Saturday, April 04, 2009

Meet the Wyre Archaeology Crowd

We write a lot about the exciting adventures of Wyre Archaeology on this board. It’s hardly surprising. The board was designed with Wyre Archaeology in mind. I know it’s called the Fylde and Wyre Antiquarian, but in archaeology circles it’s also known as the Wyre Archaeology Blogger Board. (Don’t ask…it’s a long and complicated story and even less interesting than the ones I usually write, so I’m not even going there.)
However, we’ve never actually produced an article about Wyre Archaeology (recognised member of the British Council for Archaeology) itself -- just articles about what we get up to.

With that in mind, let me introduce you to some of the squad:

There we are, look, as captured on digital media by Steve, in our official Head Quarters (i.e. the café at Wyrefield Farm).
Those names hovering menacingly above us, incidentally, are painted onto the ceiling beams. At the start of every meeting we’re obligated (according to the rules of the constitution) to stand underneath them in the correct arrangement so that we don’t get confused.

Let’s quickly run through the committee.

First up there’s Gary (second from the left), our treasurer. He’s also a metal detectorist.

Behind him, the curve of his balding pate just about visible over Gary’s shoulder, is Ken, our secretary. Ken’s written and illustrated a few excellent local history books in his time. Long before we met him we already owned a couple of his works. Now we’ve got signed copies, of course.

Then there’s George…George is our chairman.

The next committee member (moving from left to right through the mob) would be me. I’m the site manager, which basically means that I take my own chair to excavations and sit there eating pies and drinking coffee and giving out orders and stuff.

Frank’s up next. Frank’s our committee member for aerial reconnaissance. He’s our pilot, in other words, and a damned fine one too. We’ve obtained some cracking shots of potential sites because of him.

Finally, hiding away behind one of our unnamed students on the far right, is David, our vice chairman, a top-notch all-round archaeologist.

Michelle’s on the committee as well, but she wasn’t feeling too good on the evening this photograph was taken and was at home in bed, stuffing her face with chocolates and watching QVC. Michelle’s our archivist, and she also does a bit research from time to time.

Back to the left hand side of the group then for the non-committee but equally as important members.

First up, John, excavator, holder of stadia staffs and expert in glass blowing techniques, building materials and bits of broken pot.

Next non-committee member to the right is Pat, who’s very good at organising stuff.

Then there’s Danielle, our geophysics team. What Danielle doesn’t know about geophysics equipment you could write several books about. However, she knows how to use it, and frequently does so, which makes her invaluable in my book.

Dave 1 (otherwise known as Dave Hammond) is a damned fine researcher.

Ed specialises in electro-magnetic rust removal. (Both him and Dave 1 are also very handy with trowels, I ought to add.)

Chris…now Chris is my second in command site manager and also head of the surveying team. He was the first one to pin down that Roman road in Stalmine, which I was mightily impressed by.

Dave 2 (otherwise known as Dave Hampson) is not only a keen excavator, but also a metal detectorist like our treasurer Gary. And he’s our linguistics expert. Talk to him in Norse, Saxon, Celtic, Latin…and the rest of us won’t have a clue what you’re going on about.

Steve, unfortunately, doesn’t make it to as many meetings as he’d like, but he’s a thoroughly decent bloke nonetheless.

Finally Colin, another good excavator and the bloke who lives in John Lennon’s childhood holiday home, which is quite impressive.

There are one or two Wyre Archaeology members missing from that photograph who definitely deserve a mention, so let’s start with Barbara.

There’s Barbara, look. Barbara was on holiday when the group photograph was taken, but she’s generally there alongside us on our excavations, doing all the hard work while the rest of us watch.

Mick Banner’s also missing from the photograph. I’m not sure why, because I know he was there on the night. He must have been hiding behind the ice cream cabinet or something.

And Francis Twizell, of course, we mustn’t forget him.

Laura’s missing too. Laura’s an experienced excavator and is particularly good at wielding a trowel.

And Fiona wasn’t there. Let’s have a photograph of Fiona just for the record.

