Reports on 2011 Activities

The following reports give a flavour of what took place in 2011; see what you may have missed!

Training course - archaeological drawing and surveying

Gigi Signorelli, a noted freelance archaeologist, ran a course on archaeological drawing and surveying; four Members attended. We practiced in Helmsley churchyard on tomb stones as there were no trenches available.

Gigi took us back to basics, not GPS or cameras. It was trig points, tape measures and human eye to record the position of a tomb stone of our choice. I chose one in the sun, since I have done enough excavations when snow covered the ground, and lazy winds whistled through multiple layers!

Susan Hall

Guided Visit to Easingwold II

On a cool, cloudy - and potentially-showery - day, six members of the Society met with Valerie and Brian Taylor for our second guided tour of Easingwold; what a change from last year's weather - which was almost unbearably hot!

Starting in the Market Place (some cobbles of which have been recently been scarred by wheelchair-friendly slabbed pavements), we paused outside the Galtres Centre (originally in private ownership, and built for the Robinson family (solicitors) by York architects Demain and Brierley).

A short walk down Chapel Lane brought us to the Methodist Church; the original building dated from 1786, and a school was added in 1860. A plaque announces that "John Wesley, founder of Methodism, preached on this site Monday 8 May, 1786". There is a gravestone and monument to John Skaife - "A Man of Sound Judgement, Strict Integrity and Great Punctuality".

In Memory of John Skaife

We then moved onto Long Street eastwards, past the hospital, and towards the old Toll Bar; crossing the road, we viewed St John's RC Church, designed in 1830 by Charles Hanson, the brother of Joseph Hanson of "Hansom Cab" fame.

Longley House
Crawford House

Returning westwards along Long Street, the locations of ten public houses / coaching inns were pointed out, together with Flemish Bond and tumbling brickwork (the latter a traditional, end-on, weathering detail on gable wall copings), firemarks, the old Salvation Army Citadel, the remains of ghostly advertising lettering on a tailor's window - and several grand, elegant buildings, including Longley House and Crawford House (above).

English National School - "Learn or Leave"

Turning up Church Hill Lane, we went past the old Tannery, and finally to the National School (now the Library) with its carved inscription over the door "Learn or Leave". With a final look at the Gaol and its lock-up (preserved within the doorway of a hairdressers' / beauty salon), we returned to the Market Place just before the rain started - and a well-deserved cuppa...

Many thanks to Valerie and Brian Taylor for their enthusiastic and knowledgeable guidance!

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