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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!

Meet the Romans
Well, fancy that, Alecs, was it really not for sale? Heavens to Betsy! I would never have thought that. It was just as well, then. :D

These tv Directors - in a world of their own and always coming up with daft ideas! Bet the crew et it though - camera crews will eat just about anything, like gannets they are. Ever seen them in action?

Meet the Romans
Well, maybe some people don't mind bits of hair in their bread - I expect the Romans were just the same.

Camera work - 'squinting alongside at ground level an inscription which you couldn't read because of the angle and seeing part of her knee up in the top right corner' was one view .... I could do better than that, basic principle of pointing a camera at the subject.

Yes, she is an individual, so am I, and you. But we wouldn't face a camera without doing a bit of tidying however individual we are! I DO know what I am talking about having been in front of one often enough.

And I didn't say that the information was boring because once you got past the idiosyncrasies it was instructive and, interesting.

After Clean tools...Socks, Hats and Kneeling Mats
Only some of us got too much time on our hands?

You must have too, to be reading all this 'useful' stuff :D

Meet the Romans
I just WISH she'd do something with the hair! Fancy making bread with all that hanging about - no wonder the baker didn't really want to taste the cooked article. Not suggesting she have a make-over just tie it back a bit and not hook it round her ears. We could see her face then.

It's not a very good presentation of the personality.....some of the camera work is a bit dodgy too.

Content: interesting, though

After Clean tools...Socks, Hats and Kneeling Mats
Are you sure you didn't get them from Marcus and Spencius, Mike?

After Clean tools...Socks, Hats and Kneeling Mats
What on earth are Gruffalo-themed socks? They sound very uncomfortable :D

I used to wear handspun doggy socks but they proved to be a bit itchy and ponged awful when they got wet - much like the animal! And the white colour was a real no-no.

Vindolanda +
And, of course, there is always Chew Green and the camps up there. Now that's a nice desolate spot - the Romans knees must have knocked together just to keep warm. It was a nice day when we went last May but it was still cold (and windy). The road is narrow and quite winding but picturesque.

You can find a short info of that area, plus a map, on Wikipedia.


After Clean tools...Socks, Hats and Kneeling Mats
Hadn't thought of steel toe caps - what a good idea, especially when you've just dropped that full bucket on your foot! (ouch!) :-/

Vindolanda +
You can look up on the internet - English Heritage have a list of things going on in Northumberland eg. Medieval Royal Combat at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens 3 - 5 June 2012 but you do have to pay to get in.

There's Warkworth Castle & Hermitage, another Medieval Royal Combat (they do get about!) also in June - bit cheaper here.

Chesters - things on there, Roman theme; Housesteads have done up their museum - bit of a steep walk getting there - with Bellicus the Travelling Roman Potter (he's at Chesters as well AND Birdoswald) and the XIV Legion visiting the fort. This is naming but a few of what is going on.

Lindisfarne have an invasion of Vikings in August!

On the Prehistoric side you mentioned Duddo stones, or Duddo Stone Circle which can be found Map Ref: NT 931437. NT does not stand for National Trust but is the sheet number. :P

Bit further away is Castlerigg Stone Circle north side of the Lake District but it can get busy here and the road is very narrow. Views are wide ranging. And the henges at Mayburgh are certainly worth seeing with huge banks. These are near Eamont Bridge, south of Penrith. NY 519284

It seems that you cannot walk or drive far around Vindolanda without tripping over ancient history and the not so ancient but interesting history.

I've never been to Jedburgh and Kelso (Borders) and am hoping to visit during our 3 weeks next month.


After Clean tools...Socks, Hats and Kneeling Mats
I've been following the interesting conversation about who has cleaned their trowels and where to get new ones etc and who has had what, where and when, and a thought occurred - what about SOCKS. :D

Surely this subject deserves scrutiny. I mean, do you wear short socks, longer ones, even longer ones that you can see over the top of the boot or wellie? What material do people recommend? Cotton, or wool or synthetic. Some people (not me) put talc in the boot before they put their foot inside.

Do you recommend bright pyschedelic socks or calmer colours.

Would Andy like loud flashing colours to be seen in his trench? We need to be comfy... and that leads me to.....

Kneeling mats! Rubber from supermarket? Home-made? Knee pads? What?

And then we could look at Hats - should we wear leather ones? Mike has an Australian leather wide brim hat - I know its Ozzie because that's what it said on the label when I bought it on a market in the Midlands - its shrunk a bit but he says its comfortable. What are people's preferences and why?

And then Boots - walking boots, trainers or wellies? What is best for the trendy in-trench digger. A friend used to have green wellies with little red bows on the back - this was when she was a beginner archaeologist. We soon got her to change to join the rest of us. :P

The list is endless.. seemingly.


Vindolanda +
Our Archaeological Society, for its 125th Anniversary in 2003, had a trip to Hadrian's Wall. We wrote out travel directions (travelled by car in those days) and visited various places on the way up from Derby:

Roman: Isurium - Aldborough; Cataractonium - Catterick; Magis - Piercebridge; Vinovia - Binchester; Longovicium - Lanchester (not a lot to see); Vindomora - Ebchester; Costopitum - Corbridge.
Saxon: Escomb Church.

While in the area we visited most of the usual places in the locality (including Vindolanda) and also went to Arbeia - South Shields; Lanercost Priory; Hexham (of course!); Bywell - St Andrew - Saxon church; Ovingham St Mary - Saxon church; Warden church - Saxon using Roman stones.

If you wish to read up on the Saxon churches you can find them in 'Anglo-Saxon Towers - an architectural and historical study' by EA Fisher 1969. However, I think it is now out of print.
In 2006 the Society 'did' Durham and went to Guisborough Priory; Jarrow and Bede's World; Bowes Castle, Egglestone Priory, Barnard Castle; Durham - Castle and Cathedral, to name a few.

Please note: Beware of having Anniversary Celebrations! What was only meant to be a special one-off event has turned out to be an Annual Event - we are on our 10th such 'Visit' :D

Hope this helps a bit


PS. Add: Lindisfarne Priory (need to carefully check the Tide Tables!); Alnwick - popular place but is quite old really.

Clean Tools
Or.... we just take our own nice cleaned trowels, knee pads etc with us when we leave the site at the end of the day. (Just make sure that they aren't the Trust trowels and etc.... I don't think they'd be very pleased if they all started to disappear :P )

However! Do NOT forget to bring them with you in the morning!!! :'(


Clean Tools
You could always scratch your name/initials on the handle or even the blade. Bit difficult to deny, then, that the tool others have in their grubby mitts is yours when its got your name on it :P

Big pot of paint and a small brush should be supplied for those more artistic - perhaps psychedelic paint?

Yes, cleaning up at the end of the day was the first thing I was taught when a teenager and I still do it.