6 March 2012

Stirchley Slag Works (III)

Another action-packed day on the slag works project - today recording and analysing the features we revealed yesterday, and, with Kate, undertaking landscape survey on the surrounding area.

After an informal historical briefing and discussion, by mid-morning we had split into three teams. One team - led by Kate, and consisting of Nigel, Chris, Brian and Jo - turned their attention to the broader landscape surrounding the slag works. During the course of the day they discovered and mapped a number of features which were associated with both the slag works and earlier activity.

Meanwhile on site, two teams dealt with producing a drawn and written record of the excavated features. After one or two initial concerns (not least the use of metric or non-metric measurements) this seemed to work fairly well - again the quality of the clearing, cleaning and recording work done by the volunteers has been extremely impressive.

As in previous projects, the dedication of the volunteers has been exceptional. Here we all are, after lunch, before resuming work in our various teams.

Recording the site and environs in the afternoon included an excursion by Malcolm and Chris to inspect some of the left-over products of the concrete-making operation, which are liberally scattered through the woodland. Many of the concrete blocks are stamped with the trademark 'Viniculum' brand, a name which seems also to have been used locally to refer to the area of the slag works whilst it was in operation.

This block is stamped 'TARMAC CO. - VINICULUM - CONCRETE'.

It has been a wonderful couple of days and hopefully we can sustain the momentum into the summer. I am currently working on a plan to develop the project further, including some archive research as well as more fieldwork. Many thanks once again to the Wrekin Historical Group and the Friends of Telford Town Park for their work this week.


David Dungworth said...

Hi Paul
Not sure if you tracked down that bottle yet . . .
I think it might have been a Bee Top sauce bottle (one of many Brown Sauces that fell before the dominance of HP). This was made in Derbyshire from ?1930s until the 1980s.

Paul Belford said...

Thanks David - I shall look into it!


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