Time Flyers – A talk by Jo Caruth

Little Waldingfield History Society was most pleased to welcome Jo Caruth, a senior project officer from the Bury St Edmunds archaeology field team, to the Parish Room on April 10th for the last formal talk of our first year as a society, and what a successful first year its been!

Jo entertained us with many anecdotes and behind the scenes stories associated with the making of a TV archaeology programme, both from the air and on the ground, which was where her particular expertise came in handy – we will never look at such a programme again without recalling them and her!

As the title implies, Time Flyers took a fresh and original perspective on some of the most famous and important archeological sites of Britain to reveal Britain’s history from above. Using aerial archaelogy combined with dig excavations on the ground, the Time Flyers team of three archeologists investigated many mysteries that had baffled researchers for decades.

As many readers will know, even where there are no longer any physical remains, outlines of what was once there can often be seen through crop marks and scars on the landscape, often changing throughout the year as weather conditions change through the seasons.

The unique aerial perspective from a helicopter is combined with a dig site on the ground, and with important and large-scale sites chosen, there was always much that was interesting. Most importantly, at the heart of each programme was a historical mystery that the Time Flyers team set out to solve, from the extraordinary Neolithic monuments around Stonehenge to the Roman Empire’s very first frontier (in Scotland); from Offa’s Dyke on the Welsh borders to a medieval village in Somerset that was finished off by the Black Death.

Imprinted on the wild mountains, coasts and moorlands is a rich history, visible not just in the buildings but in the shape of the landscape itself. From prehistoric monuments to the vast modern motorways which sweep across the land, Britain is marked indelibly by the works of man. Nowhere is this better seen than from the air, and nowhere better heard than from the lips from one who was there in person.

Everyone had a fantastic evening hearing some of the more humorous ways of aerial archeologists, including what they got up to off air, and we now look forward to a couple of outings we are putting on for members:

  • 14th May  An afternoon visit to Little Hall in Lavenham, which should be fascinating; &
  • 18th June  An afternoon visit to Guestingthorpe Roman Villa, to include viewing an ancient barn full of farming memorabilia; I am really looking forward to this.

Our next talk is on September 13th, kicking off our second season.

We are absolutely delighted to invite Pip Wright back again, to talk on “For the rest of your natural life”, which will tell the stories of Suffolk convicts transported to Australia between1787 and 1867. Pip enthralled us all earlier in the year with his talk on “Suffolk Witches in and around Suffolk”, and this topic is sure to be equally captivating, as Pip is such a great story teller.

W hope to see many friends in the evening at the LW Parish Room (7.30), both old and new.

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