On Saturday (11th February), the Friends of the Trust (FCAT) held their annual afternoon of ‘talks and tea’ at the Lion Walk Congregational Church in Colchester. This followed their AGM on the same morning here at the Roman circus centre: the ‘talks and tea’ afternoon is open to FCAT members and non-members. The illustrated talks were presented by Barbara Butler, organiser of the Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (which meets here at the Roman circus centre), Trust archaeologists Howard Brooks and Laura Pooley, and Trust director Philip Crummy. Trust archaeologist Steve Benfield was also there with a selection of fragments of Roman pottery for people to handle. At least one other Trust archaeologist was in the audience… The talks were followed by tea and cake and conversation.
The event is designed to highlight some of the Trust’s recent work and, this year, the talks were about our excavation within Brentwood town centre, and the remarkable remains of Roman foods from our site within the Williams & Griffin store (now Fenwick) in Colchester High Street, which were preserved by carbonisation during the Boudican revolt, when the town was burned to the ground. The foods derive from one room, perhaps a domestic store room, of one house – the fragments of pottery which Steve brought for people to handle also derive from the same room and represent pottery vessels which had been broken and burned. The other talk was based on part of the Roman ‘Antonine Itinerary’, a route through Essex, with reference to some of the Trust’s recent sites across Essex.
Visit the FCAT web-site at http://focat.org.uk/ .
The FCAT members and our guests all seemed to enjoy the afternoon and we did, too. Thanks to everyone for coming, and thanks to the volunteers for making the tea and to Steve and Howard for taking the photo.s!
The images show the church from the outside; the venue with the audience starting to come in; Barbara Butler giving her talk; a happy member of the audience (Lottie with father and Trust archaeologist Chris Lister); before tea; during tea; and Steve discussing the pottery.