Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hollywood comes to Retford!!!

THREE Bassetlaw landmarks are to feature in a major Hollywood movie about the Pilgrim Fathers' role in founding the world's most powerful country.  All Saint's Church in Babworth near Retford, St Wilfrid's at Scrooby near Bawtry and historic Scrooby Manor have all been locations for the Monumental film crew. 

Los Angeles-based Kirk Cameron Productions and the Pyro Pictures Corporation are filming in Europe for a documentary which is expected to become an American classic.
Due for completion at the end of the year, it aims to unearth the detailed history of the founding of America by settlers, including people from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire more than 400 years ago.

Actor Kirk Cameron has called in local author and historian Sue Allan, who initially organised location shoots and has become one of the story-tellers in the film.
Christian Kirk, a father-of-six, confirmed that the movie was giving him an opportunity to seek out his roots.

He said: "I've traced my heritage back to the Scottish clans and as Americans we all sense our country's soul is on this side of the Atlantic."There's been a moral decline and much political noise, so I think it's important for us to go back and understand where we came from.
"If we can understand our forefathers we can learn so much about ourselves."

Producer and director Duane Barnhart said it was important to visit Babworth and Scrooby because of their connections with the people who eventually founded the Plymouth settlement in Massachusetts.

Duane said: "Over in America the Pilgrims are portrayed as men with big belt buckles and black hats. But we're filling in all the blanks because we have an expert in Sue Allan. "She's been fantastic and we couldn't have had a better tour guide and host."  Ms Allan, who is now married to American artist and co-writer Roger Vorhauer, penned the Mayflower Maid trilogy.
She said: "Not only am I to be on screen a good deal of time in this film, I have also been responsible for supplying the locations."I insisted on using Babworth and Scrooby, so I secured the permissions. And I have also assisted the scriptwriter on historical content and even found hotel accommodation."But it's been an amazing experience because Kirk is making sure this documentary is going to be well received in the USA."

Babworth churchwarden Mike Board also has a small role in the movie.  He said: "I just thought I was showing a group of tourists around the church."But I was surprised to see an American film crew who wanted to see the 16th century Babworth chalice and patten."

From http://www.thisisretford.co.uk/news/Bassetlaw-landmarks-feature-major-Hollywood-movie-Pilgrim-Fathers/article-2391824-detail/article.html

Monday, 26 July 2010

The groups attendance at the Chesterfield Canal Festival went pretty well, we managed to hand out plenty of application forms to the public and sell some of the books and pottery we took.   We didn’t make as much as we’d like to have done but the persistent rain and other events in the local area probably kept the masses away.
The Society also now understands the need for better publicity we only had a short write up about the society and a couple of A4 flyers around the marquee on Saturday which weren’t very prominent. On Sunday David and Maureen Broadhead brought a larger stand in which we displayed some photos and a couple of the magazines in.  I have to admit I was a bit disappointed we hadn’t managed to get a second run of magazines printed as I’m sure they would have sold well.  Our next big event is in October so hopefully we can get plenty of literature and information organised for then.  
My few days at the Besthorpe dig went well, The event was organised by the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership (This seems to be what the Trent Valley is called around the Stoke-on-Trent area) I managed to dig a ditch and record it with Sarah and an A level student called Meg from Cambridgeshire.  The ditch is MPL10 1630 and contained several pieces of roman pottery and a few flecks of charcoal with a evidence of burning due to the oxidisation of the higher levels of sand.  The weather was nice whilst we were there and I learnt how to locate ditches in sand which will be particularly useful around this area the local geology being made mainly from Sherwood Sandstone.
The site itself is amazing the area of settlement is huge and finds range from Neolithic flints to Anglo-Saxon finds.  The amount of Romano-British pottery is such that most of it is left in situ as there wouldn’t be enough room to store it in.  The ground kind of looks like a bull has been in a china shop! The site was open to the public on the Monday and Tuesday and I even caught a glimpse of Kevin Leahy there.  According to the archaeologists onsite there are a few more years of this exciting project left to run so I guess all going well I’ll be returning for the next few seasons.
On August 21st and 22nd there is a Roman Living History weekend at Marton, Lincolnshire. The event will include an ‘excavation’ of the Roman site and volunteers have been asked to come forward.  If that doesn’t interest you there will be a fashion display, cookery display as well as pottery and mosaic making.  To book a place at these events contact Sarah Grundy at Lincolnshire County Council on 01522 553109. (http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/section.asp?docId=88979)
The Next South Yorkshire Archaeology day will be on 20th November – details of the lectures have not yet been finalised but it should be an enjoyable day out.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Chestefield Canal and Wincobank Hill Fort

Mondays talk by Maureen Taylor went really well and the costume really added to her talk "Elizabethan Life & Society".
We're really looking forward to the Chesterfield Canal Festival at the Rugby Club, Worksop this weekend. Gates open between 10.00 and 17.00.

Many thanks to Worksop Library for donating several maps of Worksop and some vintage 1920's Worksop Guardians. These are much appreciated and the Guardians will be read thoroughly for some juicy old stories.

I'm off to Besthorpe next week to help excavate a Romano-British settlement next to the River Trent. Really looking forward to it as never been on a proper 'dirty' dig before.  The most I did at uni was walkover surveys.

Walkover Survey - Wincobank Hill Fort

DOG walkers and passers-by may notice some unusual activity on Wincobank Hill this month - especially at the weekends.
The Friends of Wincobank Hill are working with Dr Roger Doonan from the Archaeology Department of The University of Sheffield to carry out a survey of the hill fort and the area either side of the brick track leading from Jenkin Road.
The team will be hunting for clues of what lies beneath the soil but aren't planning any digging.
Instead they will be using hi-tech scanning equipment to pick up clues as to what may be hidden.

The community archaeology project is authorised by Sheffield Council and English Heritage and the organisers are hoping the findings may encourage the TV's Time Team to keep Wincobank Hill on their schedule for next summer.

To find out more visit www.wincobankhill.btik.com/ or go to the next Friends meeting which starts at 7pm on Thursday August 1 at Upper Wincobank Chapel, Wincobank Avenue.