scotland funded projects will continue to be available from Historic Scotland.

‘2. The claiming of assemblages from fieldwork: abandonment of selection

‘Recent practice has been to exercise some selectivity over the claiming of artefact assemblages from fieldwork activity not funded by Historic Scotland. This practice, which has been criticised by the Scottish Group of Medieval Ceramicists and others, has now been discontinued with effect from 4 November 2005. All newly reported excavation and fieldwork assemblages (irrespective of when the projects from which they derive were undertaken or completed) will be claimed by the Crown and will be processed through the treasure trove system. Assemblages for which registered / accredited museums subsequently show no interest in acquisition, and for which the National Museums of Scotland decline to act as depository of last resort, will be disclaimed. The effectiveness and resource implications of this change will be kept under review.

‘3. Scottish portable antiquities acquired by museums since 31 December 1999

‘Museums which acquired any Scottish portable antiquity or archaeological assemblage after 31 December 1999, without either any such item having been claimed by the Crown and allocated or, it having been reported, without the Crown having intimated that it is not to be claimed (“non-claim”), must report that item through the treasure trove system — before 31 December 2007. Where the portable antiquity is a chance find, reporting must include details of the finder (and museums must inform the finder they are doing this), since an ex gratia reward payment to the finder may fall to be paid.

‘The current position may therefore be summarized as follows:

‘Scottish portable antiquities or archaeological assemblages which have been both acquired and formally registered / accessioned by museums on or before 31 December 1999 without having been reported through the treasure trove system will be deemed to have been acquired lawfully by those institutions and will not require to be notified to the Crown.

‘Scottish portable antiquities or archaeological assemblages acquired by museums after 31 December 1999 other than by treasure trove allocation or following non-claim by the Crown are the property of the Crown and must be reported through the treasure trove system. This requirement also applies to items acquired by museums prior to this date but which have not been formally registered / accessioned by 31 December 1999. Museums cannot lawfully acquire such items unless and until the Crown has been given the opportunity to exercise its right to claim them or not through the treasure trove system.

‘Further information and advice on these matters may be obtained from the SAFAP secretariat by telephoning 0131 247 4054 or by emailing info@treasuretrovescotland.co.uk'.

British Museum’s Great Court is one of the nation’s favourite ‘new’ buildings

Cornwall’s Eden Project has been voted the UK’s ‘most loved modern building’ according to a poll commissioned by ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry. Second in the popularity list was 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin), in the City of London, followed by the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey and then by the Great Court, at the British Museum. To be eligible for inclusion in the poll list, projects had to have been completed within the last ten years. The poll was conducted to encourage people to take an interest in the built environment and as part of ConstructionSkills ‘Positive Image’ campaign, which aims to encourage more quality recruits into the construction industry.

One building — the Scottish Parliament — managed not only to finish at number 8 in the ‘most popular’ poll, it also featured in the same position in a poll conducted by Channel 4 TV earlier this month ahead of its ‘Demolition’ programme, a series about bad architecture and the least-loved buildings in the UK. Top of that poll was the 1960s Cumbernauld shopping centre in Glasgow, followed by the Imax cinema in Bournemouth and Northampton bus station.

Lottery news

Kent’s Shorne Wood, billed as a major natural and recreational green space within the Thames Gateway development area (located between Dartford and Gravesend), is to receive £996,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for public archaeology and educational work. Part of the grant will be used to fund a Community Heritage Officer, whose role will be to involve local people in the study of sixty known archaeological features, including remains of a mediaeval manor house, a possible Bronze Age burial site and a former WWII RAF camp.

Over £4 million has been pledged by HLF to London’s Jewish Museum with the aim of creating what is currently one of the city’s less well-known museums into a world-class museum exploring the heritage of the Jewish community. As a legacy of its amalgamation from the former Jewish Museum and the London Museum of Jewish Life, the collection is currently split over sites in Albert Street, Camden Town, and at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley. The grant will extend the flagship site in Albert Street so that both collections can be combined in one location for the first time and will triple the amount of space currently available.

The museum’s collections are of international importance. They cover the history, culture and religious life of the Jewish community in Britain and beyond from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, and include one of the world’s finest collections of Jewish ceremonial art, one of the largest collections of Jewish prints and drawings, photographs, an extensive oral history archive and material relating to refugees from Nazism and Holocaust survivors.

