Shutters come down on MOLA photographic:
Maggie & Andy leave the building after long exposure

Today was Andy Chopping’s last day at MOLA with Maggie Cox having left in recent weeks, both opting to take voluntary redundancy following the latest downturn in work and pursuant financial belt-tightening across the organisation. Their departure sadly marks the end of fifty years of professional in-house photographic cover across the archaeological unit which began with the Department of Urban Archaeology (DUA) in the mid 1970’s.

There was sadly a depressing inevitability to their departure, as progressively in recent years site supervisors were sent out to sites armed with digital cameras and told to take photos, with the often-indifferent results now littering the MOLA server. In more recent times the use of digital cameras has given way to mobile phone cameras with I daresay similar results.

It has been a singular pleasure to have worked alongside all the professional archaeological photographers: Trevor Hurst, Jon Bailey, Jan Scrivener, Maggie Cox, Andy Chopping, and Edwin Baker on countless sites, and for the results of our photo-cleaning to be beautifully captured and preserved on celluloid by their collective efforts.

https://digginglondon.org.uk/archaeology-through-a-lens

Andy and Maggie cutting the fantastic cake made by Faith Vardy from the drawing office. Containing 74 bars of dark chocolate several kilos of butter and 30 eggs, it was carefully rationed to the attendees to lessen the risk of us going into anaphylactic shock

Andy and Maggie cutting the fantastic cake made by Faith Vardy from the drawing office. Containing 74 bars of dark chocolate several kilos of butter and 30 eggs, it was carefully rationed to the attendees to lessen the risk of us going into anaphylactic shock

Andy and Maggie cutting the fantastic cake made by Faith Vardy from the drawing office. Containing 74 bars of dark chocolate several kilos of butter and 30 eggs, it was carefully rationed to the attendees to lessen the risk of us going into anaphylactic shock


Another person sadly leaving the building this Friday (for us not for him) is Senior Archaeologist Dave Sankey. Dave joined the Museum of London in 1985 and I first worked with him on the Capel House site on New Broad Street near Liverpool Street in 1986. The site lay immediately outside of the City wall, and we excavated a sequence across the later extramural medieval defensive ditches forward of the wall. When the latest ditch was backfilled in the first half of the 17th century it was utilised as a handy dustbin for the city and consequently produced a massive finds assemblage of pottery and other assorted finds. What was not foreseen, was when Dave found a stunning ‘outsize’ Elizabethan gold ring with a cornelian intaglio set in its bevel depicting a beardy curly haired bloke reminiscent of Hadrian. Dave later went on to discover the Roman lead ingots on the Regis House site in 1994 and has been patiently waiting since then for the price of lead to rise before deciding to cash in his chips at MOLA.

https://digginglondon.org.uk/heavy-metal-on-regis-house

Dave and his leaden ingots on Regis House. The six ingots that underlay these three, Dave dragged home and has been using as doorstops these past thirty years Dave and his leaden ingots on Regis House. The six ingots that underlay these three, Dave dragged home and has been using as doorstops these past thirty years

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1 comment

  • Comment Link Chris Tripp Thursday, 19 October 2023 17:40 posted by Chris Tripp

    Err, that's not Dave. You started a hare running Chris, but you were correct! See the subsequent post entitled ‘The truth is out there’: if you dig deep enough!' - which finally identified the mystery man. Ian

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