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OK, so here we are a short time on from the HA Cornwall Minimeet. What did we learn from the event?

  1. Make sure you have some form of identification (even if it’s only a megalithic themed book in plain sight. Apologies to Mike for not spotting him earlier…) and ensure you’ve met at least one person previously – or at a pinch have seen a photo of someone before the meet.
  2. If possible, make the meeting somewhere known, that’s easy to find – we struggled to get enough seats in what was actually quite a small bar.
  3. Try to ensure a good mix of people, so that discussion is as varied as possible.
  4. Make sure there is enough to see locally. We only covered the Hurlers, the Pipers and Rillaton Barrow during the meet, but Trethevy Quoit and a host of other sites were all available locally if time had permitted.

So how did it go? All in all, the meet was successful. Several of us (plus my partner and two doggy companions) met on the day, and conversation ranged from discussion of why the sites were built, how they could have been used and whether they’ve changed significantly in layout and construction since first being built. Conservation and neglect were also discussed and ideas were exchanged on how to find some of the more obscure local sites, for later use. A small book swap was negotiated, and a draft of a possible future book about Trethevy Quoit was passed around for comment. Although I was on holiday, I’m fairly certain that those people local to the meet will be arranging to get together again to continue the discussions, and to visit some of the sites together again, forging new friendships.

Some Minimeet attendees at the Hurlers © Alan S.

If Cornwall is too far for you, why not try to organise a meet in your local area, or an area you’re holidaying in? It’s much simpler to arrange than you’d think, and Heritage Action would be happy to help publicise it for you. All it takes at a basic level is to decide where and when your meeting will be held. The Cornwall meeting location and date was arranged on some of the ‘stoney’ internet forums. Once you’ve decided when and where, advertise the Minimeet on the various forums (see the Links menu on the left), and let us know about it so we can mention it here too.

The meetings can be any format of course, but our most successful meets have been held in pubs close to a cluster of ancient heritage sites. After a drink or two, walks can then be taken (weather permitting) to actually see some of the sites that may have been discussed. If you have a local archaeological/history society, try contacting them in good time before the date. They may be willing to send someone along to give a short 5-10 minute talk on a relevant topic, or just to offer local advice within the discussions. We were lucky enough to have Mark, a Blue Badge Guide and HA member, attend and give us the benefit of his experience and knowledge of the area when asked.

Although our annual Megameet attendance increases in numbers each year, a Minimeet really has no minimum number below 3 people. So why not give it a go, and let us know how you get on?


May 2011

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