Volunteers Needed: Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership

Volunteers Needed: Be Part of a Unique Heritage Project!

The Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership is seeking volunteers to ensure an exciting heritage site opens to the public. A team is needed to open Wath Mill to the public for four Saturdays over the summer months. This is a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for heritage, particularly if you love to share your passion with other people.

The Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership recently restored the four sets of millstones and associated machinery, and the project has attracted huge interest. Many are curious to see what’s behind the locked doors, but we can only safely open the site if it is staffed by volunteers; otherwise the doors to this fascinating glimpse through time will remain closed.

Full-training is provided and will be organised with the volunteer team during April.

Interested? Contact Louise Brown, the Historic Nidderdale Project Officer, or call her on 01423 712950 for a chat.

You can find out more about the work of the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership here

York Seminar Series – new season

The York Seminars Committee writes to us about the York Seminars – free open lectures which cover an array of archaeological topics, aimed at both members of the university and the public.
Guest speakers are experts in their various fields and come from institutions across the UK and worldwide. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear the latest news from various research projects, so please disseminate widely amongst friends and colleagues who might be interested.
Details of Spring schedule here. Please note this term’s talks will be taking place at the earlier time of 4:15 pm, every Wednesday in the Philip Rahtz Lecture Theatre (K/133) in King’s Manor, York. The series is free to attend and open to all.

Pontefract Young Archaeologists’ Club Needs You!

Can any of our members or friends help out here? It would be great to encourage youngsters to develop their interest in archaeology. 

The long-running and popular Pontefract branch of the Young Archaeologist’s Club is looking for adult volunteers to help keep the club alive in 2018. They are looking for volunteers to come and provide sessions on an archaeological and historical theme suitable for children and to recruit more adult volunteers to join the existing team on a more permanent basis.

Could you offer some of your time to help this valuable local club?

Pontefract YAC is one of more than 70 local hands-on archaeological youth clubs co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). Each YAC branch is run by a team of volunteers, supported by YAC HQ at the CBA in York. They meet once a month to provide young people aged 8–16 with a range of practical archaeological experiences.

YAC’s branch volunteers come from many backgrounds: some are professional archaeologists or work in museums; others are teachers, parents or simply interested adults. The most crucial attributes of YAC volunteers are enthusiasm, dedication, enjoyment of working with young people, and an interest in the past.

YAC volunteers are provided with training opportunities – in archaeological skills, First Aid, Child Protection and other key skills – and social events, such as an annual Leaders’ Weekend.

To volunteer and help ensure that Pontefract YAC can continue to offer unique archaeological opportunities for young people in the area, please contact YAC’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, Cécilia Tuvo, at yac@yac-uk.org or phone 01904 671417.

CBA Yorkshire AGM & Symposium 2018

Saturday 3 February 2018
Fountains Lecture Theatre, York St John University, Clarence Street, York YO31 7RB

10.00 Annual General Meeting

11.00 Tea and coffee

11.20-16.30 Symposium
Sessions include
Recent Excavations at Hanging Grimston
New light on Malton Roman Fort
The use of drones in archaeological surveying and investigation with special reference to
the Ure/Swale Henge alignments
Celebrating our Woodland Heritage
From Medieval Mottes to Prehistoric Round Mounds: The Yorkshire evidence
Excavations in Honley Wood, Huddersfield
Excavations on the site of the Battle of Fulford 1066

The cost of the day is £10 (Members of CBA Yorkshire & affiliated group reps) or £14 (non-members)

Morning tea/coffee is inclusive. Lunch is not provided.
More details and booking

Industrial history events January to April

YAHS Industrial History Section sent its lecture programme for January – April.
(There’s also a full day event on Leeds industrial history, on 10 March at Armley mills – of which, more soon.)
All lectures will take place on Saturday mornings at the Swarthmore Education Centre, 2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds, LS3 1AD, starting at 11.00 am. Note earlier start time for AGM. For those travelling by car, at the weekend, free car parking is readily available at Joseph’s Well, just around the corner from and behind Swarthmore, off Hanover Way.
Stewart Liles
The firm of Whitakers, father and four sons, owned quarries at Pool Bank, Horsforth and Rothwell. From 1881 they were manufacturing bricks, and opened a works at Ravenscar c1901. They also carried out major civil engineering contracts, using their steam navvies, cranes, etc.
Steve Wyatt
A look, by a former Dodworth miner, at the realities of life in the industry, with an account of the disasters at Norcroft Colliery in 1821 and Oaks Colliery in 1866.
A short history of a surviving steelworks, founded in 1842, told by a former employee, now local historian and photographer, through old and historic photographs.
Start time 10.45 am
Following the business meeting of the AGM there will be the Members’Session. This is an excellent opportunity to give a short presentation on sites you have visited and/or share aspects of research being undertaken and exchange ideas with fellow members.

Medieval Section lecture on medieval swords

Message from YAHS Medieval Section:
Our speaker for this week’s lecture (13 Jan.) will be Dr Stefan Maeder of the Royal Armouries, and he’s going to talk to us about “Mirrors for Men?” a technological and cultural comparison of European and Japanese medieval sword.
Stefan’s background is in prehistoric and early medieval archaeology with a specialization in arms and armour studies. This is a rare opportunity to hear about a comparative study of Japanese and European sword-making traditions and culture.
The venue is Swarthmore College in Leeds and we’ll start at 2pm and allowing for questions aim to finish just after 3pm.

Thwing things

And more congratulations, to Roman section members for producing a handsome new volume in the society’s Archaeological Reports series:

Thwing, Rudston and the Roman-Period Exploitation of the Yorkshire Wolds

… is available for only £18 from Jeremy Mills Publishing.

The Roman section lecture on 20 January features Prof. Martin Millett, a co-author, speaking about the Thwing excavations and research on Romano-British landscapes of the Great Wold Valley. 2 p.m. at Swarthmore.


Thanks to members who have already paid 2018 subscriptions, due on 1 January. If you’ve not yet done so, we would appreciate receiving payment as soon as possible.

We don’t send out automatic reminders: to calculate what is owed, please check on the society’s website.

Please note that the Brotherton Library has changed its procedure for all external readers, whose tickets are now renewed from 1 January. To keep your library card active, your YAHS subscription payment needs to be up to date.

A reminder too that it’s very helpful to us to have your current email address. If in doubt, please send it to us.


Record viewing for Wednesday’s post about the new website. Let’s hope this attracts as much interest….

Can you help? For various reasons, including ill-health, relocation and resignation, we have lost several key people in recent months. We’re also developing new ways of working and re-defining some roles. YAHS has brilliant volunteers who commit a lot of time and energy in many different ways. But for the society to keep going, and fulfil all the plans and projects underway, we urgently need more practical support.

We’re looking for a new membership secretary – a job description is being prepared. This is a really good and interesting time to take over, as membership moves to a website-based system.

We are also hoping to identify one or two new members to strengthen the Finance Committee. This group advises on and monitors investments and all financial matters. Some complementary expertise may be helpful – possibly a legal, financial or business background – but the main thing is that the society has sensible advice from people aware of economic trends and issues. We don’t directly manage our own investments. Finance Committee meets a couple of times a year, and members don’t need to be on YAHS Management Board.

If you can help with any of these – or can volunteer for general admin, or are interested in assisting in other ways, or could suggest someone – please contact me (yas.president@gmail.com) or David Buck, hon. secretary (yas.secretary@gmail.com) to arrange a chat. Thanks.