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My Working Experience of Wessex Archaeology

I applied to Wessex Archaeology in early September 2016, getting my application in early to make sure I had a good opportunity of obtaining my chosen work experience. I was interviewed by Rachel Brown, who is in charge of all educational activities within WA. During the interview, I was told what to expect and given a tour of all the facilities. Rachel emailed me about a week before my placement to provide me with my timetable and reminders of what to wear for my field visit on the Wednesday. When this came through, it excited me about what I was going to do. It reminded me how much to the company there was, that there were many computer-based departments as well as the standard archaeology units.  

Monday 10 July – First Day

I arrived for 9:30, making sure I had everything I needed in my rucksack. I was told in the email that I would be met by Linda, who is using her leadership role to embed the quality approach in the heart of the business and make sure it aligns with its strategy and objectives. I met Linda in her office, where she took me to Rachel’s room to brief me on everything to watch out for and how to lift heavy items. She also showed me a PowerPoint to do with Health & Safety. She then gave me a tour around the main building, showing me everything including Heritage, Geophysics, Archives, Finds and where to meet in the case of a fire. 


The first department I was working with was Finds, and I was working with Sophie. This was a great place to start as it introduced me to some of the artefacts that they dealt with. We chose a box which had come back from a site. This contained many bags of flint, animal bone and a few other bits and pieces. I chose the animal bone as this looked interesting, which would take me through the morning quite nicely. I had small bones from the feet, to larger bones from the leg. Some of these animal bones contained small holes running down the middle of them. I had to get a stick and a toothbrush to get inside this to clean out all the mud and small pebbles. Overall, this was a great place to start with as the work was interesting and for me, it was an enjoyable place to start the week. Many of the other people working with me were very welcoming and easy to approach. 
In the afternoon, I worked with Roberta and Vi in Geomatics. Here, they use many different techniques to create 3d models and site plans. They use laser scanners, which tells you the distance between an object and the scanner, which will then build up a 3d model or point cloud. The other technique they use is photogrammetry. This is where a person takes approximately 50 photos, which is then used in a programme called ReMake. This creates a 3D image of the item you are photographing. This was fun as I used a serious camera to take the photos and saw these photos progress into an image I could see in a 3D model on the computer. Roberta and Vi carefully explained about what they did as I had never seen anything like that before. I must thank them for that or I may have never understood what they did!


Tuesday 11 July – Second Day

Again, I arrived for 9:30 at Wessex. I was greeted by the receptionist who took me to Rachel’s office. I had a brief talk with Rachel about what I did on the Monday and I expressed my interest in what I had seen already. After that I was taken to meet Sam, who I was joining for the morning. There we were doing some sample processing. She showed me the ropes and with a bit of assistance, I quickly got the hang of it. We had buckets full of artefacts (and mud) which we filtered through a large tank. Anything that did not float was left at the bottom whilst we scooped out part of the ‘sample’ and put into a sieve. We then put these sieves into a small oven to dry off, which took 2−3 days. I managed to do about five buckets during my morning with her. I thought this was about average until I saw the masses of buckets they have to do. They have a tiring job! However, she told me that not every bucket will be done, they just have to record that it has come to WA.
In the afternoon, I was working with Naomi in the Heritage Department. They use many applications such as Google Earth, as well as external sources such as archives and records offices to aid them in their analysis of the site. These guys are the ones to ‘scope’ the area and look for potential archaeology if a new housing estate wants to be built on a certain area. They have quite an important role because if a housing estate was to be built on an area with significant archeologically importance, it might damage the archaeology.
I want to thank Sam and Naomi for giving up their time and showing me what they do for the company. It was really eye-opening, so thank you. 


