Today was the Open Day, and on site, a small but dedicated team awaited the arrival of YAC: the Young Archaeologist’s Club, based at the Manchester Museum, and run by Clare Pye and Carolanne King. On the morning of the dig, we even had two new members who had recently moved to Manchester from Cardiff, and (after some form-filling) were permitted to join the excavation, much to their delight! After a short Health and Safety induction and some background to the Project and its members, the YAC volunteers helped clean back the lake fill in Tr. 1, finding a rich variety of pottery, glass, brick and tile, and some rare bone. We even had a fragment of milk bottle glass: advertising ‘..aily …veries from your milkma..’ (Probably: Daily deliveries from your milkman)! The advertising campaign, font style and glass form should help us date this layer of lake infill. They worked very hard and it was a really enjoyable day.
The YAC volunteers – many thanks!
Elsewhere in the Park, it was an exciting day of site tours, museum activities and collecting memories of the Park. Julie Devonald of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre organised copies of some of the best poems from Manchester Academy’s poetry workshop, to be up on display: an impressive and inspirational response to the theme of ‘What Parks mean to me’. We even had good weather!
Find of the Day: towards the end of the day one of our Supervisors, Kat, found a fantastic clay pipe bowl moulded with a ‘Skull and Cross bones’ symbol on both sides. A very similar pipe from Merseyside can be found on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database: http://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/437578. On the PAS database, Dr. David Higgins (Clay Pipe Specialist) comments that: “[The] pipe is a product from the Pollock factory in Manchester. […] A catalogue of c1906 illustrates this design as ‘No 95 – Death & Glory. C. Cutty’ – which probably means the design name is ‘Death & Glory’ (presumably a reference to the 17th Lancers, whose motto was ‘Death or Glory’) […] [It] could date to anywhere from c1880-1990 – although a late C19th or early C20th date is perhaps most likely.”
The 17th Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army, notable for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War. So, this raises interesting connections!
Staff in Profile:
Name: Kat Fenelly
Role: Site supervisor
Background: Kat has a degree in History and Archaeology from UCD and a Masters in Archaeology also from UCD. She is currently going into the 3rd year of her PhD focusing on Power in Nineteenth-Century Pauper District Lunatic Asylums in Britian and Ireland.
Interests: power; colonialism; architecture; conflicts; nineteenth-century history.
Outside of her research Kat enjoys playing guitar and reading geeky novels (fantasy).
Dream find: Lee Enfield Rifle, Mark 3!