BAFM Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Meeting, 2018
A delightful day for everyone was the 2018 Yorkshire Regional Conference by the Friends of Roman Aldborough. Haris Livas-Dawes (BAFM Regional Co-ordinator) said, “I don’t think another area of Britain could match this place for community spirit.” There were various groups, all contributing to the welfare of this beautiful place. The conference was not easy for the organizers because of the last minute withdrawal of the Chair and the change of venue. But they managed it all, and the participants sat on puffy armchairs instead of hard-backed chairs. The two key speakers discussed the area and the results of the Archeological digs there. Haris gave two brief talks, the main one describing the events that led to Alex as BAFM Chair and the temporary demise of The Journal. Alex, who was present added the breaking news.
Underneath our feet all day was the Roman city (or town) of Aldborough. Most of the digs occured in the fields beyond with high-tech geo-physics and laser monitoring, since it’s impractical to dig up residents’ homes, although the residents keep finding Roman artifacts when digging in their gardens.
These are displayed in the Aldborough Museum which we then visted with the professor in charge of the digs. We ended up at two buildings that held the Roman mosaic floors discovered here. Around us were grasslands, but once held Roman luxury homes.
Roman Aldborough was a “civitas”, a commercial city rather than a military one. There is a fort, but it predates the Romans who did not need another military base so close to York. We then visited the 17th century Church of St. Andrew, given a guided tour by one of the bell-ringers. The stained glass is outstanding.
Also outstanding was the wonderful food, both at the luncheon buffet and the coffee and cake afternoon. All were homemade by the Friends and overseen by Jane Barbour, the Secretary. The number of participants represented quality, not quantity, but Haris said that no Yorkshire conference has ever had more than about 20 because of the distances involved.
The 2019 conference will be in Doncaster.
BY DR. HARIS LIVAS-DAWES, BAFM, AND JANE BARBOUR OF THE FRIENDS OF ROMAN ALDBOROUGH