The Festival of British Archaeology runs each July and 2010 was the second year that the Society has participated by organising four events across the country, including in Saddleworth.
Surprisingly, in spite of gloomy lowering grey skies and heavy storms, the meeting in Saddleworth, part of the old West Riding of Yorkshire, attracted 26 people to a talk in Uppermill Museum, followed by a walk to view the real thing. It was organised in conjunction with the Saddleworth Historical Society and the Museum curator, who both generated plenty of publicity; five Society members were there, including one from Shropshire. Jan Scrine gave a presentation on Pennine Ways and Waymarkers, then we strolled along the roadside where Jan did a practical demonstration by cutting away a hedge to reveal a very old milestone from Blind Jack of Knaresborough’s days.
We debated about the role of the tollhouse that Chris Marcus had said caught the station traffic and pondered the question raised by Margaret Hill about the relative placing of the destination names on the flat plates made by Brayshaw and Booth. People wondered why the Saddleworth mileposts had suddenly been painted white and we subsequently learned from local councillor Mike Buckley that he had persuaded the local authority to grant £3,000 to repaint the surviving 26 mileposts (out of 27!). A very entertaining and worthwhile event to raise public awareness.
John Armstrong, Hon Auditor