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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Telling stories on the barrow

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Dr Cleal, hearing C-H-M's appeal for more material, has emerged from hiding, blinking into the light and very kindly sent C-H-M this picture. She writes "... at some time in the 80s, I think after your time but I may be wrong, we started going to sit on the top of Crippets long barrow in the field next to Ullenwood, usually after we'd been to the pub (strange, that). This is an occasion in 1984 and the protaganists are from left front clockwise : I'm afraid unknown (or forgotten on my part), Julian Thomas (now Professor Thomas, University of Manchester), Clive Anderson, Nicky Snashall, Clare Milroy, Julie Lancley, Simon (help - have temporarily forgotten his surname) [Figg? Ed.], self, Dave Southwood (Biggles). We certainly did this on more than one occasion and I've since looked up Crippets in the 1920s volume on Gloucestershire long barrows by the well known field archaeologist O.G.S.Crawford in which he notes that there is evidence of some antiquarian activity - well, we should have recognised that, as we were sitting with our feet in the remains of the 'dig' - but I'm not sure that did occur to us (except perhaps to Julian!). If you're putting stuff on line you can mention that Nicky (usually 'Nick' now) and I now work for the National Trust at Avebury where we recreate, as far as is possible, the ambience of the CH finds and planning huts - all we lack is Corky to keep us in order."

To which Dr Ferris muses: "Oh, the youth of today thinking they invented everything-the jet engine, alcohol, cyber-sex, the wireless, pot noodles, sitting on Crippets barrow at night etc. I remember some splendid late night, GL-fuelled,ghost-story-telling sessions on the barrow in 1976 and 1978, the latter being my opportunity to reveal my strange experience with the ghost of a miner encountered in County Durham. And I wasn't making it up." How much GL had you had when you met the miner?

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