Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Positive local engagement at the Remembering the Chase history event – highlights from Historic England’s project information stall

Historic England’s Cannock Chase project team were asked to host an information stand at the ‘Remembering the Chase’ living history event held on June 24-25th this year. Our stall explained the techniques we have been using to map and record the archaeology of the Chase (including some excellent geophysics and earthwork survey fieldwork by the trusty project volunteers) and presented highlights from what we are finding out so far. Marquis Drive Visitor Centre was transformed by encampments and costumed reenactors (historic and prehistoric). Despite some rather challenging wet weather over the weekend, the event was well attended and we had a really positive response from those who made it over to our stall in the information marquee. There was a high level of engagement with what we have been doing and with what we had to show - at times queues of people were waiting to ask us questions, read the information boards and look at examples of the project lidar and local aerial photographs.

From Neolithic crafts to First World War munitions workers, poetry to veteran motorcycles – there was something for everyone at the Remembering the Chase history event. All images © Historic England

It was very rewarding to interact with interested locals of all ages by showing them highlights from the upstanding archaeology – sometimes about places and stories they already knew, other times about new insights from the research. Visitors often shared their own knowledge or childhood memories with us, and many asked insightful questions about the data which prompted fresh ideas and interesting discussions. Having the opportunity to show many of our most committed project volunteers what the aerial mapping is revealing and to discuss some of the landscape patterns and puzzles with them was especially useful and enjoyable.

On the Sunday we also hosted at visit from the local Young Archaeologists’ Club (http://www.yac-uk.org/) who were very impressive when it came to trying our ‘can you spot…?’ lidar challenges – well done YACsters!

Historic England’s Chase Through Time information stall and the Remembering the Chase history event. All images © Historic England

A big THANK YOU to all those who came and spoke to us at the stall, squinted through our stereoscope and tested themselves with our lidar games, and to Gary for organising and coordinating the whole weekend.

We want your feedback! If you have a particular interest in any of the sites, techniques or themes that we have presented in earlier posts, or that you saw or discussed with us at the Remembering the Chase weekend event, please leave a comment below.

Rebecca Pullen, Archaeological Investigator, Historic England

Find out more about Historic England’s contributions to the wider project here: https://historicengland.org.uk/research/research-results/recent-research-results/west-midlands/cannock-chase/