No one messes with: ‘The Management!’

Written by Ian Blair


The photo below shows Brian Hobley (Chief Urban Archaeologist) and senior DUA staff in 1978 and featured in ‘The City of London Archaeological Trust Appeal’ booklet, launched in an endeavour to raise extra funds for archaeology in the City. I do not think that it raised an awful lot of money from rich City benefactors in the early days, but I do recall that the fundraising efforts were led by a mysterious figure known only as the ‘Wing Commander’ (I kid you not!), who I believe operated out of an upstairs room at Basinghall Street, over the DUA offices. It could of course be that the Wing Commander was in fact the alter-ego of Brian Hobley or John Schofield as, like Clarke Kent and Superman, they were never seen in the same room together.


The City of London Archaeological Trust Appeal booklet 1978The names of the DUA senior staff from the back and in rough rows from left to right: Mike Rhodes, Philip Armitage, Tony Dyson, Peter Marsden, John Maloney, Alan Thompson, Dominic Perring, John Schofield, Clive Orton, Peter Boyd, Penny MacConnoran, and Brian Hobley.



Two of the original team also appear in the photo below taken a decade later in 1989, standing menacingly outside the DUA excavations office, in the lower rotunda in front of the Museum of London. Good to see that Hal Bishop is still sporting his ‘Blue Peter’ badge, which I assume is one of several acquired by archaeologists during filming at the Huggin Hill Roman baths at Dominant House (DMT88) in the same year.


MOL group photo 1989From left to right: John Schofield, Sue Rivière, Simon O’Connor Thompson, John Maloney, Hal Bishop, Taryn Nixon, Eric Norton, and Rob Ellis, pictured in 1989 outside the DUA office in the lower rotunda in front of the Museum of London.





  • Comment Link Trevor Brigham Monday, 05 April 2021 12:06 posted by Trevor Brigham

    Most of them don't look very happy to be there, Eric looks particularly menacing, perhaps they knew something we didn't...
    1989 I think was the year the fake black ash desks and if memory serves, Amstrad PCWs (pause to wipe away the tears of laughter) made it into the new Rotunda office. The rest of us split between Plaisterers, Bridge House (aka the transplanted Trig Lane commune), or exiled to Gulag Fleet Valley to ferment revolution and mutter darkly. Wherever we went over the years, most of us managed to keep our personal accumulations of salvaged (pillaged) furniture and collections of battered dexion together through several moves and tread mud into the new carpets, like refugees fleeing the advance of an oncoming enemy. It wouldn't have gone down well at EWR.

  • Comment Link Val Shortland Friday, 02 April 2021 03:36 posted by Val Shortland

    Great to see these. They bring back many memories!

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