Tuesday, 23 July 2013

23 July 2013, Hickleton Hall POW Project Day 2

Today started off incredibly wet! It has hardly rained for a month and as soon as we step on site we get a deluge! The brave souls that faced the weather today were; Alex, Kate, Phil, Helen, Vince, Mia and Shell. Sue joined us later in the afternoon (after the rain, we all noticed!). Unfortunately the rainfall was so heavy in the morning there was little we could do but sit it out until the weather broke.

It finally did and we were able to get out onto site to start doing a tree survey. We were looking for the possibility of hidden wires from aerials for a possible secret radio station. They look something like this one at Shipley Zero Station:

(Picture copyright Malcolm Atkin)

We were also looking for camp furniture in the trees, like the wire fence and similar items, along with any graffiti or carvings. Since there were a lot of men housed in the camp some of them could have wiled away the hours by carving things into the trees.

It is difficult to know if any carvings are from the camp or later activity, especially without associated dates, but we had to record everything we found, just in case it could be important. And also to eliminate them from our enquiries.

Phil makes notes and records the carvings we came across. Each carving was noted on a form, photographed in close up and at a distance and finally the position of the tree was recorded with a GPS.

We came across and recorded this remembrance cross fixed to a tree. It's interesting to note that although this is military site there is nothing above ground to indicate that there was ever a camp here, so whomever left this must have had some knowledge of the history of the place.

Is there anybody out there...?

Vince inspects a tree for markings:

Kate found this excellent carving. This was located close to one of the hut bases, but unfortunately we have no way of knowing how old it is!

Best find of the day was down to Mia and this love heart and a name on the other side of the tree! Well spotted!

Can you see the number 2? Unfortunately this was a natural blemish on the tree bark...

Shell continues the investigation:

So even though we had a difficult start, things got better and we managed to record quite a few carvings. The sun even made an appearance in the afternoon! We'll be back to the geophysical survey and clearing off a base tomorrow.

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to come along, just let us know you are coming, or you can follow us here on Facebook and Twitter.

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