Rickie Burman, Director of the Jewish Museum, said: ‘We are thrilled at the news … this is the largest single such award ever received by a Jewish communal organisation. The real work begins now as we fundraise to match this funding and to achieve our £8.4 million target’.

Archaeologists studying the fifteenth-century Newport ship (uncovered in 2002, during excavation for the city's Riverfront and Arts Centre) are to receive an extra £799,500 in funding from the HLF. The grant will help pay for the team to record and analyse the 1,700 timbers in the ship using digital technology. Archaeologists hope the research will help them decide on how to proceed with future conservation and reconstruction. Some of the grant will be used to make information about the ship ‘fun and interactive’, with public exhibitions, talks and workshops.

Finally, the Guild of Handicrafts Trust has announced that it has received a grant from HLF towards the £1.3 million needed to turn Court Barn, Chipping Campden, into a museum dedicated to the history of Arts and Crafts design. Court Barn dates from the seventeenth century and is part of the Camden House estate, whose showy Jacobean gate lodges, cottages, banqueting houses and almonry have already been restored for use as holiday accommodation by the Landmark Trust. Conservation architects Reg Ellis and Associates will convert the barn, which is the last remaining building on the estate to be found a new use.

Iron Age skeleton below Newport ship

Archaeologists at Lampeter University, mid-Wales, have shown that bones from a skeleton found beneath the Newport ship date from 170 BC and are those of a very muscular 5ft 8in tall male. Dr Ros Coard, who examined the remains, said the headless body was probably deliberately placed in the water channel very soon after his death, and being buried in anaerobic conditions meant that the surviving bone is remarkably well preserved with none of the expected and usual decay due to putrefaction: the survival of collagen (the organic content of the bone) meant that DNA material might also be studied in the future. Dr Coard said: ‘The radiocarbon date places the Newport body at the late Iron Age, which is known to be a time of ritual deposition into rivers. Interestingly, from a British context, it is mostly the heads that are recovered. The Newport body is a rare example of body minus the head being recovered.’

Black History Museum secured

A major milestone in the long-running efforts to create a Black History Museum and Archive was reached last week when Lambeth Council granted a ninety-nine-year lease to the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), securing Raleigh Hall in central Brixton as the base for a new landmark Black Heritage Centre. Raleigh Hall has been empty for ten years and needs extensive repairs, but Peter Truesdale, who leads Lambeth Council, said the new building should open in 2009. The Black Cultural Archive was created in 1981 when black history was little taught or recognised in UK schools. It exists to demonstrate the contribution of people of African and Caribbean descent to the history of Britain.

Abolition of Slavery Anniversary: Culture Minister outlines Government plans

In a parliamentary debate held last week on the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in the United Kingdom, Culture Minister David Lammy said that the 200th anniversary of Parliament's passing of the Slave Trade Act ‘offers an important opportunity to mark a crucial turning point in this country's move towards the nation it is today — a critical, if long overdue, step into the modern world’ www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm051213/halltext/51213h03.htm#51213h03_head0.

‘The year 2007 is an important opportunity to celebrate not only the lives and achievements of politicians, church leaders, Africans and former slaves, but of the countless ordinary British citizens who demanded change. Their petitions, marches, lobbying and prayers were crucial in putting pressure on Parliament to abolish the slave trade.’ The Wilberforce House museum and the Wilberforce Institute for the study of slavery and emancipation were already working with the university of Hull and the city council to play a major role in the events of 2007, he said.

Hull was also working closely with the other port cities of Liverpool and Bristol, which also had a direct connection to the slave trade. The National Maritime Museum in Liverpool will open a new gallery, to be known as the National Museum and Centre for the Understanding of Transatlantic Slavery. The Department for Education and Skills was funding the ‘understanding slavery initiative’, involving Hull, Bristol, Liverpool and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, designed to anchor teaching of the history of the period within the school curriculum at key stages 2 and 3. The Heritage Lottery Fund is encouraging community-based organisations and others to apply for funding for projects inspired by the bicentenary that add to the collective understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on our national heritage.