Wednesday 12 July – Third day and Site day

On the Wednesday, we visited a site at Chisenbury, North of Salisbury. They had just started to excavate the site and I was lucky to get involved in the digging of it. The site was being run by Project Manager Phil Andrews, who showed me around and made me feel very welcome with the rest of the team. The site was part of Breaking Ground Heritage and Operation Nightingale. There was believed to be an Iron Age roundhouse in the trench. You could actually see this by the dark sports making up the shape of a roundhouse. I and the others were excavating these dark areas to look for anything that might help identify who lived here and what it was used for. I found many bits of pottery, all of which were pretty small. I also found some animal bone which was identified as pigs tooth. For me, this was great because I was doing what most people know archaeology to be. I was doing what most people know archaeology to be. A tooth might not be the most interesting, but I found it really exciting to be finding that for myself. I would like to thank Rachel and Phil for organising this for me. Phil allowed me to come on site so I would like to thank him and his assistant for showing me and making me feel welcome. (Also, the rain kept off which was good!).

Thursday 13 July – Fourth Day

Today I worked with Coastal & Marine in the morning and then Archives in the afternoon. In the morning, I was working with Alistair and then Joaquin. Alistair showed me a PowerPoint which explained what they find and what procedures they have to follow. He also told me what locations he and others had visited, including finding a whole WW1 aircraft, with all the pieces still together. After this Joaquin took me over the storage room. This was where they kept all their diving gear, including containers, weights, jackets, dry and wet suits, helmet gear and how the air you carry is supplied to you while diving. However, the most interesting part for me was looking at some of the artefacts in there as well, this included a gigantic wooden keel. It was nearly half as long as the room! 
Also in the room was old aircraft parts, including a propeller. Towards the end of my time with Joaquin in Costal & Marine, I was helping him prepare an upcoming dive. He had a three-page checklist in which he checked he had everything and I would tick it off the list. It was interesting to see how much they need to take with them.
Thanks Alistair and Joaquin for an insightful Thursday morning.
As I said earlier, I was with Archives in the afternoon for the last part of that day. I was working with Tom who deals with a lot of digital data. He was telling me, along with his colleague that before digitalisation there was a massive amount of paperwork involved. Today, they use computers for nearly everything which makes it a lot easier. They provide written schemes on how investigations are done and completed not just for WA, but for other companies too. They also archive how the job is coming along, so by the end of the site they are working on they will have a fact file on everything from start to finish. It was also at this point when I realised how everyone working at Wessex Archaeology uses number codes instead of place names. For example, the location I was taking a look at with Tom had the code 84441. This might seem quite simple. However, if you introduce 100 other sites with the same amount of numbers, it can get quite complicated. Thanks Tom, Archives was a good experience.

Friday 14 July – Last Day

On the last day, I was working with in environmental (sample processing) in the morning and doing osteoarchaeology (looking at human skeletons) in the afternoon. Even though I did sample processing on Tuesday, it wasn’t the same at all. We collected my now dry samples to work on. I, along with Sam, sieved through what seemed like endless rocks. I found a few small bits of pottery, some animal bone and a few pieces of flint, which we put in a tray to be put away until the environmental team was ready to inspect them. I had to correct a few of my mistakes with the context number, location number and what the artefact is (as Sam would know), but it was a fun. Once I had done about five or so trays, I moved next door to the environmental office. Here, I had a look at the samples I had processed 10 minutes before under a light microscope. I was collecting snails and bits of grain with tweezers. As explained by Ines and her colleagues, we can tell what the land was like and what crops were grown. For example, I found material that showed that my area of land had been a grassy, open field which had been used for growing wheat. It’s amazing what you can find from little samples. 
Sadly, I was not with Ines or Sam for very long as I was having an early lunch break to get ready for the osteoarchaeologist. Thank you both!


