Record for 2012

Mercian roundshaft in spring

Mercian roundshaft in spring

 

This is a record of events that have taken place during the year. Future events can be found on the events page.

The accounts are a useful source of information for people who would like to know about our activities before they attend a particular event.

They have also proved to be particularly useful to university candidates, writing their personal statements, by providing a reference for an interest, beyond the limits of the curriculum, in their chosen subjects.

Contents

  2012

  Sunday, 30th September   September newsletter  
  Friday, 31st August   August newsletter  
  Thursday, 21st June   Creative Writing Day for Gifted and Talented students  
  Saturday, 10th March   "UP THEM FIELDS", and What was Found There  


Detail

2012

Charlie Reeks receiving the Eric Morten Award

Charlie Reeks receiving the Eric Morten Award

September newsletter – 30th September 2012

Every year we hold a Friends' and Benefactors' Day, when we thank all those who have supported us during the past year. Benefactors help us in many ways: some financially; some by giving their time when they run courses for us; and others by giving us gifts that have ranged from items of Willow Pattern crockery and cushions for our tea tent, to ceramics and paintings that we can auction to raise funds for the Trust.

The Friends of The Blackden Trust raise money to buy us equipment. This year they bought us a digital projector and screen to help us show our work to local groups. They also give generously of their time: supervising school groups; looking after the participants at our courses; serving teas; and acting as guides when we run Conducted Tours. We are very grateful to all our supporters, so it gave the Trustees great pleasure to be able to thank them formally on the 1st September.

It is also the occasion when we present the Eric Morten Award for the student who has gained the most from the Trust and who has also given back the most. This year’s winner was Charlie Reeks. She came to four of our courses and returned many times to help with events during her two years as a 6th Former at The Grange School. Charlie is now studying Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford University.

On 15th September we held an Open Day. Over ninety people came, some from considerable distances.

The official season ended on 29th with a course entitled, 'Who do you think you are?' run by Professor Richard Morris from Huddersfield University. Participants discovered how documents, oral history and objects give a fuller and more accurate picture of individuals in the past when looked at together than any of those sources do when studied on their own. 

 

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August newsletter – 31st August 2012

We ran an Open Conducted Tour on the 4th August, but the month was dominated by our Archaeological Training Excavation. The dig was directed by Dr Mark Roberts and Professor Richard Morris. Nine students from the Archaeological Institute at University College, London camped in the garden and five adults slept in The Old Medicine House and Toad Hall. Five Sixth Formers from local schools joined the team during the day to get a preview of what a degree in Archaeology would involve. No JCBs as in the Time Team; all four trenches were dug out by the students. A rude awakening for some! By the end of the fortnight, we had found the footings of the barn we were looking for, but the dating of the building will have to wait until all the finds have been processed.

On 25th August, we invited residents of Goostrey to visit the site to see what we had found. The most moving objects were domestic: clay marbles, a piece of slate scored with writing guides and a graphite pencil. Children have worked and played here for centuries. If we can date the objects we might be able to name the children.  

 

The footings of the barn emerge

The footings of the barn emerge

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Creative Writing Day for Gifted and Talented students

Thinking out a riddle

Thinking out a riddle

Two students, from each of six local schools in the Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School Primary Cluster, were selected to attend a day of research and creative writing at The Blackden Trust.  The course was led by Elizabeth Garner, who is the second published writer to be nurtured by Blackden.

The day was designed to immerse the students in the process of writing and in the very special atmosphere of the ancient site and houses at Blackden.   The students were presented with historical and architectural objects and given the challenge of finding out how and where they were used.  They also searched the garden to match up puzzle images to features on the site. With these impressions in their minds, Elizabeth then led the students through the demands of riddle-writing and demonstrated how to structure a story.  The students wrote riddles and stories and left stimulated: time will tell if yet another writer emerges from Blackden.

Click the link to find the riddles written by students from Chelford Primary School, Goostrey Primary School, the Hermitage Primary School, Holmes Chapel Primary School, Lower Peover Primary School and Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.

Help with writing a story

Help with writing a story

Collaborating on a story

Collaborating on a story

Checking that the object matches the image

Checking that the object matches the image

A mystery image identified

A mystery image identified

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"Up Them Fields", and What was Found There

The Riches of Blackden

Alan Garner

Alan Garner signing books

Alan Garner signing books


In his talk at the Methodist Church in Holmes Chapel, Alan Garner told the audience how, in 1957, he discovered the house in Blackden that has been his home for over fifty years; and where all his books have been written.

He told stories of the people who had lived in the place before him; stories he had gleaned from documents and from objects, going back to the last ice age, that had been found in the garden; and most important, because they are so easily lost, the stories that he had been told by more recent inhabitants. Riches like this were too precious to be left to chance, he told his audience, and so he had founded The Blackden Trust: an educational charity to look after the site for the public benefit.

Alan Garner described how work for new drains in 1971 had produced charcoal and burned bone. Analysis by English Heritage' s Ancient Monuments Laboratory had confirmed that the cremation was human. Radiocarbon dating of the charcoal has since shown that the pyre was lit between 3,700 and 3,900 years ago; confirming that the cremation dates from the Early Bronze Age.

After the talk, Alan Garner signed books while the audience enjoyed home made refreshments.

The event was organised by The Friends of The Blackden Trust to launch the 2012 season of public events.

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Printed on: 23 Aug 2019

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