David Lammy concluded by saying that: ‘We cannot hope now to right the wrongs perpetuated in the past, but we should not ignore them. We must learn from them, and take the opportunity of the bicentenary to engage more widely in positive debate about the evils of present-day unfree labour, trafficking and forced prostitution. We must also celebrate and commemorate the many lay people and parliamentarians, men, women and free slaves who successfully campaigned in Britain for the abolition of the slave trade.’

Greek culture ministry hails work of French, German, American and British Schools

Regarded with suspicion and hostility in the past, foreign archaeology schools and institutes in Greece have now been officially thanked for their contribution to antiquities research over the last 160 years. By way of paying homage, the Greek culture ministry gave honorary awards on 30 November to the current directors of the French, German, American and British schools, which have the longest tradition of excavation in the country. Meanwhile an exhibition has been mounted at the Athens Concert Hall (until 8 January 2006) showing finds from around fifty excavation sites across Greece run by the country’s seventeen foreign schools.

The French were the first to create a archaeology outpost in Athens in 1846, and the German Archaeological School followed in 1873, at a time of intense rivalry for European supremacy among the Great Powers of the continent. Competition between Paris and Berlin manifested itself almost immediately, with the Germans obtaining permission to excavate ancient Olympia in 1875. Mortified, the French lobbied the Greek government for a concession of equal importance, but it took them another seventeen years to secure rights to Delphi. By this time, other suitors had arrived in the form of the American School of Classical Studies (1881) and the British School at Athens (1885). The Austrians and Italians came next, establishing their own institutes in 1898 and 1909 respectively. Today, archaeologists from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are also present.

Media news

Since his death eighteen months ago, the so-called ‘Alistair Cook spot’ on BBC Radio 4 has been seeking a worthy successor: now, surely, one has been found in the form of our own witty, erudite and authoritative David Cannadine, FSA, whose ‘Point of View’ programme (8.50am on Sunday mornings) is well worth tuning in to. Last week David convinced his listeners, by way of an entertaining review of George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman novels, that he (David Cannadine) had invented the phrase ‘Victorian Values’ that Margaret Thatcher used as he campaign slogan to win the leadership of the Conservative party in 1975. Having convinced everyone that this was so, he then threw doubt on the veracity of the whole story, and by this means cleverly mimicked the central device of the Flashman novels, which is that they claim to be the edited real-life memoirs of the central character — so convincingly done in the early novels that many US newspapers reviewed them under ‘history’ rather than ‘fiction’! This week David analysed the rhetorical and broadcasting style of Richard Dimbleby, told us that Irish Catholics and northern Socialists detested him as ‘the voice of the establishment’ (and nicknamed him ‘Golden Microphone in Waiting’) and attributed his moving commentary at the funeral of Winston Churchill to Dimbleby’s awareness of his own impending death from cancer (which was to occur six months later). Compulsive listening.

Salon’s editor has, belatedly, discovered ‘Restored to Glory’, broadcast on Thursday evenings on BBC2, in which our John Yates, FSA, Chair of the Institute for Historic Buildings Conservation, is one of three conservation experts commenting on the approaches and techniques adopted by various period property owners around the UK who are restoring their historic homes. The final programme in the series will be broadcast on 22 December, when the experts will decide who has done the best job. The programme is interesting for revealing the values and motives of those who restore period properties: often they intend well, but set themselves artificial constraints, the chief of which is budget. The house owner featured in last week’s programme clearly loved his Suffolk farmhouse and was a skilled carpenter, with a real understanding of medieval craftsmanship, but he was prepared to cut corners and use non-traditional materials for the sake of staying within a self-imposed budget of £40,000: doing the job properly would have added a mere £10,000 to the bill and made only a tiny dent in the profit that he hoped to make when he sold the restored farmhouse.

Maybe the conflict between short-term personal advantage and long-term social gain is one of the topics that will be debated on Tuesday 20 December when the (much-derided) Radio 4 ‘You and Yours’ programme will be devoted to heritage. Simon Thurley, FSA, MIFA, will be interviewed on the role of English Heritage.

Coming up next year is a new twenty-part BBC2 series called ‘The People’s Museum’, which promises to focus on the stories behind objects in British museums and historic houses. The series will be broadcast from May 2006 to coincide with Museums and Galleries month.

Finally, the Endemol production company has announced that there will be a third series of ‘Restoration’, to be broadcast in summer 2006; this will focus on buildings in villages instead of large towns and cities.

Forthcoming meetings

The Society of Antiquaries' first meeting of 2006 will take place on 12 January when Richard Bradley, FSA, MIFA, will give a paper entitled: Bridging the two cultures — commercial archaeology and the study of British prehistory.

News of Fellows and MIFAs

Belated congratulations to Christopher Scull, FSA, MIFA, who was appointed as Research Director, in the Research and Standards Group at English Heritage, at the beginning of October.

Catherine Johns, FSA, and husband Donald Bailey, FSA, were recently honoured with a joint festschrift, edited by Nina Crummy, FSA, entitled Image, Craft and the Classical World. Catherine says that ‘in the age-old tradition of festschriften, the two copies available at the party our colleagues gave us at the British Museum on 27 October were really bound proofs, but it contains twenty-eight splendid papers on Roman topics by British, Continental and American scholars (many of them Fellows and MIFAs). We are thrilled by it — and I think that joint husband-and-wife festschriften are pretty rare!’. Further details are available on the Oxbow Books website.

Feedback

Judging by the volume of emails received by Salon’s editor commenting on the fairy story in the last issue, this was definitely the most popular story of the year. Much delight was taken in the idea of fairies living beneath the rocks of Perthshire, and several readers speculated on the policy consequences: would fairies become a material consideration in planning law and development control; would the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister have to issue planning guidance and how soon will it be before objectors to developments discover a new interest in the well being of their local Little People?

Paul Drury, FSA, welcomed the coverage given in the last issue of Salon to the new Council of Europe Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage, saying that he was much involved in the convention’s drafting in his capacity as Chair of the Council’s Cultural Heritage Committee in 2003—4. But he points out that Salon has muddled up its European institutions and was wrong to say that 'the treaty now requires ten EU member countries to ratify it if it is to become official EU policy'. Paul says that: ‘The Council of Europe is quite separate from the EU. It is older (founded 1949) and larger (forty-six states), is the standard-setting organisation for Europe in many fields, and includes the European Court of Human Rights. It has given us the Granada and Valetta Conventions, and the recent Florence (European Landscape) Convention. See www.coe.int/T/E/Cultural_Co-operation/Heritage/ for a description of its full role in protecting and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of Europe.’

Professor Bryony Coles, FSA, Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter, says she has been reading the beaver correspondence in Salon with interest, as ‘I am working on the archaeological evidence for beavers in Britain from the late Palaeolithic onwards, to whenever it was they became extinct. As part of the project, I’ve been studying present-day beavers in western Europe to learn more of their activities and the sort of evidence they might leave in the archaeological record. One thing I’ve learned, contrary to what Adam Zamoyski suggests, and indeed contrary to my own initial expectations, is that beavers do not destroy natural forest — they create it. Their reintroduction enhances biodiversity and, where necessary, simple measures can be taken to protect trees or whatever else people feel is threatened. As for the archaeological and other evidence from Britain, I hope to be publishing it soon.’

Bryony concludes by asking: ‘If, in the last year or so, any Fellows or MIFAs have come across beaver bones, or beaver-gnawed wood, or documentary references or other indications of beaver presence, I’d be glad to hear from them’.

Jack Ogden, FSA, has a tip for Fellows looking for a computer-based calculator slightly more sophisticated than the one that comes packaged with Windows: he recommends the highly popular Freeware Calc, which can be downloaded from www.calculator.org/download.html . This, he says, ‘has all the expected measurement conversions that I wanted and tons of stuff I don't understand, but a surprising and useful bonus is that it also allows you to do calculations in Roman numerals!’ (Clearly designed by a classicist: Ed.)

Memorial concert and service for the late Oliver Impey, FSA

There will be a performance of Verdi’s Requiem in memory of Oliver Impey, FSA (Reader in Eastern Art at the University of Oxford), on Thursday 12 January 2006, at 8pm, in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, with music from The Philharmonia Chorus, the Oxford Philomusica (the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford), and soloists Miriam Murphy (Soprano), Karen Cargill (Mezzo Soprano), Wynne Evans (Tenor) and Michael George (Bass). Tickets are available from Tickets Oxford, tel: 01865 305305, or online at www.oxfordplayhouse.com.

A memorial service will then be held for Oliver Impey, at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, on Saturday 14 January at 2.30pm. There will be refreshments afterwards at Oriel College.

