Monday, May 25, 2009

Andrew Powell muses ...

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Professor Dixon illuminates this 1973 shot of Andrew Powell's: "the area to the south of the entrance. The square cut into the bank is cutting AIV of 1969, reopened in 1973."

Andrew himself says: "All this nostalgia gets me to reminiscing. Your blog says over 3000 people have dug at Crickley and while I am sure there is something about the Crickley Hill experience that most of us share - a common feeling about the place, the archaeology, the people, particularly Phil, even about the Ullenwood ablutions, I am also certain that each person has a different story to tell about what that experience meant.

When I first went to Crickley, for two weeks in 1971 (I think), I had just left school and was planning to study Scots law. This was my first experience of archaeology, and each subsequent summer while at university I came back to Crickley, where I met the likes of Ferris, Phillpotts, Boden, Roberts and many others, all of whom seemed to be having much more fun studying archaeology than I was, studying law. 

It slowly dawned on me that I was on the wrong career path, and after graduating I finally decided that a legal career was not for me (much to the relief I think of the Edinburgh solicitors who had offered me an apprenticeship – given my sober and respectable appearance at the time). 

However, with help and advice from Phil, including a very complimentary “To whom it may concern” reference (that I still have), I first got my first professional job in archaeology digging in Glasgow, and eventually a place at university to study archaeology. So Crickley was literally a life-changing experience for me – thanks to which I am a now highly remunerated, fat-cat archaeologist, rather than just another impoverished Scottish lawyer. Ho hum.

Has anyone mentioned the 1972 Fisher-Spassky World Chess Championship, which I remember being followed with great interest at Ullenwood? I recall there were a number of quite good chess players there; I was not one of them but I got quite interested. Or, a few years later, the group who, incomprehensibly (to many of us), would play Dungeons and Dragons every evening rather than amble down to the Air Balloon for a quick half of shandy."

May I apologise to Andrew for the delay in posting his amusing observations: he sent this note to me some weeks ago, but the after-effects of the general anaesthetic caused me to suffer from temporary amnesia?

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