Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Starr Carr and Miss Witherington (Ripon 1966) and Ivy Drayton (Wandsworth 1969)

Thanks to the Guardian10 08 2010and Lorne Campbell for this picture of the Starr Carr House

Disc Barrow Winterbourne Stoke Group 1971

Colin shouted at me to come and watch the BBC news this morning , but it was the words Starr Carr which made me dash to watch. Within 5 minutes I had texted my  prehistory loving sister in Cheshire, planned a  trip to the site, planned a a revisit to the finds of the 1949 dig in the BM and recalled in a flash Miss Witherington.

When I decided to do Prehistory at College as a  second subject diversion from the lab , where I spent hours looking down Microscopes and staining things with Delafields Haematoxylin, Miss Witherington , our lecturer on Prehistory was in love with her subject. She passed on to me a yearning to know all I could about the  round barrows , long barrows, enclosures, and cup and ring marks in any area where I set my feet for more than a day. Thanks to her, I did courses on the sites of Anatolia- and all sites within reach of Wandsworth with  Ivy Drayton , another wonderful  teacher and an inspirational encourager. With Miss Witherington I did every Prehistoric site near Ripon, went to Thornbury aligned Circles and Devils Arrows at Boroughbridge. With Miss Drayton to Coldharbour Iron Age Fort near Dorking and Abinger pit dwelling. 

 I have thought for years about how a teacher sparks off in a learner something which becomes a lifelong JOY. Both these enthusiasts taught me to appreciate lumps in the ground, aerial Photographs, topography and a desire  to make sense of few clues.  It is because of them that I traipsed around  Amesbury and Winterbourne Stoke  alone with a camera in 1971. It is because of them that the trip to Beverley past Argham and Maidens Grave is a fascinating thought starter.

Ditch at Stonehenge 1971

You could walk right up to the monument in 1971

My sister Susan told me about local sites, Duggleby Howe, and the Chariot Burials.My children always call out' Long Barrow' Mum every time we pass a Covered water reservoir. They have not forgotten a childhood of being dragged to Belas Knap or Waylands Smithy. Colin has been known to put his foot down, literally when I call out that looks like a round barrow as we drive past a mound with a ring of trees atop.

I am supposed to be gardening this afternoon , and then tidying and cleaning before Housegroup comes tonight. I think Ill go and find my 35ml slides I last used when I taught 4orange History in Wimbledon Chase Middle School in 1973. I'll scan them in for us all.
My sister Susan is coming on Saturday , I know she will be in the car with me to the Carrs before I can call out Lake Pickering.
Bowl Barrow Winterbourne Stoke Group 1971

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12.8.10

    Star Carr here I come ! I find it very strange that James, who visited his first site about 2 months before his birth, at Wetwang Chariot burial has not developed a similar love !!!