Obituaries: John Goodall, Aileen Fox, Claire O’Kelly and Frank Stubbings

Salon is grateful to Claude Blair, FSA, and Sally Badham, FSA, for the following short account of the work of the late John Goodall, FSA, which was written for the Bulletin of the Monumental Brass Society. ‘We are sorry to report the death of John Archibald Goodall, FSA, who will have been known to many members, though he was himself a member of the Monumental Brass Society for only a short time. Despite the fact that he was an antiquary of quite phenomenal erudition, he published very little under his own name, and in our own field he is best known for his involvement with various publications by other authors, notably by our late Presidents Malcolm Norris and John Page-Phillips — the important Lorymer will, for example, published by Malcolm Norris in The Craft was just one of John’s many discoveries on brasses. The 1975 reprint of Waller’s Series of Monumental Brasses was prefaced by scholarly corrections and additions by John and he provided heraldic and genealogical commentaries for our millennium publication Drawings of Monumental Brasses and Incised Slabs by the Waller Brothers (1837—44). He also wrote a chapter on heraldry for the Society’s publication Monumental Brasses as Art and History and was one of the major contributors to our occasional publication The Catesbys of Ashby St Ledgers and their Brasses, due out in spring 2006. Born on 9 August, 1930, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 9 January 1969, and thereafter was a regular attender at, and contributor to, meetings. He was taken ill while working in the Antiquaries' Library early in November and taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed as having cancer. After treatment, he was looking forward to being discharged on 24 November, but died unexpectedly on the previous day, as the result of a hospital-acquired infection.’

Lady Aileen Fox, FSA, died in Exeter on 21 November 2005 at the age of 98. In an obituary published in The Independent on 16 December 2005, John Allan, FSA, described Aileen as ‘the founder of modern archaeology in south-western England and almost the last surviving member of the generation of archaeologists that included the prehistorians Stuart Piggott and Christopher Hawkes, and the Roman scholar Ian Richmond’. The following edited extracts are from the same obituary.

‘Her exposure to archaeology began after Cambridge, where she read English at Newnham, and thought it would be interesting to go on an excavation, so sought advice from Jocelyn Toynbee, who arranged for her to take part in the excavations at the Roman site of Richborough in Kent. Her growing involvements in archaeology were followed in 1933 by her marriage to the highly regarded archaeologist Cyril Fox (25 years her senior), who later received a knighthood for his contribution to his discipline, most notably as Director of the National Museum of Wales.

‘In 1945 Lady Fox was invited to direct excavations in Exeter. Being of an independent mind, she did not excavate by laying out a grid of squares in the manner of Mortimer Wheeler and his followers but instead used a mix of trenches and open areas, presaging later practice. Her excavators in the first season were six Italian prisoners of war who cooked their spaghetti in an abandoned air-raid shelter. She soon became deeply involved in the archaeology of south-west England, carrying out excavations of prehistoric sites on Dartmoor and elsewhere, and visiting the large numbers of prehistoric sites for which the area is remarkable.

‘There followed a campaign of investigations of Roman military sites in Devon and Cornwall. It was still widely believed that Exeter had been a "frontier town" in Roman times; Fox, in collaboration with her university colleague William Ravenhill, showed that the Roman army had penetrated far into Cornwall. Unlike most archaeologists, she published fully all her excavations; she thought that, like Roman legionaries, they should campaign in the summer and spend the winter indoors, writing up their work.

‘Upon her retirement from Exeter University in 1972 Fox surprised her colleagues by accepting a visiting lectureship at Auckland, New Zealand, where she spent the next decade. She developed a substantial interest in the archaeology of the Maoris, whose paa (fortified settlements) reminded her of the hill-forts of the European Iron Age. Fieldwork, excavation and artefact study accompanied her teaching, leading to publications, notably on Maori fortifications (Prehistoric Maori Fortifications in the North Island of New Zealand, 1976, and Tiromoana Pa, Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, 1978), as well as Carved Maori Burial Chests (1983).’