Fiona’s currently studying for her archaeology degree down in Bournemouth, but she can prove useful from time to time when she can bothered coming back.

I ought to mention Bob as well. He’s the chairman of the Pilling Historic Society (or, at least, he was last time I checked). What Bob doesn’t know about local history probably isn’t worth knowing.

Then there’s Jean, who’s currently living in Rome where the archaeology might be a bit more impressive, but the butties are nowhere near as good.

And Carlo and Hilary. (Carlo probably puts more effort into his excavating than the rest of us combined.)

And Harry, with his big mechanical digger.

I’m sure I’ve probably forgotten half a dozen people there. (I’ll get complaints.)

Right, so, now that you’ve met us all, what exactly is it that we do?

We do archaeology, of course, that’s what! What a bloody stupid question.

There’s always room for more inside, though. So if you’re reading this and you haven’t been too perturbed by all the ugly faces and the pot bellies and stuff in the preceding photographs, and, for reasons best left between you and your psychiatrist, you fancy getting involved, then here’s what you should do.

Turn up at one of our monthly meetings in the café at Wyrefield Farm (otherwise known as Farmer Parr’s…because it’s a farm and it’s owned by James Parr, who is the farmer). Meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month, starting between 7.00 p.m. and 7.15 p.m. (Bring a bottle and a bird.)

Alternatively you can contact one of the committee members (some of their telephone numbers can be found at the top of the right hand column of this board) or e-mail me (again…right hand column…check it out, the information’s all there) for further details.

We can even add you to our e-mail list, if you like, to keep you abreast of all our latest adventures, the where’s, the when’s, the why’s and the whether-or-not-we’ll-be-turning-up-weather-permitting’s.

One last photograph to whet your appetite and then I’m off for lunch.

Now if that doesn’t get your archaeological juices flowing, I don’t know what will.

Hope to see you soon.


Reuben said...

Proper Dave and Other Dave? Am liking the Dr. Who references that can be gleaned off this post, Brian.

Ann oDyne said...

Imagine if all the blog commentors could pitch up to the next meeting at Parr's Farm!

geophys wouldn't be the word.

Brian Hughes said...


It's simpler than Terry Pratchett's 'Nay-so-big-as-Wee-Jock-Jock-but-bigger-than-Wee-Jock-Jock'.


No...the word would be 'herd'.

Jayne said...

Who was the one behind the camera and who were they burying in the hole in the last photo?
Do we get pairs of Phil's shorts to don or will Frank knit us jumpers like Mick Aston's whilst taking his brilliant aerial photos?

Bwca said...

Collective-Noun time evahbodeeeeeee
A pride of lions, procession of caterpillars, flock of geese,
pack of dogs, umm ...
a mound of archaeologists?
a shovel of
a trench of ..
A Heap Of Archaeologists.

Brian Hughes said...


The photograph was taken by Steve Bird and, with a bit of luck, John, Dave and Chris were burying a local drugs dealer in the hole. As for being given a pair of Phil's can have some if you like, but seeing as they'd be too small for Action Man to wear, I'd bring a larger pair along with you to be on the safe side.


I think the collective noun is an 'Argument'.

Reuben said...

That dealer must really be annoying you. Have you considered the option of clobbering him over the head with a brick?

And what has he done anyway (aside from being foul-mouthed)?

John said...

For a second there, I thought I was in the wrong place... the photo looked like the cast of last of the Summer Wine. :0)

Just kidding.... can't imagine Compo or Nora or any of that lot doing the difficult and brave work that WA gets into each and every month.

On the subject of bravery, will there ever be a Wyre Archeology swimsuit calendar? Not that I'd want one, but I hear they're excellent ideas for fundraisers, and archeologists need all the funds they can get.

Cheers, and many hurrahs to you all, JOHN :0)

Brian Hughes said...


"Have you considered the option of clobbering him over the head with a brick?"

Several times.

"And what has he done anyway (aside from being foul-mouthed)?"

He's been selling drugs, in my street, and getting away with it. That's more than enough for me.


"...will there ever be a Wyre Archeology swimsuit calendar?"

For the sake of humanity I really hope not.