Monday, 29 April 2013

Community archaeology - Excavation at Rufford

Nottinghamshire County Councils Community archaeology Team will be running a volunteer excavation at Rufford between 1st and 12th July this year (excluding weekends).  The first week will be run as a field school, and the second week will be a general volunteer dig.  No experience is necessary and spaces are very limited.  See below for more details.

Archaeological Field School - Mon 1st to Fri 5th July
 This week is ideal for people who want to get a proper introduction to professional excavation techniques.  They will be excavating the foundations of an ornamental gateway at the north end of the Broad Drive, near to the mill.  This is part of a project to preserve the remaining stonework with a view to potentially reinstating the ornamental gates.  The dig day will commence at 9.30am and finish at 4pm, with time for lunch in the middle.

If you wish to sign up to the field school you must be able to come for all 5 days.  If you have been on one of their field schools before you are welcome to come again, but priority will be given to people who haven't attended one of our Field Schools previously.

Volunteer Excavation - Mon 8th to Fri 12th July

This week is for anyone to join in with, although it may not be suitable for young children (please get in touch if you have children who would like to participate).  The excavation during this week will be looking at a disused water channel that may have a medieval origin.  They will also be looking at some of the former garden features to see if we can see evidence of their layout.  The dig day will commence at 9.30am and finish at 4pm, with time for lunch in the middle.

You can come for as many or as few days as you like.  No experience is necessary, and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you have any questions, or would like to book on to either of the above activities, please get in touch at or on 0115 969 6525. 

Please keep in mind that excavation is a physical activity, and they will not be doing post processing (pot washing etc) on site.  If you are interested in helping out with post processing activities, such as pot washing or data entry, please get in touch with them to see what opportunities we currently have.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Event - May Day Sunrise with Rattlejag Morris (Laxton)

As the first sunrise of the summer comes up over the horizon to gently touch on Laxton’s ancient fields and hedgerows, the most wonderful place to watch is from the small hill that is the remains of the village’s old motte and bailey castle.  And who better to enjoy that with than the local morris side, Rattlejag, and their friends and supporters, who arrive there from around 5.20am every 1st May to dance and sing in the May Day dawn.  And they give a warm welcome to anyone who wants to share that magical moment with them and will even provide a barbecued breakfast buttie and beer – or hot tea – after the revels in return for a small donation.  It must be a special time, as many people have been returning to rural Laxton, Notts, for this early morning celebration for many years over the 30 and more it has been happening, so it has become an established local tradition now.  Find the site by going up Hill Lane opposite the church (NG22 ONX) and across the field – do come in warm and sturdy clothing.  Rosemary Fabian, the side’s “squire”, says “we will all be there whatever the weather, so come and join us.”  Rattlejag have further information available through their website or you can contact Jayne on 01522 703510.

And if you are interested in the amazing history of Laxton, in rural Nottinghamshire, or in wildlife and rambling, then you can also join Rattlejag’s event as part of the Dawn Chorus Walk organised separately by Stuart Rose, the expert on Laxton’s history and farming.  Walkers visit all three Anglo-Saxon fields to identify the birds who are also ‘up with the lark’. This begins at 5.00am at the Visitor Centre by the Dovecote Inn – contact Stuart on 07939 228353 or check out

Via Rattlejag Morris

Event - Annual Perambulation of Thynghowe (Edwinstowe)

The annual walk to Thynghowe takes place on  Saturday April 20th.  This event is inspired by the perambulations of the Lordship of Warsop as recorded in the document from 1816 that influences much of our  work.  The walk will start at 10am and progress will be slow as we will pause to hear accounts of past events in the woodlands.  There are many stories to tell including  tales of ancient stones, the influence of the Dukes of Portland, the legacy of World War II and Viking age assemblies from a thousand years ago.  We also take in the wildlife and plants and reflect on the impact of changes in woodland management over the years.
The walk to Thynghowe and back is about 3 miles and should take between 3 and 4 hours.
This event is free and suitable for active folk of all ages. Young people under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. There are no toilet facilities in the Forest (but plenty of trees!). 
You will need waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear. Bring a packed lunch and a drink.
If you would like to come along please book your place by contacting the Greenwood Community Forest Team by email on or by phoning 0115 9696518 or 07740 845574.

Via Friends of Thynghowe

News - New plan for area’s history (Notts)

Historical figures with Notts links such as Robin Hood and the Pilgrim Fathers can help the county’s economy to grow
That’s according to the Notts Growth Plan which was approved by member of Notts County Council’s policy committee this week.
The plan includes proposed to develop a major new visitor experience at Sherwood Forest and a feasability study into a new attraction based on the history of the Pilgrim Fathers in Bassetlaw.
The tourism plans are amongst almost 50 major proposals to support businesses, create training opportunities, improve infrastructure and bring jobs and growth to the area.
Notts County Council chief executive Mick Burrows, who has led the development of the Growth Plan, said: “I have been blown away by the enthusiasm, ideas and commitment to growth shown by Nottinghamshire’s business community. It bodes extremely well for the future economic prospects of the county.”
The planis available to download at

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Save Worksop Tourist Information Centre

Despite the decision to Close Worksop Tourist Information Centre in 2005 was overturned Bassetlaw District Council are at it again! This time the excuse of saving money has been put forward as the reason (anyone else noticed the not so cheap village signs that have popped up recently?). The reason less people are visiting is that it is hidden away now from the general gaze of people since the library moved. A new town centre location should be found and the TIC promoted.

We lost Worksop Museum several years ago and the council have done nothing for the Towns history - Soon tourists will have no face to face contact with people who can guide them around the areas best visitors spots.

a petition is available in the TIC in the Old Library on Memorial Avenue - please sign it to keep Worksop from finally becoming the back end of nowhere.

Dave C

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Event - Chartism Day 2013 (Sheffield)

On 29th June there will be a conference at S€heffield University on the Chartist movement:
10.00-10.20 Registration and coffee
10.20-10.30 Welcome
10.30-12.15 Panel 1
Martin Hewitt (University of Huddersfield), ‘Chartism and the Taxes on Knowledge Campaign’
Robert G Hall (Ball State University), ‘Bookstores for the Millions: The Politics of Reading and Chartism, 1838-1848’
David Goodway, ‘George Julian Harney’s Late Journalism: The Newcastle Weekly Chronicle column, 1890-97’
12:15 Lunch
1.30-3:15 Panel 2
Jenny Cadwallender (PhD candidate. Manchester University), ‘“Amidst Tears, Cheers and Execrations”: Domesticity and the Politics of Chartist Women’
Timothy Keane, ‘Chartism and the Irish Famine’
Fabrice Bensimon, ‘Fraternal Democrats, French Republican Exiles and London Chartists’
3.15: Tea Break
3.30-4.30 Panel 3
Steve Poole, ‘Chartism and the Rural World’
Katrina Navickas, ‘What next for Chartist Studies’
4.30 Closing remarks
*NB: Professor Paul Pickering (ANU), leading historian of Chartism, will be giving a public lecture on Friday 28 June, entitled 'Telling the peoples’ story: writing, representing and selling the past in the age of affective history’. The lecture will commence at 6pm in the Peak Lecture Theatre, Sheffield Hallam University's City Campus. Please contact Matthew Roberts for further details. 

To register, please send a cheque for £13, payable to Sheffield Hallam University, to: Matthew Roberts, Owen Building Department of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.

For further details see: