Explainer volunteer Liz tells us about her day
Oh dear, it started pouring before Richard had even let us in – but the show must go on! There are plenty of people in the trench first thing, getting stuck in. Two pairs are drawing and recording a feature, and several others are trowelling.
The people participating this week are a mixture of students and local people fascinated about what is going on here, digging into the past of Nottingham Castle - an important national and local place full of history, legend and archaeology!
This is the first time I’ve done the Explainer role but I have taken part in the dig itself previously, both last year and this year.
11am - unfortunately, it’s now also becoming quite windy!
12 noon – the weather held out, more or less, until now (albeit being a bit windy).
So far I’ve had two sets of very interested people talking with me, including a couple from America and a lady and son who, as an ex-archaeologist, is hugely interested in the mystery holes – possibly ducal palace garden features? I’ve also taken some photos and done some finds cleaning. The public is fascinated by the selection of finds we have to show them! One little lad asked whether we were looking for dragons!
As it’s a Thursday we enjoyed Posh Lunch Thursday – our thanks to Barrie for bringing a selection of gorgeous butcher-made pork pies!
Whilst acting as the Explainer I have also been doing some finds cleaning – multi-tasking! There are some very interesting pieces of ceramic, including some tin glaze ware, medieval fragments and other pieces that I need to find out more about!
4pm - the weather turned out to be OK in the end! I've thoroughly enjoyed talking to people and explaining, and showing them artefacts. I spoke with people from all walks of life and cultures, and from a variety of countries, including one lady who I believe is from English heritage and a little boy fascinated by dragons!
Liz Clifton, Explainer volunteer and a We Dig the Castle trainee in both 2016 and 2017
A note from Alison: later that day we heard from the lady mentioned in Liz's diary, Erika Diaz Petersen. Erika is a Heritage at Risk Landscape Architect for the East Midlands with Historic England, and posted on Twitter about her visit with her children. She told us that 'enjoyed a visit with the kids earlier' and sent her praise to the Explainer volunteers for 'conveying their enthusiasm and information admirably'. Erika also asked us to 'let us know when you get to the dragons :-)'. She later added that they 'enjoyed it very much. Now my son is waiting to be old enough for young archaeologists!'.
You can also hear Explainer volunteer Jon give an update on new evidence in the trench: