News for Winter 2001

Financial Support for Research and Publication

This Society has always had, as one of its main objectives, the study of the history and archaeology of Nottinghamshire and has encouraged and supported high quality research by providing a platform for reporting results through its lecture programme, publication in the Transactions and, on occasion, the Record Series. The Society's Council has been considering its research policies and has resolved that the Society should take support for research one stage further by offering discretionary grants to suitable candidates to enable them to pursue a certain line of research leading to publication. The amounts offered would be around £100-£300 up to a certain amount each year as funds allowed and Council decided. Grants would be available to Society members and, at Council’s discretion, to students in full-time education. Details of the research project, including objectives, methods of research, use and reproduction of original papers and time would be required, before considering any grant. Candidates would be expected to lecture and/or write up the research results for a Society publication following the project's completion, subject to the Society's acceptance. Contact John Beckett or Barbara Cast for applications or informal discussion on possible projects.

Special website for members of societies and associations

The website, set up with the help of is Britain’s major internet site helping members of literary and historical societies find old and out of print books for sale in Britain. The website holds a selection, changing daily, of over half a million books published between 1600 and 1990 offered for sale between £5 and £5,000 by some 600 British booksellers in many subject areas, including Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, history, local history, archaeology, and antiquities.

Reduced price on 2001 CD-ROM price guide for old and out of print books

The Clique, longest-established specialist publisher of information on old, rare and out of print books, now issues an annual CD-ROM series of price guides. The 2001 edition contains catalogue prices of over 400,000 books in all subject areas published between 1600-1990. Members of British literary and historical societies and associations can obtain copies of UKBW 2001 Windows CD-ROM for £48 rather than the normal retail price of £60. Further details from The Clique, 7 Pulleyn Drive, York YO24 1DY, tel. 01904 631752, website

Graham Beaumont
Many of you will know Graham Beaumont, who has lectured to the Society on a number of occasions and led at least one tour. Graham retired from the County Council in November after 28 years as ‘Conservation Guru’. We wish Graham well in retirement, and hope it will give him a chance to sort out all those slides! John Beckett


The Milestone Society

Further to Winter 2000 Newsletter’s report, the Milestone Society has now been formed; it aims to identify, record, research, conserve and interpret for public benefit milestones and other waymarkers of the British Isles. Its objectives: to publicize and promote public awareness of milestones and waymarkers; to enhance public awareness and enjoyment of milestones and waymarkers and to inform and inspire the community at large of their distinctive contribution to both the local scene and to the historic landscape in general; to organise practical projects at regional and local levels; to protect, preserve and restore through the planning process, representing their significance to appropriate authorities locally and nationally; and to establish regional groupings. Yearly membership is £10 single, £12 couple. Details from Brian Barrow, Larkrise, Wicken Rd., Clavering, CB11 4QT.

British Archaeological Association

Meetings are held at 5pm at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1V 0HS. Non-members are welcome, but are asked to make themselves known to the Hon Director on arrival.

Annual Conference 2002: The BAA conference will be held in Rochester on 27th-31st July and will concentrate on the 3 As of Rochester Cathedral (art, architecture and archaeology) and its neighbouring buildings including the Castle. For more information contact Anna Eavis, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2GZ;

"Keep Archaeology Free"

This was the slogan of the Council for Independent Archaeology's campaign against Article 3 of the Valetta Convention signed by the Government on 20th March last. All organizations involved with archaeology were urged to write to MPs regarding the threat to independent and amateur archaeology perceived by the signing of this article. The Council for Independent Archaeology identified the threat as to "effectively outlaw community archaeology" and "put the past in the hands of faceless bureaucrats". The article states that parties undertake "to apply procedures for the authorization and supervision of excavation and other archaeological activities". This is seen as leading to the creation of a system of licensing for archaeology, threatening the long tradition of independent fieldwork and removing local people's responsibility for and engagement in the study of their past. On reflection amongst archaeological representatives on Council, the Society alerted all Nottinghamshire's MPs to the concerns being expressed. Helpful and interested responses were received from Patrick Mercer of Newark and Retford, Alan Simpson of Nottingham South, and Paddy Tipping of Sherwood. All three had sought information from Tessa Blackstone, Minister of State for the Arts, who responded with the Government view. She says: "In broad terms, current measures in place in the UK already meet the Convention's requirements. The Government does not believe that additional legislation, requiring a licensing system, is necessary to fulfil Article 3. Much archaeological work is already controlled through existing mechanisms. There may be scope for developing a voluntary code of conduct for those wishing to undertake archaeological work outside the existing systems of control. In England, English Heritage will be taking forward consultations with appropriate bodies representing all parts of the archaeological community on any necessary improvements to the operation of existing systems of control and on the development of a voluntary code of conduct."
Barbara Cast

Tea at Lectures: One or two members have asked us to reinstate tea after Saturday afternoon lectures. Tea had to be dropped when there were no volunteers to make it, but if there are now a few people (the Society makes no distinctions in terms of gender!) willing to be on a rota we could provide refreshments. Speak to the Chairman, John Beckett, at a future lecture if you would be willing to be involved. The good news is that seasonal refreshments will be available at the December lecture, courtesy of Jean Nicholson. Look out for the shortbread pigs!