Work weekend

By Mary Restell

Working Weekend 28th / 29th May 2011.

Planned to be a project working weekend, however, the horizontal trees deterred even the most determined diver. Never mind: perhaps it was time to do some housekeeping.

Arriving at the project working office at Earnley Gardens, the barrier of stinging nettles, invasion of spiders and a carpet of leaves blasted in under the door were rapidly dealt with and the real work could begin.

Iain began investigating the condition of artefacts soaking in various liquids as part of the long conservation process, Dave took up pole position at the sink to rinse, clean and make up new chemical solutions and Roy and Mary were despatched to empty, scrub and refill the large tank containing a wooden axle and wheels.

A brief pause for lunch, then the processing, recording, photographing, general organising and tidying resumed. Highlights of the afternoon – interesting decoration of dot patterns on a knife handle, perfect little ceramic drinking jug dried for storage,a pristine cannonball complete with old style crows foot, a fossilised seed isolated from artefacts and Roy finally found somewhere to tuck the large hook we’d been dancing around in the middle of the floor.

Sunday and the weather continued to be wild. Jim and Keith joined in to finish processing the artefacts as far as possible. Several were able to be carefully wrapped for storage, some have to continue soaking whilst yet more await fresh stocks of de-ionised water or P.E.G., (source of polyethylene glycol urgently required if anyone can help!).

Peter disappeared to spend over an hour diligently polishing all the glass viewing windows in the museum display and Iain indulged in some extreme gardening with a jungle slashing tool.

We left the clean, tidy and organised office at Earnley to regroup at Iain’s spending the afternoon on the laptops updating the artefact records, completing the previous diving reports with site details and catching up with general admin.

A dry couple of days, but very productive none the less.