Eve O’Kelly, daughter of the late Claire O’Kelly, FSA, has forwarded a copy of the obituary for her mother that was published in the Irish Times a year ago on 6 November 2004. Claire, who died on 23 October 2004 at the age of 88, is described as a ‘scholarly archaeologist with a passion to communicate’. With her husband Michael (but known as Brian) O’Kelly, Claire set up the Cork Public Museum in 1945, and in 1962 while Brian excavated the Newgrange monument, Claire contributed to the project by researching literary and antiquarian references to the site and undertook a pioneering study of decorated stones in the Newgrange area. Her discovery in early Irish literature of frequent references to Newgrange and the sun led to the subsequent discovery in 1967 of the phenomenon of the winter solstice, all documented in the O’Kelly’s joint work, Newgrange: Archaeology, Art and Legend (1982). She subsequently wrote guide books to a number of Ireland’s leading archaeological sites and, after Brian’s death in 1982, edited his manuscript of the book that was to became the standard work on the subject: Early Ireland, An Introduction to Irish Prehistory.

Frank Stubbings, FSA, died on 29 October, at the age of 90, having been ‘the last of a distinguished group of British scholars who began a lifetime's work in Greek Bronze Age archaeology before the Second World War’. According to his obituary published in The Daily Telegraph on 10 December 2005, Stubbings read for the Classical Tripos at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1933, winning the Porson Prize for Greek verse composition and the Chancellor's Medal for Classics. At the British School at Athens he took part in excavations on Ithaca and at Mycenae and under the influence of Professor Alan Wace, the excavator of Mycenae, he decided to study the highly attractive and widely exported pottery of the Mycenaean civilisation. His researches were interrupted by the war, through which he served on the staff of the legation in Athens and at the embassy to the Greek Government in Cairo.

‘Returning to Cambridge in 1945, he took up a fellowship at Emmanuel, where he was director of studies in Classics, before being appointed a University Lecturer in the Classics Faculty in 1949, to teach Prehellenic Archaeology to many generations of students in the old Ark (Museum of Classical Archaeology) in Little St Mary's Lane. Alongside his teaching, major publications soon emerged, beginning with The Mycenaean Pottery of Attica in 1947 and continuing with his doctoral dissertation, published in 1951 as Mycenaean Pottery from the Levant.

‘In the 1950s Homeric archaeology, essentially arguments that the material culture and geography of the Homeric poems find real life correspondence in Late Bronze Age Mycenaean civilisation, received expression in a prolific series of books. A Companion to Homer, edited by Wace and Stubbings (1962), formed a large climax to this approach. Later he published an elegant little book, choicely illustrated, on Prehistoric Greece (1972).

‘In parallel with his Mycenaean life, meanwhile, Stubbings devoted himself to his college. From 1959 he was Librarian, in 1965-1969 Vice-Master, and subsequently a Life Fellow. On the wider Cambridge scene he served as University Orator from 1974 to 1982, continuing the traditional delivery of orations in Latin. The Cambridge Bibliographical Society was a natural home too. Stubbings published a number of articles in the society's Transactions and was president from 1981 to 1991.’

One that got away

Isobel Smith, prehistorian and archaeologist, sometime Senior Investigator with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, died on 18 November 2005 at the age of 93. While not a Fellow or MIFA, Isobel’s work at Avebury and Stonehenge, from the 1950s to the 1970s, was an inspiration to many archaeologists who are now senior academic prehistorians. An obituary in The Independent written by Don Brothwell, FSA, records that Isabel, born in Canada, came to London after the end of World War II and enrolled on a part-time diploma course in archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology in London. This was followed by a PhD under the supervision of Gordon Childe.

In the late 1950s she accepted the challenging task of analysing and writing up the excavation and finds data from the Windmill Hill and Avebury excavations carried out by Alexander Keiller and his team before the war. The resulting work — Windmill Hill and Avebury: excavations by Alexander Keiller, 1925—1939 (1965) — remains a major reference work today. She was rewarded with the offer of a permanent position in 1965 with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, and she remained there as Senior Investigator until her retirement in 1978. She gave quiet but generous support to the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, and was honorary editor of its journal for some years. She continued to research and publish, especially on Neolithic pottery, long into retirement: her last paper — in Cornish Archaeology — appearing in her 85th year.

