Last night (Thursday 25th April) was the private view of IGMT’s new artist in residence exhibition, Stream, which is now open to the public and running from 26th April to 31st May 2013. International artist, Luce Choules, was worked with museum staff, volunteers and local families to produce a series of maps that allow the user to feel their way through the industrial landscape in the Severn Gorge. As part of the exhibition Luce has included a number of photographs that were taken by our very own archaeology volunteers (IAVG) whilst they were completing fieldwork in and around the Bedlam Furnace Transcept. The exhibition is free to visit, open daily between 10am and 5pm and can be found in the Footprint Gallery, Fusion at Jackfield Tile Museum. More information can be found at http://ironbridge.org.uk/plan-your-visit/events-and-exhibitions-calendar/stream-an-exhibition-by-luce-choules/view/2013-04-26
Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the community excavation at Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury. Organised by the Friends of the Flaxmill-Maltings and Oxford Archaeology North, the excavation of some outbuildings including a stable and wash house started on the 16th May. So far they’ve had interest from 50 volunteers from the local area, including some of our Ironbridge Archaeology Volunteer Group members, and have also had pupils from local schools taking part in the dig. It’s a fantastic site with some really interesting archaeology so I would recommend going to have a look around during their open weekend on the 11th and 12th May. I will also be there to talk to anyone interested in volunteering at Ironbridge and will be happy to talk to any younger archaeology enthusiasts interesting in joining our Young Archaeologists Club later in the summer. If you’re interesting in finding out more about the excavations at Ditherington go to the friends website at http://www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk/
I’ve recently started the CBA funded Community Archaeology Training Placement at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, and so far so good. Ironbridge is the birthplace of Industry, where in the early eighteenth century Abraham Darby I first worked out how to use coke to smelt iron allowing the mass production of cast iron to begin. As a result this area is jam-packed with industrial archaeology of all types from iron working, coal mining and even tile, brick and pottery manufacturing at sites such as Coalport and Jackfield. Its a really exciting place to work, and I hope that with the events and projects planning to go ahead over the coming year, it will be a great chance for people to become involved with archaeology in this area. There will be educational workshops, survey opportunities and hopefully a chance to do some excavation as well. In addition to that there are a number of projects planned which will involve the help and support of the Ironbridge Archaeology Volunteer Group as well. So stay tuned to see what we get up to and if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer please do not hesitate to get in touch.