- I am now officially a student! I've registered for a full-time course leading to an MA in Historical Archaeology at the University of Leicester. The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History includes a Centre for Historical Archaeology. I hope that the course, the contacts I'll make, and the reading I'll do, will give some direction to my interests in industrial archaeology and some depth to the researchI plan to carry out in the future. You'll be able to follow my day-byday progress in more detail at my blog: doing...not doing
I spent a happy week on a Waterway Recovery Group Canal Camp, helping to restore the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, in Wales.
The weather wasn't as good as last year, indeed we were rained off one day, but we still managed to achieve quite a lot. I spent most of the week attacking a narrow channel that once took excess water past a lock that local volunteers had restored a decade ago but which had since become overgrown with bushes and small trees. The channel was full of soil and debris as well as vegetation, so I had a good time hacking and shovelling.
My fellow volunteers were a small but cheerful group - as several had to leave before the end of the week the joke was that this was the infamous shrinking canal camp! We lived together happily (as long as one had good earplugs to keep out the nightly symphony of snores) in the Methodist church hall in Crosskeys. In the evenings I haunted The Philanthropist Inn, just up the road, which served a fine pint of HB bitter.
When rain stopped play, I drove to visit the Big Pit coal mining museum, at Blaenavon. I spent several hours wandering around the surface exhibitions, in the end deciding to leave a descent to the underground tunnels until next time.
I'm already looking forward to my next canal camp, though it probably won't be until 2011.