‘The invisible finds teams’: Unsung heroes of London archaeology No.612

Written by Ian Blair - Photograph from Roy Stephenson

 

This is a particularly nice photo of the DGLA finds section taken at Glasshill Street in Southwark in the summer of 1989, emerging bleary-eyed for their daily five minute exercise break to the outside world, to top up their deficient Vitamin D levels. The habitual surroundings of the finds and environmental teams throughout the 1970s and 1980s was invariably in assorted basements and outposts either side of the River Thames. These often less than salubrious surroundings, means that there is a real dearth of photos of these specialist teams, in contrast to the relative profusion of images of their sodden or sunburnt colleagues (dependant on season) who grafted on site. It is nice to be able to acknowledge these ashen figures, who toiled away largely unseen in the engine rooms, shovelling coal to keep HMS DGLA and HMS DUA steaming onwards (before hitting the massive redundancy iceberg in1990, with great resultant loss of life).

Glasshill Street SE1 finds team group photo
Left to right: John Pirie (RIP), Richenda Goffin, Alison Nailer, Mark Samuel, Hedley Swain, Judy Stevenson, Sue Hurman, Liz Maison_Pierre, Lyn Blackmore, Patsy Phillips, Fiona Seeley, Karen Waugh, Paul Spoerry, Michael Jones (RIP), Roy Stephenson.

 

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