TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



                 ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY:
            INTE...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



The photo below shows the site on Sunday morning. This is a vi...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.




PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010.          3
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



For the former residents, the open days offered a real opportu...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



3.2 Who came

Over 200 people came to the site during the cour...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



Visitors. In addition to the dig participants, the following p...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.




PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010.          7
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.



4. OUTCOMES

The project resulted in extremely positive outcom...
TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report.




Appendix: Questionnaire responses.

What did you like most ab...
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Telford Town Park interim report

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Interim report on public engagement at the excavations in Telford Town Park. See also http://paulbelford.blogspot.com/2010/04/community-archaeology-at-hinkshay.html

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Telford Town Park interim report

  1. 1. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY: INTERIM REPORT ON THE TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT. Report by Paul Belford 1. INTRODUCTION The project took place in Telford Town Park as part of the local authority's Parks for People initiative, and was a joint venture between Nexus Heritage and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, on behalf of Telford and Wrekin Council. The community excavation followed on from an historical and archaeological assessment of the Town Park, which identified a number of sites of historical significance. Terraced housing at Hinkshay was decided upon as the most suitable venue for excavations, due to its accessible location and the likely potential interest of the site itself. This interim report describes the community engagement with the project. A more comprehensive report, which will include the archaeological data as well as more detailed analysis of the community aspects of the project, will follow after a further public open day in July. 2. ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS The excavation took place between 20th and 26th April 2010. Public open days and participation took place on 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th April (Wednesday to Saturday). The excavation was located on the site of ‘Double Row’, one of three rows of housing built in c.1815 by the Botfield family of ironmasters for their workers at Hinkshay ironworks. ‘Double Row’, as its name suggests, was a row of back-to- back housing; the other rows were ‘Single Row’ and ‘New Row’ (also called ‘Ladies' Row’). This photo shows the rows a few years before demolition in c.1969. The prominent chimney of the Stirchley ironworks still stands, and Double Row is to the left of the photograph. The edge of the Ever Ready factory (built in the 1950s and itself demolished in 1994) can be seen on the right. The excavations found part of No.13 Double Row, and its counterpart to the rear (No.26) together with the communal "brew'us" or wash house which served several houses. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 1
  2. 2. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. The photo below shows the site on Sunday morning. This is a view looking north, with the front wall of the pantry of No.13 in the foreground, the concrete floor of the former wash-house behind it, and the level set up in the living room of No.26. The archaeological evidence, including structures, deposits and artefacts recovered from the site, will be discussed in full in the forthcoming report. The project gave many local people the chance to try their hand at 'doing' archaeology, and we had participants in the dig itself from ages 3 to 70+. We were also visited by scores of former residents and their relatives, who were extremely excited and enthusiastic about the rediscovery of their 'lost' village. Hundreds of anecdotes about people and events came out, and many former residents - who had not met for over 40 years - were reunited. 3. ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY The project engaged with several different groups within the community. These can be characterised as follows: • Participants. People from Telford who were interested in ‘doing’ archaeology and discovering an aspect of the area’s past for themselves. • General visitors. People who were interested in the excavations and/or in local history generally, but who did not want to be directly or closely involved with the fieldwork. • Former Hinkshay residents. These were former residents of the Rows at Hinkshay who visited the site. • Specialist visitors. People with an existing connection either to the Town Park, or to a local history or amenity group, or to the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Inevitably there was a degree of overlap between these groups. Thus Keith Parton, owner of K&M Construction who supplied the plant and machinery for the site, was also a former Hinkshay resident. Brian Savage was one of the most active participants, and was also a ‘specialist visitor’ as the Chairman of the Telford Historical and Archaeological Society. 3.1 What was on offer For participants, there was the opportunity to be involved in all stages of the archaeological process. Most participants opted to dig, using a variety of hand-tools. Basic training was provided in techniques and safety points, and in the way in which archaeological finds are identified and separated in the field. Some participants also became involved in measuring and recording the site. The photographs on the following page give a flavour of the event. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 2
