Thanks to the Icelandic Volcano, I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a recent project organised by the team behind the Valley of Visions project in Kent. One of my colleagues Katharine Barber, our standing buildings specialist had been asked to speak at the launch of a new initiative called Medway Mosaics when she found herself stranded by the ash cloud in Bangkok. The project is designed to encourage people in the Medway Gap area to record their own heritage and to develop their own interests, and I was more than happy to step into her shoes.
Medway Mosaics is led by Valley of Visions (in this case Tay Arnold, the Community Training and Education Officer) in partnership with Kent County Council Heritage Conservation Department (Wendy Rogers, Senior Archaeological Officer). The day itself took the form of a conference, with brief presentations by leading experts followed by workshops on recording Cultural Heritage. The workshop themes included building recording, landscape analysis, oral history and interrogating the county Historic Environment Record.
This was an excellent opportunity to explain the principles that underlie development-led archaeology to a genuinely interested audience, and made quite a refreshing change from my day job - the cut and thrust of commercial project management.
Medway Mosaics is a very exciting project, and something that Wessex Archaeology will continue to support. Look out for further updates about Medway Mosaics here on this blog, including a forthcoming day school by Katharine Barber (volcanoes permitting!).
Mark Williams