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Archaeology

1968 My career in archaeology (such as it was) began in probably my second year at secondary school. I had an interest in maps and history; as a smaller kid I loved grubbing around old castles and, particularly, Roman remains.
I was sponsored by my school to do the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. For the "Interest" section I took up going to my nearest dig; this was the South Staffordshire Archaeological Society Saturday excavations at Wall Roman site, near Lichfield, Staffordshire. I gained my DoE Bronze Award, and carried on going to the dig every Saturday and many Sundays and weekdays in the next couple of years.
the bath-house at Wall
1971-6 Over the next few years I went digging at Wall when I could, building up a good relationship wth Bert Round, the site director. Although I was around quite a bit and able to spend more time digging, I began to hear tales that a fit young man could be paid to dig and so I looked for an opportunity to become a digger with a big "d".  
1976-80In the spring of 1976 I took a room in a flat with school friend Duncan Higgs in north London and began volunteering on the Department of Urban Archaeology (now MOLA) site at the former General Post Office buildings in New Street (GPO75) directed by Alan Thompson. Oh, muddy days!! So began four years of mud sweat & tears in our clothes. Got a job with the DUA in April 1977. GPO75 was later directed by Steve Roskams.
Other sites I worked on include:
  • Milk Street (MLK76) - directed by Andy Boddington, Steve Roskams & John Schofield
  • Bridewell Palace (BRI77) - directed by Derek Gadd
  • Dukes Street (DUK77) - directed by John Maloney
  • Heneage Lane (HEN79) - watching brief
  • Fenchurch Street (FCH79) - watching brief
  • Post Office Middle (POM79) - the 'POM Anarchosyndicalist Collective'
Had a break from the city for a while (April-June 78) to cover supervision of the medieval manor house excavations at Raunds, Northamptonshire.
Back in the City carried on with the digging until the spring of 1980 when my health failed.
G.P.O. 1975 the London wall 
1981-6Over the next five years I turned to digging outside London. Excavations include:
  • Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire - Summer 1982 (Link)
  • Rocester and Tutbury, Staffordshire - May 1985 to May 1986 (Link)
  • Port Eynon, Gower Penninsular - Autumn 1986. (See White, A, 1996, The salt houses of Gower, Gower 47, 6-16.)
 
These days I remain a member of my local archaeological society, receive the annual transactions, don't attend the meetings, and watch archaeology TV programmes occasionally.  
 
 
     
For more spoo go to Hobley's Heroes. Gathering together the fragmentary scraps of paper and photos that document their lives, working on excavations across the City of London in the period 1973-1991
The Lez Watson Inexperience

The author - Leslie (Lez) V Watson - has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work. I use Chrome web browser and Notepad++ script editor.

v18.7 :: 4 October 2016