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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

Thanks for 7 great years!

Merry Xmas to new friends & old
A very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to the whole Vindolanda gang, from Sam, baby Ruby, and that rapidly-aging guy there in the back.

Here in Maine we've already dug out from our 4th snowstorm (28.8 inches have fallen this year so far, yikes), so a white Christmas is pretty well guaranteed. If anybody would like some, I'm ready to start shipping it outta here!

- Harry

Revenue brainstorm
Another thought: simple, tri-fold pamphlets on various aspects of Vindolanda: the visible ruins, the buried ruins, the Wall in general, the frontier, the Roman army, civilian life, current excavations, past excavations, conservation, etc. All available at the front ticket office. (Not having been there this year, maybe these are now being offered? Didn't see any in 2006.)

As exceptional as the museum is, the visible remains can be a bit cryptic. The souvenir guidebook is a nice overview and, well, souvenir. But I'll bet that lots of people would like to have a deeper knowledge of what they're seeing.

It doesn't have to be fancy. Just a black & white tri-fold sheet of A4 paperstock for each topic. Printing cost, about a penny. Sell each pamphlet for a pound, maybe a discount on buying the whole set.

I'm sure there are people here (myself included) who would gladly devote time to creating & proofreading such a pamphlet.

Will it make a mint? Probably not. But will it bring in more revenue while expanding people's experiences of the site? Definitely!

Revenue brainstorm
The first idea I had was one that I've noodled for a couple years: "Adopt-a-Shoe." "Adopt-an-X" works well for all sorts of projects in the U.S. Why not the UK?

The idea is simple. Robin said once that conserving each leather shoe found at Vindolanda costs something like 30-40. Why not offset that cost by offering a chance for visitors to "adopt" a shoe. The charge could be whatever the Trust thinks reasonable.

An adoptee would get a picture of a shoe that's been uncovered, a basic description of the shoe & who would have worn it, a pamphlet on the basics involved in excavating & conserving, a picture or two of it in conservation, and then a picture of it after final conservation along with an official certificate of appreciation. Maybe at the end of each year there could be an additional raffle for 10 or so. If you win the raffle your shoe gets displayed in the museum for the next year.

Personally, I'd -love- to have a chance to do this. Visitors always seem amazed to see an actual 1900-year-old shoe come out of the ground. Anybody else think this one has legs?

Revenue brainstorm
So after the HLF disappointment, the question becomes "what next?" I personally am a fan of the Trust's vision of where it wants to go. And it has, no doubt, a top-notch group of advisors already working the problem.

But it seems this community & this forum are about a grass-roots passion for a place that we love. I'd like to think that we also have some energy and some ideas. Maybe the answer won't come from one big top-down injection, but lots of small things that individuals can do to bring in little here, a little there.

So I decided to start this post where people can throw out ideas, brainstorm, whatever. What do -you- think Vindolanda can do to raise revenue and stay focused on what it does well? Let 'em know here!

Nothing's too outlandish, everything's worth at least a look. With a little luck we might be able to put together some ideas that the Trust can actually move forward. I'll start with a couple, and we'll see what happens.

Heritage Fund (or lack of)
Hear, hear!

There's always the old "Adopt-a-Roman-Shoe" idea. And of course Andy & Justin starring in their own Vindolanda calendar a la "Calendar Girls". The mind boggles at the possibilities.

I believe that no words could do proper justice to that pic.

Fabulous Santa-smiley!

Very Happy Holidays to you and yours too Alex, and all Vindolanda-folk. Best wishes to all for a great '08.

- Harry

Happy Birthday Sophia!
Hey Andy. Just a quick belated "Happy 1st Birthday" to your pride & joy. Hope all's happy, harmonious, and well-rested in the Birley household!

Ruby's currently on the livingroom floor, scooting on her back to try to get to a ball she just dropped. Graceful, she isn't. Industrious, now there's a different story.

- H