The final session of my week I was working with human remains with Kirsten. Rachel introduced me to her and then we started straight away. We started off by looking at the remains of a middle-aged man who had lived in the mid-19th century. It was pretty much a complete skeleton. This was fascinating as she showed me how bones worked together in the body and how we could tell how old he was from simple markings on the bones. I found it astonishing how she could tell straight away what bone it was and where it was from in the body. We also had a close look at the pelvis, as this was one of the main areas you can get your information from. We managed to tell his age, how tall he would have been and whether he had suffered from any infections. We started to lay it out on the table so I could get a full perspective of what I was looking at.  
After we had finished looking at this particular person, we moved on to what were the remains of at least three individuals. I was told someone was doing some building in their garden when they discovered them. Sadly, these remains were not found as a complete skeleton, but we did have most parts. We managed to identify from part of the pelvis roughly what age she had been. We managed to do this by looking at the surface of the bone and by how young-looking or rough the bone texture was. Finally, I asked the cliché question of: What has been your most interesting find? 
She took me to her office where she showed me pictures of the early Bronze Age burials from Cliff’s End Farm, Kent . There were four skeletons in a big pit, two of which were children. However, what was interesting was that the older woman was buried holding a piece of chalk to her mouth. No-one knows exactly why this was and that’s what I love about archaeology; the mysteries. Kirsten also described how the bone from a nearby Saxon cemetery was less well preserved than the much earlier burials because the soil was different in that part of the site.
I would like to thank all of Wessex Archaeology, especially those who let me interrupt their busy routines, for letting me see what it is like as an archaeologist. I would especially like to thank Rachel for organising my whole week, making sure I was in the right place at the right time. It worked perfectly. I would definitely recommend others to apply for a work experience week here as the interest and enjoyment is endless. It was also a lot of fun! I hope to visit some time again soon.
Will Roe

Replica Anglo-Saxon Work Box Presentation


Wessex Archaeology has a long and proud history of working with the Ministry of Defence on projects within the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), and around the UK. Most recently, this work has included supporting the Army Basing Programme at sites throughout the SPTA and particularly at Bulford, Larkhill and Tidworth. The sites have revealed some quite astonishing archaeology, ranging in date from the early Neolithic (before even Stonehenge) to a system of WWI practice trenches. Our work has been financed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and managed by their consultants, WYG.


Wessex Archaeology’s Regional Director, Andy Crockett said, 
The challenges of complicated projects such as these really test the strength of a team. In this case, we have had the pleasure of working with some first-rate people and today we decided it was time to say thank you.
Andy Corcoran of DIO, Martin Brown of WYG, and Emma Robertson from the WA field team were presented with replicas of the Anglo-Saxon decorated work box discovered by Emma during investigation of a burial at Bulford. The replicas were cast in bronze by Shapeways using the traditional lost-wax method, the wax template itself 3D printed from a digital model created by our illustrator Will Foster.
Wessex Archaeology CEO, Chris Brayne said,
Our guests today each made a very significant personal contribution to the success of the ABP project and we wanted to thank them for that. They also helped to maintain a collaborative atmosphere throughout the teams they represent which has helped deliver benefits beyond the regulatory requirements of the project. We would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to all those involved.’

Palaeolithic Flints From Submerged Landscapes


The Marine Aggregate Industry Archaeological Protocol encourages the reporting and recording of maritime archaeological finds discovered by the aggregate industry during dredging works. The discoveries that come to light form a database of maritime archaeological finds that otherwise may have been discarded. The scheme boasts the reporting of 1600 finds since its launch in 2005 ranging from metal artefacts to timber and flints.
Arguably the most important collection of flint finds reported through the Protocol were recorded on 13 February 2008 as Hanson_0133. The finds were reported by Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd, (the licensee) and described as ‘28 x hand axes, mammoth molars, tusk fragments and antlers’, and they were recovered from Area 240, a dredging area situated approximately 11 km east of the Norfolk coast. On further analysis, it was established that 88 flint artefacts were present in the assemblage, classified as 33 hand axes, eight cores, and 47 complete and fragmentary flakes. 
In 2014, this important discovery was published in the Journal of Quaternary Science and in 2015 Seabed Prehistory Investigating the Palaeogeography and Early Middle Palaeolithic Archaeology in the Southern North Sea, which discusses the finds in detail, was published. The analysis of the assemblage found that the Area 240 lithic material could be considered typologically heterogeneous. The finds were characterized by the occurrence of cordiform or sub-cordiform hand axes, and included a substantial proportion of well-made Levallois products. Around 20% of the identified finds were of Levallois technique and just over 25% of the flakes were diagnostically Levallois manufacture. Both cordiform and sub-cordiform hand axe types could represent Late Middle Palaeolithic, Mousterian or Acheulean Tradition (MTA) products. Alternatively, the hand axes may be older, of Lower Palaeolithic or Early Middle Palaeolithic (EMP) origin and be broadly contemporary with the Levallois material. It was found that on 13 of the flakes, retouch was evident. 


