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

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