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A (BBC) History of British Archaeology
It seems our recent article may have managed to unwittingly get the jump on the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation. Thursday March 7th saw the first of a three part series entitled “Heritage! The Battle for Britain’s Past“.

Charting the birth of the heritage movement and the first arguments of radical thought, from figures including John Lubbock MP, Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers, Charles Darwin and John Ruskin. These remarkable individuals asked important questions and came up with the building blocks of a new world that valued the past. Their actions led to the first piece of legislation to safeguard prehistoric and ancient structures which until then had often fallen prey to the short-term interests of farmers and landowners.

The blurb above for the first program suggests the ideals that the Heritage Protection legislation, 100 years old this year, strove for. Unfortunately, many of the same problems still exist today, and it will be interesting to see if this aspect is covered in the series, or whether it will be merely a case of ‘haven’t we done well?’

Green belt busted
On the subject of protection, remember when the Green Belt was said to be safe? But look at this ……. Bath’s original draft core strategy proposed building 11,500 houses across brownfield and some greenfield site but avoiding any incursion into the Green Belt. A Government Inspector has said that wasn’t enough and it has now been revised to include building hundreds of new houses in the Green Belt around Bath, Keynsham and Whitchurch. Anyone who knows Bristol and Bath will find it had to believe all the brownfield sites have been used up and that half-million pound executive homes in the green belt are what are really needed to solve the housing shortage. But then, since the government allowed the major housebuilders to design the policy it’s hardly a surprise what a housebuilder-friendly solution they’ve come up with.

Heritage Action asked to sell it’s soul for £50
We just got a message……. “We are looking to promote a competition to win a metal detector on your site. I was hoping that the competition would be of interest to the metal detecting audience, which would fit with the audience of your site (please correct me if I have got this wrong). Would you accept £50 for placement?” We’ve put in a counter offer: we’ll run a free advert for them if they’ll stop selling metal detectors.

and finally…
Hearty congratulations go to the team from Exeter University and the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall. Their replica Bronze Age boat, which has been under construction for the best part of a year was successfully launched on March 6th and had a short trip around Falmouth harbour. A good crowd turned out for the event, which was also featured on a web feed by the good folks at – from which the screen grab below was taken as the boat shot past the camera position. Watch the video for the full build and launch process in condensed form!

The Falmouth Logboat in action!

The Falmouth Logboat in action!


March 2013

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