The majority of the artefacts indicated that rolled raw flint nodules were likely to have been sourced from river deposits. Area 240 is situated in the lower reaches of the Palaeo-Yare river system. For most of the last one million years the area has been part of a coastal or inland environment because of lowered sea levels. The assessment of the palaeolandscape (using geophysical and geotechnical data), palaeoenviromental material and sediment dating indicate an EMP age for the assemblage.
The identification of the initial ‘chance’ finds of flint led to a regional study being conducted on Area 240. The results of the wider regional study demonstrated that submerged landscapes can preserve in situ artefacts. The investigations confirmed that the artefacts found after the initial encounter were not ‘chance’ finds, but indicated clear relationships to submerged and buried geomorphological features. Palaeolandscapes, although complex, can be examined in detail using a variety of existing field and analytical methods. Through close collaboration between archaeologists, regulators and industry it has been possible to go beyond an assessment of potential submerged prehistory and identification of buried geomorphological features, and investigate the archaeology and its wider palaeogeographical context.
By Andrea Hamel Senior Archaeologist

A Roman Altar from York


Staff from the Sheffield office have been monitoring a development in central York for much of the year. The site lies within the medieval walled city, and due to the archaeological sensitivity of the area, the retirement home proposed for the site is being built on foundation piles, with minimal impact on lower levels. An archaeological watching brief was required for any ground disturbing works, and this passed off with little incident, until the last day when a Roman altar was found. The artefact was spotted amidst the upcast generated when a service trench was excavated through a backfilled Victorian cellar.

The workmanship of the artefact appears rather crude, and the sculptor was probably as native as the millstone grit from which it is carved. Although the altar lacks an inscription on its front, a design can be seen on one side (height of altar approximately 40 cm). RTI recording of the artefact (lower image) has enabled us to decode the carvings: a patera (libations bowl) and handled jug. A deep bowl has been carved into the top of the object, and it has been suggested that the artefact was re-purposed as a garden planter or bird bath in more recent times. Such a reuse might account for its presence within the cellar.
By Patrick Daniel

