Friday 15 April 2011

36. Tuesday 12 April 2011

For our last session surveying Bull Pasture, we had two teams. Pauline, Helen and Vera set up their drawing table twice to finish off the tape offsets and triangulations surveying, while Jane and Peter completed their alidade survey. After lunch, Peter and Jane then used "Bob", the total station, to plot in a larger area.

Roger drawing © Jane Lunnon

And so the survey of the three fields was finally wrapped up and we said goodbye to Bank Fields for the spring. Now we wait for Roger to collate and interpret the results, and decide if further investigations are needed in the future.

Vera and Pauline surveying © Jane Lunnon

UWHG members can now focus on a summer of the farm buildings survey, excavations at Chapel House Wood, the Wilderness Beck Grotto project in Skipton, and the production of our report on the Whitfield project in Embsay. Jane Lunnon

Wednesday 30 March 2011

35. Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Good turnout at Grassington today.

We seem to have finished the bottom pasture now, so we can leave the sheep, and go into Bull Pasture again.

Jane and I were on the Alidade. Jane is getting really good at the maths now, and says that my staff-holding (the technical bit) is getting even better; how kind!

Paul and Vera were working together on the total station at the top of the field and had their blue, orange and red flags everywhere. We had green, yellow and white flags so it all looked very colourful. Best wishes to Paul who is moving away down South, and will not be coming again.

Meanwhile, Ruth and Helen were busy doing mundane things like finding suspected round houses etc. They seemed to have drawn the whole field in a day; well done.

There is no meeting next week, and we are hoping to finish the week after.

Peter Gallagher

Sunday 27 March 2011

34. Tuesday March 22, 2011

A beautiful spring day – blue skies, warm sun and just a gentle breeze – a complete contrast to last Tuesday! Jane and Peter continued surveying their bit of the field with the alidade.
Peter enjoying his lunch break © Jane Lunnon
Pauline, Helen and Vera migrated to the top corner of the field, where, using good old tapes and triangulation, they continued plotting the banks which Ruth and Paul had been unable to do last week. Ruth spent most of the day wandering up and down the field, adding all the hachures to the plan previously produced by means of ‘Bob’ and Roger. Roger meanwhile spent his time helping each group in turn with the tricky bits. When the hachuring was complete, Ruth and Roger then recorded the natural features in the very top corner of the field in conjunction with ‘Bob’, (who obviously approved of the better weather).
Happy workers at the completion of one field's surveying

© Jane Lunnon

By this time everyone else had finished their allotted tasks, so Roger was able to say that this particular field is now completed and next week we move back to the other side of the wall.

Ruth Spencer

Tuesday 22 March 2011

33. Tuesday 15 March 2011

For various reasons there were only 4 of us to accompany Roger today – a miserable damp, misty day with a cold breeze.

Mist © Jane Lunnon

Pauline and Jane set to with the alidade – 2 vague figures in the mist on the far side of the field, while Ruth and Paul, assisted by ‘Bob’ attacked the banks in the top corner.

Having sorted us all out, Roger proceeded to plot a digital terrain map with the dGPS.

The tricky business of setting up the alidade © Jane Lunnon

After an early lunch, having struggled all morning with the visibility, and with both the lens and the prism repeatedly misting up, ‘Bob’ decided he had had enough and refused to focus on the prism.
Jane and Pauline were also struggling with the visibility, so we decided to call it a day and retired to that nice tea-shop in Cracoe, leaving Roger alone on the hill-side to finish his map.

Ruth Spencer

Wednesday 9 March 2011

32. Tuesday 8 March 2011

The day was cold but fine, and we had another good turnout to work with Roger on the continuing survey of Grassington's facinating earthworks.

We began by looking at the results of last week's work, with Total Station results now plotted and the geophysical survey available. Ruth and Paul then set out careful "hachuring" of last week's work with the Total Station, before extending their topographical survey. Jane and Peter continued their work with alidade and drawing table. Helen, Pauline and Vera did more geophys.
Vera and Pauline wrapped on warm on a very chilly "spring" day ;
© Jane Lunnon
Their work last week had identified part of what might be a circular stony bank so grids were laid out to re-survey the area, hoping to capture the whole.

It often seems to be the case that getting the equipment set up is the most difficult (and longest-lasting) part of the day. Getting the grid properly measured for geophys. on hilly terrain, getting the alidade perfectly level on the drawing table and in exactly the right's not as easy as it looks, and they never show it on Time Team! Roger's expertise was heavily in demand.
Paul on the total station, with Ruth in a sea of flags ;
© Jane Lunnon
But eventually we were working again and by the end of the afternoon we'd covered just about all we'd hoped to do at the morning's planning session. Another good week.

Vera Brearey

Wednesday 2 March 2011

31. Tuesday, 1st March 2011

It was the first day of spring and a perfect day to emerge from our winter hibernation to take up our tapes and flags again. We gathered in the field next to the road, near Grassington’s Devonshire Institute, and discussed a 1972 aerial photograph which Roger had brought along. We wandered over the field investigating some anomalies, and decided that one possible “structure” in the photograph was in reality a natural feature.

© Jane Lunnon

Having satisfied ourselves on that score, we dispersed to our various tasks – a geophysics survey, a topographical survey using the alidade, and another using “Bob”, our total station. Soon, the site was full of fluttering flags of all colours as the three teams set out their markers. The blue skies gave us a lovely background and we appreciated the warm sunshine all day! Jane Lunnon

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