Lectures and seminars and conferences

The History and Antiquities of St Davids Revisited, 25 to 29 June 2006, University of Wales Lampeter and St Davids Cathedral
This international conference will review recent research on the Cathedral and Diocese of St Davids and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Jones’ and Freeman’s History and Antiquities of St Davids. The convenors are The Very Reverend Wyn Evans, FSA, Dean, St Davids Cathedral, and Dr Jonathan M Wooding, FSA, Director, Centre for the Study of Religion in Celtic Societies, University of Wales, Lampeter. Enquiries and any offers of papers should be addressed to Dr Jonathan Wooding . Further information will be posted on the conference website.

Exhibitions curated by Fellows/MIFAs

Karen Hearn, FSA, is the curator behind the current Tate Britain exhibition, Nathaniel Bacon: Artist, Gentleman and Gardener (open every day until 17 April 2006, from 10am 5.50pm, admission free). Karen says that this is the first solo exhibition dedicated to the British-born painter credited with being the first to produce naturally observed still-life paintings in England. Piecing together the lives of early seventeenth century artists is usually hampered by the lack of records, but in Bacon’s case there is a remarkable cache of private letters that Bacon wrote to his wife, Jane, who would regularly travel to London on financial business, while he remained in Suffolk, in charge of the couple’s three young children. He was also an avid gardener: his contemporaries sought his advice as much on plants as on art.

Karen, who is Curator of Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century British Art at the Tate Collections, is also the author of a new book about Nicholas Hilliard and published by the Unicorn Press (hardback, 93pp, 30 col ills, £19.95). A recent review described the book as a good introduction to ‘that most exquisite of paintings, the miniature … an introductory essay covers those subjects that immediately spring to mind (such as how were miniatures painted?) and provides details of the artist's career (frequent money problems).

As Curator of the Constantine Project, for York Museums Trust, Elizabeth Hartley, FSA, has been garnering such treasures as the Hinton roundel and the Water Newton hoard as well as loans from Trier, Cologne, Bonn and the Netherlands for next year’s international exhibition on ‘Constantine the Great’, which opens at the Yorkshire Museum on 31 March 2006 to commemorate the 1,700th anniversary of the proclamation of Constantine of York as emperor, which took place in York on the 25 July 306.

The 270 exhibits in the exhibition will illustrate the story of Constantine and his legacy to Europe, the Mediterranean and ultimately to the rest of the world. The exhibition will allow visitors to explore the history and richness of the late Roman world through exhibits of sculpture, silver plate, gold jewellery, mosaics, textiles and paintings. The exhibition will also explore the Anglo-Saxon legacy of Constantine in Britain through the stone sculpture of the period.

Books by Fellows/MIFAs

From Jane Geddes comes The St Albans Psalter: a book for Christina of Markyate (British Library, £25). With lavish colour illustration this book introduces the contents of the St Albans Psalter — one of the highlights of English Romanesque painting — and then explores the connections between its presumed patron, Abbot Geoffrey de Gorham, and its recipient, Christina of Markyate, demonstrating that, as well as illustrating the Psalms and the Life of Christ, some of the illuminations and text appear to reflect the particular interests of Christina, an Anglo-Saxon hermitess, and her beloved protector, the Norman schoolmaster, Geoffrey.

Bernard Morris’s new book — Historic Swansea — was launched before a large gathering at the newly opened Swansea Waterfront Museum on 3 December, an appropriate setting for a book that is based on the documentary heritage of Swansea that was compiled between 1943 and 1945 by W C Rogers (1912—95), a chartered surveyor and eminent local historian. Bernard (himself a chartered surveyor, now retired) has taken Rogers’s work, consisting of detailed summaries of leases and other documents from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, and has added a detailed page-by-page commentary in parallel text, explaining the significance of each document and relating it to past and present Swansea. Many early views and specially drawn plans have been added to the work, to make this book a valuable addition to both the general and the landscape history of Swansea. Historic Swansea is a hard-cover A4 book of 368 pages and is available from the West Glamorgan Archive Service, County Hall, Swansea SA1 3SN, price £25 (£30 inc post and packing).

