17 July 2006

Weekend archaeology and pirates

Well as if working all week wasn't enough, this weekend we had our public open day at Wednesbury Forge. Needless to say Ron and Kate both got roped in, but only for the morning, after which they went to Birmingham to go shopping. The open day was exhausting, we had over 700 visitors between 10.00am and 4.00pm, on a very hot (28+) and sunny day. I was extremely happy though as it was in fact a great success and well worth all the effort we put in to it.

Already lots of interest by 10.30, here overlooking the sluices.

More photos of the open day (for which thanks to Ron) can be found on the Ironbridge blog, and you can also download the leaflet we produced.

Saturday evening we went to Alison's for a barbeque to celebrate Ron's birthday. I was not at my best, being quite sunburnt and dehydrated, but we had a good time nevertheless. Sunday was however a slow day. Kate and I pottered into Telford in the afternoon go get one or two bits and bobs.

In the evening we went to see Pirates of the Carribbean 2, which was good fun - if entirely historically and nautically inaccurate! It was however interesting to see how genuine maritime myth has been incorporated (albeit somewhat superficially) into the story. Quite a good yarn on the whole, although not as good as the first one. Of course we were only going as 'research' for the forthcoming Pirate Party at the end of the month!

What I found most interesting was the large number of cinematic parallels with the 1954 (Disney) film 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The fights with Kraken being the most obvious (people grappling ineffectually with suckered tentacles) but there were also some more subtle references. For instance... an island of cannibals from which a narrow escape is made... protagonists with large organs and picture windows installed on their ships, playing dramatic music whilst in pursuit... and so-on. Even some of the photography was very similar, presumably deliberately so.

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