Week Two of Euan O’Neill's Work Experience



The timetable for my second week was Monday to Thursday digging at Rossington and Friday back at the Wessex Archaeology Sheffield office. At the office, I needed to return my PPE, do some environmental sample processing and write this blog.
On the Monday, I had to finish filling out my context forms and registering a few pieces of information about a ditch I dug the previous week (at this point we had moved to a different site sub division). I had forgotten most of this information but because we had to cross reference everything, all of it was recorded in different ways making it easy for me to finish what I had already started. Once I had finished that I was asked to dig a ditch slot similar to the previous one, however, it was part of a different ditch. I was getting a good idea of a professional working environment while learning new things.
I had to finish digging the section and cleaning it for photographs. When this was complete, I moved onto preparing my slot for photographs. I had to clear out the crumbling material with a trowel so that the difference between the natural and archaeological material could be seen. I also had to clear out loose material within one metre of the feature for the same reason. Once that was finished I then set up the camera to take some photos. I noticed that I was remembering everything I had to do and that hopefully I was improving. The pictures were taken and a register kept of the photos. After all the necessary tasks had been completed, I started digging another slot for another ditch that I would finish the next day.
It had rained for most of Tuesday night and it had begun raining again before I had set off to work. I met the other fieldworkers at the usual point around seven but we were waiting in the pouring rain desperate to get going, however despite starting on our journey to site the rain was too bad and we came back to the office. Back at the office we found other jobs to do such as the processing and quantifying of finds.
On Thursday I headed out to the Rossington site for the last time. I had enjoyed going out on site for many reasons. I had learned new skills and terms as well as a good idea of how I would do this in the future. We arrived on site only to find that pretty much all of the features had been filled with muddy water and that the material was very delicate now. This made it difficult to excavate but not impossible. I began finishing my ditch slot after first break. It had just started to rain during our break meaning some tasks such as the clearing of loose material had to be repeated. I was done with the feature just before our lunch break leaving me the remaining afternoon to finish my written tasks. During our break, we had a good long chat about my time on site and whether I had enjoyed it. In the afternoon all I had to do was draw my feature, fill out my context forms and record any remaining information. The others helped me where I had made mistakes, but there were much fewer than when I had first started and I was very pleased to hear positive comments from other staff. I had completed my work and proceeded to help the others in simple ways. The day then ended and I shook the hands of everyone there back in Sheffield saying goodbye before going home.
Friday was my last day of work experience and so I was a bit sad because I had really loved my time at Wessex Archaeology. I did like having a different timetable, two weeks without school specifically. I got to the office at around 9:15 and returned my PPE which included the hard hat, high visibility jacket, gloves and steel toe cap boots. I then spoke to Lucy who took me to the compound where the samples were stored and where they were processed. I had been there on Wednesday when we were rained off site. I was shown the floatation tanks and how they separate and analyse material from the samples. I learned how the light material such as seeds and charcoal floats, and how the heavy material such as stones, bone fragments and even debitage sinks. It was really interesting that they could tell about the environment years ago from the samples. I stopped for lunch thinking about how I would write this blog and what exactly I would put in. When Lucy sat me down at a computer, I was typing it out almost immediately. Work experience gave me a lot of things to think about. How important is archaeology? Might I think about a potential future career in the subject? What does it mean to be a professional archaeologist? Two weeks allowed me to think about these things and I learnt a new skill set that I might call upon in the future. I learnt not just about archaeology, but the importance of being able to communicate with others and present myself in a positive way to my colleagues, as well as getting along with them. I really enjoyed my time at Wessex Archaeology and I think that it has had an impact on how I think about myself. In the future when I chose my occupation, I will be confident in my own work.
I would like to thank Lucy, Ivan, Tom, John, Jess, Lizzie, Ciaran, Nick, Chris, Liz, Mike, Phil, Jamal, Alvaro, Richard and Sam for helping me when I was at Wessex Archaeology and for a great work experience.
By Euan O’Neill.

WA Seeks New Chair


Wessex Archaeology, one of the leading archaeological charities in the UK, is searching for a forward-thinking individual to take up the role of Chair of our Board of Directors to oversee the continued development of our vision of public benefit delivered through professional service.
For more information please download pdf here

