Friday, 26 November 2010

30. Wednesday 24 November 2010

Because it was so cold this morning, and snow was forecast as a possibility, the plane tables and alidade were abandoned in favour of geophysics which would keep us all moving around and relatively warm.

Today’s challenge was to survey a series of 20metre squares – but these squares were intersected by an old drystone wall – and not a straight one. While earthworks are clearly visible in one field, three of us were on the other side of the wall, in a field which is virtually featureless, apart from the remains of an old wall adjacent to the existing one – this field has recently been ploughed to be re-sown with grass, so that only geophysics can now reveal if anything interesting once lay here.

We worked on both sides of the wall, holding conferences while peering over the top, and holding tapes up high over the wall to measure off the 20m squares

– not easy for the little ‘uns amongst us! The transfer of equipment back and forth over the wall was also an interesting exercise.

Admittedly we went wrong a couple of times, miscalculating the number of “dummy” readings we had to build in to take account of the meanderings of the wall across the middle of our survey area, and then in the afternoon finding the plug has come out of the cable drum, so that the readings were being taken from a circuit that was completed by the plug lying in wet grass. We had to re-take a large chunk of the geophysics survey. Still, it’s all good fun! In the end we did remarkably well, covering a good deal of ground, and it didn’t snow after all. But we were beginning to get very cold, and our fingers were getting numb.

We felt we thoroughly deserved our late afternoon tea, hot chocolate and cream scones at the Cracoe café.

Jane Lunnon

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

29. Tuesday 16th November 2010

As the weather forecast for Wednesday was so awful, Roger brought forward our day for surveying this week to Tuesday, which has caused great confusion to us all – we now really don’t know what day of the week it is!

However we were a very select group of 4 who met in the cold and mist at Bank Field, but we warmed up as we set to work.
Paul and Margaret were soon busy with ‘Bob’ recording more banks in the lower field, while Roger and Ruth set out a 20m grid for a geophysical survey of the lower western corner of the field.
This done, the ‘geophys’ team then proceeded to the upper field, to record the long bank there. Three 20m grids were laid out by lunch time. Meanwhile the sun had broken through and the scenery was again spectacular with blue sky and banks of mist slowly clearing from the valleys.
The afternoon progressed and in spite of constant interruptions – visits from the farmer, the sheep being rounded up by 2 dogs, (which we just had to watch!) radio calls from Paul in the lower field (‘Bob’ was being temperamental!), etc, the geophysics was eventually completed.

We all agreed that it had been a good day and how right Roger had been to change from Wednesday!
Ruth Spencer

Thursday, 11 November 2010

28. Wednesday 10 November 2010

Peter Gallagher writes:

Whilst most of the team were measuring in the other field, Jane and I were selected, cajoled, threatened, to use the Alidade in the farthest field. There was only one small snag, neither of us knew how to work the thing! Anyway we set it up on the plane table and tried to look busy for a while until Roger could come and sort us out.

He soon showed us where we were going wrong. Basically everything! So we had lunch and were able to use it in the afternoon.
I say we, I held the staff and Jane did all the hard work in between whimpering softly.

But the weather was great, we had a good walk over the field to start with, and it appears we may be looking at some housing platforms of Iron or even Bronze age.

Peter Gallagher

Sunday, 7 November 2010

27. Wednesday 3 November 2010

Vera Breary writes:

Given that Tuesday had seen torrential rain and high winds, most of us thought the likelihood of Wednesday being a good day for surveying seemed slim. But we were lucky (again) and Wednesday dawned dry, clear and with some sunshine. With rain forecast for 3pm (ish) we cracked on as soon as we arrived.

The results from the geophysics from previous weeks are excellent, with a variety of features showing very clearly. To complete the surveying of some of these features Roger decided we would work on a stretch by the field wall, using both geophysical survey and good old tapes and measures. This could have resulted in considerable confusion (not to mention tripping over tapes running in all directions) but we managed to keep out of each other's way.

Ruth, Margaret and Vera worked on the drawn topographical survey, whilst Peter, Jane and Pauline carried on with the geophys. Paul and Jennifer worked with the Total Station in another part of the field and Roger helped out, advised and directed as necessary.
A late-ish lunch (the rain clouds were approaching and nobody wanted to stop) was followed by a dash to complete the day's project. Bang on 3pm the rain came and we retired, in time honoured fashion, to the tea shop. Well some of us did. Peter, Paul and Margaret worked on through the rain to do some preliminary plotting of another field, ready to start surveying there next week.

Vera Brearey

Monday, 1 November 2010

26. Wednesday 27th October 2010

Boots and wellies on? Check!

The geophysics team worked hard today to complete the survey of 8 x 20m squares. The task was made difficult by the presence of the large earthwork banks which put our right-angles out of kilter.
The never-ending "up one lane, and then down the next"
We seemed to spend a very long time simply trying to straighten our tapes, and make sure we had good, tight squares laid out for the grid.

In the meantime, the tapes and measure team were busy with their topographical survey of the features in the corner of the field, which we are apparently now calling “Sally’s Gill” instead of Bull Pasture. It seems the field has changed its name since the Tithe Award map.

Paul and Jennifer spent the afternoon getting to grips with Bob, the total station, to take readings from various large earthwork banks across the field.

A good day’s work.

Jane Lunnon.