What’s been happening Year 6

“We know where we’re going and we know who’s going with us….”, but where have we been?? Scroll down to find out……September 2021 onwards, our sixth year

Friday 8th July 2022 Today saw us open our kiln and it was great to see that the 200+ pots we put in were in one piece and looking very similar in colour, grey through to red meaning the heat and oxygen levels inside during the firing were quite consistent, unlike on our first attempt when many were black and sooty! The new flue stood up to the firing as well as did the kiln floor which is still looking in very good condition. This means we can re-fire it in another couple of years! Many thanks to all who have been involved in the second firing of our replica Roman Kiln.

Tuesday 5th July 2022 Delighted to say we successfully filled and fired our replica Roman pottery over night Monday into Tuesday morning, recording temperatures of 900 degrees C. The kiln will now slowly cool down ready to be opened on Friday 10th July at 1000 at Woodgate Nursery.

Saturday and Sunday 18th & 19th June 2022 We were at Carole and Neville’s wonderful garden here in Aylsham for the opening gardens this weekend. Thank you to all who came during the rain on Saturday and then the glorious sunshine on Sunday! £300 was raised for the Project which is fantastic. Thank you very much, Carole and Neville.

Saturday and Sunday 11th & 12th June 2022 Thank you to everyone who donated items for the Woodgate Garden Show. Our tables were heaving! And, wow, what a weekend! A huge huge thank you to all who supported us in any way at all over the two days of this event as we have raised over £1000! This is so important to us, to ensure we can continue to discover the history of Woodgate.

Thank you to everyone who put their blue token in our box as part of the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. We are delighted to say we have received £1000 in the account and have purchased a digital camera so we can take quality photographs of finds etc and equipment to support our soil filtration project. Many thanks to the Groundworks team who organise the Tesco Community Awards scheme.

Tuesday 17th May 2022 Thank you to the ladies of the WI at Briston for making Peter and Sheila really welcome on Tuesday evening for our talk about the Project. Thank you too for supporting us and buying some of our promotional items. Do come and see us in August.

Thursday 5th May 2022 What a lovely evening yesterday, giving a talk as part of the Swannington Lectures in Swannington Church. Peter talked about the story so far, what we have discovered and what we hope to do this August when we run our first full community dig for two years. Thank you all for making us feel very welcome and come and see us in August.

Saturday 16th & Monday 18th April 2022 A great couple of days at Woodgate Nursery over the Easter weekend. Lovely to see many old friends and sign up new Friends to the Project. Thank you all so much for supporting us.

Tuesday April 12th 2022 We were delighted to join eleven other local groups at The New Forge on Tuesday to receive £250 from the Aylsham Show. This will go towards getting another of our great sieves which allow groups of adults or children to sieve large amounts of soil and gather round looking for finds, maybe another piece of pot, a piece of pipe a Roman coin. It’s such good fun! Thank you very much.

Saturday April 10th 2022 Many thanks to @NNArchaeolSoc for the invitation to join them at their conference on Saturday. We set up our stand and spoke to many people interested in what we are doing and were able to talk to other local groups as well. Lovely to see some ARP Friends among the delegates, thank you for your offers of help, really appreciated. Enjoyed seeing Sable on the screen during Julie’s session.

Wednesday 30th March 2022 It was so good to Zoom with Bure Valley School today. Although we couldn’t go physically, we could see the children as we talked and they were able to see and handle some of our finds. Great questions to answer, too. Thank you all for asking us.

Wednesday March 9th 2022 Friends of Aylsham Roman Project have bought and planted a tree at Woodgate Nursery. This is in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The tree is a copper beech, a tree originally planted further west on the field by Project Director and land owner Peter Purdy’s great grandfather. It is hoped this will live and thrive for many years to come.

February 2022 Friends of Aylsham Roman Project spent six days excavating some test pits on a piece of land that at one time had a brick kiln, a very large structure able to produce 20000 bricks at a time. The structure itself was dismantled in the early 20th century due to safety concerns, but the area around still shows evidence of its use. Martin Brook from our professional partners Britannia Archaeology visited on the final day to review finds and GPS the area.

Although no actual features were revealed, it looks like it was probably an area where some broken bricks/wasters were placed in a hole as they came from what would have been a vast rake pit. One pit contained quite a bit and further pieces were beginning to appear in pits near to it. Other finds included kiln fabric, some small pieces of pottery and glass, a couple of pieces of clay pipe and a small flint blade. It is hoped to explore the area further in future years.

We hope to revisit this area in future years.

Saturday and Sunday 4th/5th December 2021 Although a little drizzly at times, the weather held for our Bric-a-brac and tombola weekend at the Nursery. Huge thank you again to all involved, putting up, taking down, helping out, donating prizes and coming to see us and support us.

Thursday 18th November 2021 It was good to welcome people in person to our Social Evening at the Friendship Hall here in Aylsham on Thursday and also to welcome those who had “Zoomed” in! Sable also joined us, it was so good to see her, and visited everyone who was eating! Thanks again to Jules for the food, love your chocolate brownies!

A review of the year was followed by the world premier of the film Trowels and Tribulations, filmed during our August excavations, by Martin Hayward Smith and edited by Ray Gotts. This is now available on DVD for just £5 and will be on sale at all our future events.

Saturday and Sunday 23rd/24th October 2021 What a great weekend! The sun shone and the breeze was light during our two days at Woodgate Nursery for our book sale. Thank you to everyone who helped, whether with putting up on Friday, taking down on Sunday, or anytime during Saturday and Sunday. Great to see so many people, thank you all for supporting us.

Saturday 25th September 2021 A pleasant morning spent as part of the Aylsham History day held in the town hall. Many people stopped to talk including families who were keen to hear about being able to take part during the August event.

Tuesday 7th September 2021 A perfect day to start our Tuesday mornings at the portacabin. A cuppa and a chat followed by the washing of all the equipment used during the August dig and with such lovely hot weather, everything dried and has been packed away.

Sunday 5th September 2021 What a lovely day at Mannington Hall yesterday. A day of sunshine brought out people and we had a lot of interest throughout the day. Good to see Friends there as well. Thank you for stopping by for a chat.