Titanic Works - Open Day


Stoking the furnace of Sheffield steel making 

As part of this year’s Festival of Archaeology, Wessex Archaeology offers a rare opportunity to visit the crucible cellars of the former Titanic Works, Malinda Street/Hoyle Street and the underground remains of cementation furnaces recently uncovered at Hollis Croft, Sheffield. This event will take place on Friday 21 July and will provide the chance to explore a once commonplace and important part of Sheffield’s industrial past.
The sites are located in an area of Sheffield established as a steel manufacturing centre prior to 1850, with the principal surviving buildings of the former Titanic Works dating to that period. The extant building includes a nationally rare crucible furnace with two end stacks. The former works is a Grade II listed building and during the redevelopment of the site in 2008, two previously unknown crucible cellars were unearthed, adding to the known cellar beneath the listed structure.
The works was occupied by a series of steel and file manufacturers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By 1876, the works was occupied by William Mickelthwaite and Co, steel manufacturers, and was listed as the ‘Titanic Works’.
The archaeological site at Hollis Croft, currently being excavated by Wessex Archaeology, is a fine example of remains of the highly significant cementation furnaces depicted on 19th century OS maps of Sheffield, as large Hollis Croft Steel Works with two circular structures.
Wessex Archaeology will be conducting four 1 hour tours of the crucible cellars at Hoyle Street each followed by a half an hour visit to our archaeological site at Hollis Croft, all free of charge, each tour accommodating up to six members of the public. The tours will include exploring all three cellars, and the archaeological site, with information about the steel-making process, the history and development of the sites and their significance within Sheffield.
Tours will need to be booked in advance due to limited space within the cellars. Please click here to book your tickets. Please be aware that the tours are not suitable for those with impaired mobility or children under the age of 8 years. Suitable footwear (walking boots) is recommended. Any other protective clothing required will be provided. Please note that there is a 15min between the two sites.
Come along and delve into Sheffield’s rich industrial past.
By Lucy Dawson and Milica Rajic

Thomas Passam’s Work Experience Diary



Monday 19 June
I was met at Reception by Rachel Brown, the Senior Community and Education Officer. From there I was given a talk about Health and Safety and was shown the Fire Assembly Point outside. After that I went on a tour of the building. I was really surprised by how many different departments there were in the company.
Next I was taken to meet Roberta Marziani from the Geomatics Department. She spoke to me about 3D imaging and showed me examples of parts of buildings where 3D mapping had been done. I then took photographs of a Saxon pot from every angle using special software and then created it on the computer as a 3D object.
After that we went out outside to plot an area using GPS. This accurate method of measuring is used a great deal to map out the archaeological sites on a dig.
In the afternoon, I was in the Finds Department and I was cleaning the skeleton of a Saxon male. What was interesting was that he had broken his leg badly at some point during his life. The bones had never reset properly and stuck out at an odd angle; he must have carried on with his life in great discomfort. 
Tuesday 20 June
I was doing sample processing in the Environmental Department with Tony Scothern. When I first arrived, I was given an overall and gloves as I was going to be filtering through the soil samples that had been brought in. The soil was in large plastic tubs that were labelled with dates of collection, sample number and site number.
A small amount of peroxide plus water had been added to each of the buckets and these were left overnight to help the break-down of the soil so it could be analysed. I washed the soil through a large filter first then it flowed on through to be caught by another filter. Here any solid materials that had previously been missed, were caught in with the solution. Then what was left was put back into a sieve and put into a low-temperature kiln. After that we took out two sieves containing dried-out materials and recorded what was in the sieves and separated the different materials into different bags. There were several pieces of pottery and some burnt flint, as well as some charcoal.
After lunch I was working with Jacqueline McKinley, Principal Osteoarchaeologist, where I was taken through the entire skeletal structure of a Saxon male that I had been cleaning the previous day. She taught me about the bone structure, how the male and female skeleton differs and how to calculate the age of a person by looking at how the bones of their skeleton have fused.
Wednesday 21 June
On Wednesday I went out with Rachel and Andy Crockett to a site at Bulford. The site has lots of archaeology from different periods and previous excavations revealed many Saxon graves. The remains of about 150 people have been discovered, as well as different artefacts. I met Phil Harding and he gave me a tour of the site which was really interesting. Mechanical diggers and other modern machinery and equipment are used at the site to help to clear the area and remove soil and rubble more quickly.
This area was also used to test out anti-tank weapons during World War II to help the Allied Forces to defend themselves against the German tanks.  
In the afternoon, I went back to the Finds Department and washed some pieces of Roman pottery with some of the volunteers. 
Thursday 22 June
Morning: Marine & Coastal Department
I spoke to the Marine and Coastal Staff working in the offices upstairs and they showed me how the finds are tagged and identified as well as how they analyse their location. Afterwards, I was shown around the large warehouse where many of the large finds are stored. I was shown by diver Joaquin Callejo Gomez the different equipment that was used on a dive. This ranged from oxygen tanks all the way up to different photograph devices. I was shown how the large finds are recovered: a balloon is used to lift the weight of the object up to the surface of the sea. From there it can be lifted by a pulley or crane onto a boat and transported back to be analysed.
Afternoon: Heritage
The Heritage Department uses various techniques to see if any famous historic events took place and to identify landmarks and places of importance.I was working with Naomi Brennan using software that had been pre-programmed to allow me to see what historical activity had occurred in my home area over the last few centuries. I found out that several battles had taken place within a mile or two of my house, which was very exciting. I then did some work updating old maps to make sure that the data was correct.
Friday 23 June
This Department manages to create a clever image by using roughly 70 photos with different flash to enable you to see very fine detail. I collected all the necessary equipment from Bob Davis and then set up the tripod. I was photographing an ancient axe-head and I was also doing the same for a very good quality copy of the axe-head which had been made in recent years. I worked in a systematic manner photographing the pieces in an umbrella-shape. I took over 70 photos of each piece which took a long time. I had to make sure that every photo was precise.  
In the afternoon, I used software to make the final image. I was very impressed with the image and the way that the light could be altered in various ways to enable me to see different details. 
I really enjoyed my week with Wessex Archaeology and learnt a lot about archaeology and the history in this area, as well as about office life and working in a team. I would like to thank Rachel very much for organising and coordinating my work placement and to everyone at Wessex Archaeology for their help in making my week so interesting.  
By Thomas Passam 