  3. 3. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 3
  4. 4. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. For the former residents, the open days offered a real opportunity to meet people that in many cases they had not seen for 40 years. Discussion included memories of people, events and places. At the entrance to the excavation we had tables with a display of old photographs, maps, census records and other information, which also helped in bringing forward many memories. We recorded some of these using a hand-held tape recorder, kindly loaned to the project by Brian Savage of the Telford Historical and Archaeological Society. These oral recordings are in the process of being transcribed, and follow-up work is planned in conjunction with the Dawley History Society and other groups. On Saturday we held a mini-reunion at the site, encouraging as many former residents to come down as possible. Above we see members of the Poole, Harper, Tonks, Ellis and Morgan families. The photo below shows Barbara Whitney (nee Corbett, formerly of 11 Double Row), Jean Hassall (nee Oakley, formerly of 9 Single Row) and Marion Griffin (nee Harper, formerly of 8 Single Row). PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 4
  5. 5. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. 3.2 Who came Over 200 people came to the site during the course of the four days of fieldwork. Most of the visitors and participants came on the Friday and Saturday. Due to the pressure of time and resources, it was not possible to record the names of all visitors, particularly those who stayed for less than half an hour. Participants. A total of 29 people participated in the excavation. These were: Name Age Where from Day(s) on site Craig Baker Adult Madeley Saturday Katrina Baker Adult Telford Friday Ian Davenport Adult Shifnal Saturday Toby Davenport Child Shifnal Saturday Jan Doody Adult Telford Saturday D. Durrance-Hipkiss Adult Buildwas Friday Emily Edwards Adult Kinver Saturday John Ellis Adult Telford Friday Grant Foden Adult Madeley Saturday Chris Harrison Adult Telford Friday Anne Giblin Adult Wellington Friday Rebecca Leenhouwers Adult Leegomery Thursday and Friday Naomi Leenhouwers 13 Leegomery Thursday and Friday Hannah Leenhouwers 7 Leegomery Thursday and Friday Crystal Leenhouwers 3 Leegomery Thursday and Friday Paul Mitchell Adult Telford Saturday Thomas Mitchell 8 Telford Saturday Susannah Moss Adult Telford Thursday, Friday and Saturday Kirsteen Osborn Adult Jackfield Saturday Mitchell Osborn 4 Jackfield Saturday Alison Phillips Adult Lilleshall Saturday Elizabeth Phillips 10 Lilleshall Saturday Brian Savage Adult St. Georges Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Edmund Simons Adult Kinver Saturday Teddy Simons 3 Kinver Saturday Cal Tolley Adult Newport Saturday Derek Upton Adult Madeley Thursday Elena Walker Adult Telford Friday and Saturday Julie Walker Adult Telford Saturday The breakdown of ages and gender for participants was as follows: Female Child 52% 28% Adult Male 72% 48% PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 5
  6. 6. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. Visitors. In addition to the dig participants, the following people were recorded as having visited the site. Many of these visitors had an association with the former settlement, either having lived there themselves or with relatives who had. Name Relationship to site (or other reason for visit) J. K. Alford - Philip Beeston wife lived at Hinkshay (Anne Harper) Nigel Cane-Honeysett - Janice Cane-Honeysett - Mr & Mrs Chetwood - Mark Chetwood family in Single Row and Ladies’ Row Barbara Corbett (now Whitney) lived at 11 Double Row John Ellis (+4) lived at Ellis’ Farm John Fellows - Joy Fellows - Rob Gough - Anne Harper (now Beeston) lived at 8 Single Row, sister of Marion and Alan Alan Harper lived at 8 Single Row, brother of Anne and Marion Marion Harper (now Griffin) lived at 8 Single Row, sister of Anne and Alan Jo Haseman - Fiona Johns - Connor Johns - Rhys Johns - Bob Johns - Ken Jones former Dawley resident (Trustee of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) Simon Kenyon-Slaney none (Trustee of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) Mrs. Kenyon-Slaney - John Morgan lived at Hinkshay Rene Morgan husband lived at Hinkshay Jean Oakley (now Hassall) lived at 9 Single Row Ken Owen lived at Hinkshay Rebecca Owen - Keith Parton lived at Double Row Malcolm Peel two uncles lived at Double Row, and another uncle lived at Ellis’ Farm Chris Pettman none (Friends of Telford Town Park) John Poole born at 5 Single Row John Powell none (Librarian of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) Richard Powell - Lance Smith none (Telford Historical and Archaeological Society) Philip Smith mother lived at 8 New Row (Mrs Lily Braegers) Mrs. F. M. Smout lived at 10 Double Row Cynthia Tonks (now Munting) lived at 14 Double Row Falcon Tonks lived at 14 Double Row Brian Whitney wife lived at Hinkshay (Barbara Corbett) Paul Wolfe none (Dawley History Group) Sue Wolfe none (Dawley History Group) In addition to these 47 named visitors, we also recorded a further 59 un-named visitors on the Saturday. A similar number came during the week. Together with the participants and staff, this brings the total to over 200. Photographs on the following page show some of the visitors and their reactions to the site. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 6
  7. 7. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 7
  8. 8. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. 4. OUTCOMES The project resulted in extremely positive outcomes for both visitors and participants. It brought together a wide range of people and groups, and changed peoples’ perceptions of the Town Park and its heritage value. For participants, the archaeological project gave an insight into archaeological methods and techniques. With hindsight, a more structured training regime might have benefitted some participants, although most were happy to join in at the level which best suited them. Participants’ enthusiasm for archaeology in general, and for the site in particular, was infectious. For interested visitors, the dig provoked a much deeper engagement with the past. For former residents in particular it was an emotional and rewarding experience. However even non-residents, and passers-by with no particular affiliation or interest, found the archaeology immediately engaging. For members of the various local groups and societies who came to the site, the archaeological project provided a focus for dialogue. Key members of some of the principal groups engaged with local history – including the Telford Historical and Archaeological Society, the Dawley History Group, the Friends of the Town Park and the Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum – all came down and spoke to each other and to the team, and suggested many positive ways forward. Future work as part of this phase of funding will include: • a follow-up finds processing and analysis day; geared largely to the dig participants, but open to all-comers. This will be held at Enginuity at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, and will be followed by an exhibition of photographs and artefacts which will remain at the Museum for the summer. • a full archaeological report, to be produced after the finds processing and follow-up day Other future work could include: • further excavation on the site (several groups and individuals have come forward with tentative offers of funding or support in kind). • further analysis of the field evidence, including earthwork survey and finds collecting. • development of the oral history recording programme. • academic publications and conference presentations (the project will be referred to in two papers being presented by Paul Belford at the European Association of Archaeologists conference in September, and a proposal for a paper in the Historic Environment Journal for 2011 is in the process of review by the editors of that journal). • popular publications, further exhibitions and community events Acknowledgments The project was managed and directed by Paul Belford, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. Historical research and site supervision was undertaken by Kate Page-Smith of Nexus Heritage. Assistance was provided by Gillian Whitham (Curator, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust) and Mel Weatherley (STEM Project Manager, IGMT), together with Rob Crumpton, Vanessa Holt and Paul Smith. Many thanks to Joanne Ridgeway of Telford and Wrekin Council for enabling the project. Thanks also to the many people who helped out on the dig - particularly to Brian Savage of the Telford Historical and Archaeological Society, and also to K&M Construction and Freeman plant hire. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 8
  9. 9. TELFORD TOWN PARK COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY. Interim Report. Appendix: Questionnaire responses. What did you like most about the event? Everything. I really enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed the digging and helping with the measuring and drawings. The Staff were very friendly. It has been something I have always wanted to do and I would be very interested in participating in similar events again. Opportunity to get involved, experience for home-educated children – best way to learn history! How do you feel the event could have been improved? I think the event could have been improved if the archaeological team had, had more time at Hinkshay and if the public and helpers had, had more time in Participating. Would you be interested in participating in similar Events in the future? I would be very interested in participating in similar archaeological events in the future and have even given my contact details to Paul Belford. Would love to hear more on progress of this project [and] be part of further progress where possible. Any other comments? I would like to thank Paul and his team for a very interesting weekend. I really enjoyed working with them and I hope I will see them again at any other archaeological digs there might be in Telford in the future. PAUL BELFORD. Document 1004-A. 28th May 2010. 9

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