Stephen Lloyd, Senior Curator at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, is the author of the exhibition catalogue on Portrait Miniatures from the Merchiston Collection (£9.95, softback, 21 col pls, 56 b+w ills, ISBN 1 903278 74 0) and of a monograph on Richard Cosway (Unicorn Press, £19.95, hardback, 43 col pls, ISBN 0 906290 81 3) in the same series as Karen Hearn’s book (mentioned above) on Nicholas Hilliard. Cosway (1742—1821) was the most important, influential, and fashionable portrait miniaturist of his day, his delicate style and flattering portrayals having come to epitomize Regency society. His flamboyant personality, eccentric mysticism and brilliant marriage to Maria Hadfield during the 1780s brought him celebrity and notoriety. He was the principal recorder of the Prince of Wales's image from 1780 to 1808, as well as having exerted a great influence on his patron's artistic taste and collecting during that period.

Mention has already been made of the SAVE Britain’s Heritage thirtieth anniversary exhibition at the V&A but Salon readers might also like to know that the story of SAVE has been written up and published by Marcus Binney, FSA: SAVE Britain's Heritage: thirty years of campaigning is a fascinating record of the efforts and achievements of a whole host of people (including many Fellows and MIFAs) to ensure that the UK’s historic environment is not thoughtlessly and endlessly destroyed: though it focuses mainly on the work of SAVE, the book is an important contribution to the history of conservation thinking in the late twentieth century (£20, paperback, 224 pages, ISBN 1857594401).

Vacancies
Chichester Cathedral, Surveyor to the Fabric
Closing date 30 December 2005

The Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral are seeking a successor to our Fellow Dr Donald Buttress who retires as Surveyor to the Fabric at the end of March 2006. Applicants must be registered architects with extensive experience in the care and conservation of historic buildings and churches. Further details from the Chapter Secretary.

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Director of Studies in the Historic Environment and University Lectureship in the Historic Environment (Continuing Education) in association with Kellogg College
Salary: £24,352 to £47,078, closing date 20 January 2006

As a consequence of the retirement of our Fellow Professor Malcolm Airs next September, the Department for Continuing Education is seeking to appoint, with effect from 1 October 2006, a University Lecturer in the Historic Environment, who will be responsible for the direction of the Department’s programme in the Historic Environment. The successful candidate will be well qualified academically in historic conservation or architectural history or local history or landscape history, and will have a proven record of teaching in more than one of them. He/she will be expected to be research active and to have produced work of the highest quality that will be eligible for inclusion in the next RAE. The successful candidate will have proven academic leadership ability, dynamism and an innovative spirit, and will bring to the post a strategic vision for the development of the subject area. Recent experience in continuing education would be advantageous.

Further particulars and an application form can be downloaded from the OUDCE website. Queries can be addressed to Mrs Jo Nicklessat OUDCE, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, tel: 01865 370375.

TV presenters wanted for new architectural history series
Talkback TV is putting together a new architectural history series, which has been commissioned by Channel Five. Through the examination of a range of significant buildings, the series will consider the way in which British architecture reflects our social, political, military, economic and cultural history. It will also look at how architecture and the mapping of town and country shaped the British landscape.

Talkback is currently looking for a main host for the series and a cast of experts, specialists in the fields of engineering and architectural history, archaeology, social history, art history and garden and landscape history.

This eight one-hour series will be filmed between the end of January and May 2006. If you are interested in taking part, contact Jude Parker, Assistant Producer, tel: 020 7861 8365.

Professional Training Opportunities at English Heritage
£14,130 per annum, rising to £14,555 from 1 April 2006; closing date 6 January 2006; interviews week beginning 16 January 2006

The Institute of Field Archaeologists, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and English Heritage have teamed up to offer five year-long professional training placements to provide work-based learning opportunities in specialisms related to the historic environment. Placements are provided and supervised by English Heritage and administered by the IFA in partnership with IHBC. The placements are designed for those with some experience of historic environment practice, but who have not yet had the opportunity to develop more specialist skills and competencies, and may contribute towards an appropriate vocational qualification.

Placements are available in archaeological investigation, based in Exeter, aerial survey and investigation, based in York, architectural investigation, based in York, architectural graphics, based in York, and ceramics/finds study, based Sussex/Hampshire. Placements will begin on 1 February 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Candidates should ideally have a relevant degree with 6 to 18 months postgraduate work experience in UK historic environment practice or comparable practical experience in a heritage discipline. Application is by CV and covering letter (please state clearly which placement(s) you are applying for) and should be sent to Kate Geary, Institute of Field Archaeologists, SHES, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 227, Reading RG6 6AB.