Taking on the Thames for the AHOY Centre

During Wednesday evening a team from Wessex Archaeology which consisted of Mark Williams, Dave Norcott, Becky Hall, Paolo Croce and Will Santamaria completed the Meridian Pull Challenge. The Meridian Pull Challenge is a 8.5 mile rowing challenge set on the river Thames and organised by the Thames Estuary Partnership as a way to raise funds for the AHOY Centre.
The AHOY centre works with disadvantaged children and young people and those with disabilities; running courses and training programmes to help them gain qualifications and life skills needed for employment.
If you can’t see the video above please follow this link.
The challenge was no mean feat, 8.5 miles rowing along a choppy Thames is hard enough for experienced rowers but our team consisted of five people who had hardly any prior experience of rowing! However, they excelled as a team completing the challenge in an incredible 54 minutes 46 seconds and came second out of the five competing teams! 
We would like to thank everyone who has sponsored us and thank our corporate sponsors Thomson Ecology, Microserve Ltd, SUERC (the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre), and Ready Power for their generous donations. If you haven’t donated, you still can via
Also, thank you to the staff at the AHOY Centre for all the help and support given and a special mention to Kerry our cox who did a fantastic job of keeping the team in order. There was great support for all the rowing teams which created a wonderful atmosphere; we were particularly pleased to have our Trustee Parvis Jamieson turn up to congratulate our team as they ended the challenge.

The Meridian Pull Rowing Challenge


Today is the day that Wessex Archaeology take part in the Meridian Pull rowing challenge, organised by the Thames Estuary Partnership, and raising funds for the AHOY Centre in Deptford. The AHOY Centre run courses and training programmes to help disadvantaged children, young vulnerable people and those with disabilities gain qualifications and essential life skills needed for employment.
Our team, comprising Dave Norcott, Mark Williams, Paul Baggaley, Becky Hall, Paolo Croce and Guillermo Santamaria, are heading off for London this afternoon, where they will be rowing along the Thames from Battersea to the AHOY Centre, a distance of about 8.5 miles. The challenge starts at 18:45, and our support team will be on hand to record progress throughout the race, so do stay tuned via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Thanks to many generous donations already received, including our corporate sponsors SUERC (the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre), Readypower Engineering Ltd, Thomson Ecology and Microserve Ltd, we are closing in on our target of £1800. However, every penny counts, so if you can please consider sponsoring us via the link below.
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