July 1960

In which I finish my A level exams, do some archaeological work at Lullingstone Roman Villa and finish at Eltham College. 
Lullingstone Roman Villa
Lullingstone Roman Villa - English Heritage site
Lullingstone Roman Villa - Wilkepedia

Thursday 7 July
Had the second Economics exam this morning.  It wasn't too bad and I didnt have too much difficulty in choosing five questions.  After dinner I went down with Roy Bennett and Charley Smith in Charley's car to Brighton where six of the form are camping.  Charley certainly pushes his car, a Hillman Minx, and we reched 90 m.p.h. the other side of Redhill.   This evening we "did" the town visiting coffee bars, an amusement arcade, a fish 'n chip shop and a ub.  We didn't get back to the camp site until 02.00 and didn't even think of going to sleep until 03.00.  By this time it was raining very heavily indeed and some water did seep in.  I put my caoe at the foot of my blanket but it didnt stop them becoming damp. 

Friday 8 July
Didn't sleep too well but didn't get up until 11.30.  We got down to the front by 13.00 and had a go on the dodgems.  they were very good.  After that we went via a fish 'nchip shop and a pub to a record shop which was selling EPs for 2/6.  This afternon five of us went for a spin and went up the drive to Rodean School - we asked for the Municipal camping Ground.  We were politely shown the way out.  Afterwards we broke camp and came back, arriving home at about 19.30.

Monday 11 July
back to school today.  I haven't done much at all.  Very few of the masters have turned up because of the school exams. After school, which finished at 3.30, I went up to the YHA shop near Charing Cross.  There is a strike on the Underground so I went on the bus to Kings Cross. and then on to Finsbury Park.  The most striking thing is the way most suburban trains (at Kings Cross) are worked by type 2 diesels, mainly Brush type but also English Electric and Birmingham RC&W. I had a glimpse of the new diesel depot at Finsbury Park.  Most surprising was 34034 in Charing Cross.

Tuesday 12 July
Yesterday the headmaster gave us permission to go down to the dig at Lullingstone Roman Villa so I have been at the dig today with John, Dave Robin and Steve. We have been doing some hard work.  Removing the remains of a tip heap off a Roman kiln.  We did quite well but even so the top was only just uncovered.  It has been showery all day but work hasn't been held up much, it has just made the earth heavy and sticky.  There was a heavy storm as we were cycling over Halbury.

Wednesday 13 July
Went down to the dig again today.  Dave called for me at about 09.30.  It started drizzling as we were going through Crockenhill and continued continuously until 18.00.  We managed to carry on this morning but the rain was heavier after dinner and we packed up at about 15.00.  We had our sandwiches in the Malt Shovel at Eynsford.  The Colonel (Meates) turned up later on so there was quite a party.

Thursday 14 July
The weather was much kinder today.  We did have some rain before I started out but we have been able to work without interruption.  Consequently we have done a great deal.  Went for a swim in the lake at Lullingstone - very cold.  

Friday 15 July
Down the dig again today, the weather has been quite good, my back is getting quite brown.  We have uncovered the rough shape of the kiln, it only remains now to trowel around the edges to re-excavate it completely.  I have been talking to the Colonel and have persuaded him to write a letter to the head asking him to give us permssion to come down for part of next week, we ought to be able to manage it. From what I have heard, very little is happening at school.

Saturday 16 July
Have had really fine weather today, my back has really been burnt again.  Dave and I went down to the dig.  Most of the spade work has been done now and we have been trowelling around the kiln which was used for tanning hides.  The most difficult part was removing the rubbish from the hole in the centre that used to hold a tank for heating water.  We had quite an argument with the man who owns the house next to the dig.  It was very amusing really.  He told us that we were creating a bloody eyesore and that we only went down because we like to build sand castles but were too old to do so on Southend beach.

Monday 18 July
I went into school this morning. Nothing much happening - dead as a door nail.  After chapel we went to see the headmaster and he has given us permission to go down to Lullingstone when it doesn't interfer witht the school timetable.  So we left school about 09.45 and got to the dig at 11.00 having stopped at my place to change.  There were three from school down there, Dave and myself while Steve Turner came down later on.  We have been working down to the Roman floor level in front of the kiln.

Tuesday 19 July
Went to school today.  I've won the Economics prize.  The first prize I have ever won.  I am going up to Foyles tomorrow with Dave Wright to choose my book.  It is worth a guinea.

Wednesday 20 July
I went up to Foyles this morning to choose my prize.  I have got a book by R.S. Sayers "British Banking", not really interesting but very useful if I get to a university.  Foyles is a large bookshop but is seems chaotic and confusing.  We went into the Royal George and came home at about 15.00.  Coming home I saw an O1, No. 31258, in Hither Green shed - very unusual.  There were a great number of foreign engines, Midland 0-6-0Ts, Stanier 2-8-0 and Eastern J50s. There is a great amount of track relaying going on.

Thursday 21 July
I went into roll call this morning but cycled down to the dig with Dave immediately afterwards.  Steve Turner turned up later and we managed to take out quite a large amount of tip in front of the kiln which has been well and truly uncovered now.  Afterwards Dave stayed at my house until it was time to go to Foxbury for the meeting of the school leavers.  They put on quite a good show, there were three films, some talks by the heads of the various sections and a very good supper. I arrived home at about 22.30.

Friday 22 July
Speech Day today.  I went to school this morning for the allocation of places and the prize winners practice.  I came home for dinner and intended to go back for the cricket and tennis matches but there was a terriffic hail storm. Just before the distribution of prizes I went up the tower, the first time I've been up there - there's a good view. The prizes were presented by the Rt. Hon. Hilary Marquand M.P.  He didn't say anything to me except "Congratulations".  A lump came in my throat as we sang the school song at the end. This will probably be my last Speech Day. I went to the concert held in the gym after the distribution of prizes.

Tuesday 26 July
Last day of school today.  I went around saying good bye to the masters. I wasn't really overcome until the final assembly in the chapel.  I could hardly sing hymn 463 or the school song and I was very nearly reduced to tears - seven years is a long time.  After chapel I said good bye to the head and his wife and afterwards we all went round to the  Porcupine where I inscribed my initials on the plaster monk taken from the Prefects Room.

Wednesday 27 July
I cycled up to Lewisham Town Hall to meet Dave to book the coach.  We booked the Royal Blue coach to Tavistock at Timsons. We have to change at Exeter so I don't know what time we will arrive at the hostel afterwards.  I went on to Dave's house to dinner and tea.  we played crocket in the morning and went for a walk around Crystal Palace in the afternoon.  In the evening we played records and listened to the proms.  I arrived home around 1030

Thursday 28 July
Went down to the dig today.  Our work on the kiln is finished and I have been put in charge of a new grid which has to be opened up from the surface.  It is on the hillside overlooking the mosaic.  It is quite dangerous as there are drops of six, ten and fifteen feet respectively on three sides.  We haven't done too badly although removing the turf was a slow job.  I have a new boy to look after.  He isn't much good really.  What he does is good but he doesn't do a great deal.

Friday 29 July
Went down to the dig again today.  We've now found a small section of blacker earth with small pieces of plaster and chalk in one corner of the grid.  It may prove to be a burial but it must be a child because of the limited extent. 

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