Gary in one of the first soak-aways he excavated at Prescot Street

Well, today is the 2nd of September, and we are due to finish here in a month and a day. So, before Chaz’s final report on what has been going on, I will chime in with my two cents and tell you what I think has been going on around these parts…

First there were pits. Now these pits, being at the begining of Zone 1 were originally the creation of the Victorians, and the Georgians before them. If you come to Prescot street on our Open Evening and have a look around, you will see that some buildings from this era still exist, squeezed in between the big City buildings.


Gary in a soak-away

The next thing I came across was a step up from a rubbish pit – a brick lined soak-away (which of course now I have become very proficient at digging). Then there was the terrifying discovery of the extremely smelly fills, which would haunt me through at least 3 separate junctures…..

Then there was the beautifully crafted horn-core pits, soak-aways in function, delightful to look at, a nightmare to dig. People seem to be very excited when they start to dig these, this dwindles somewhat toward the end…and then there’s the planning of them. I pawned mine off onto long departed Sara in exchange for lumping duty – and never looked back.


Gary’s horn core pit – with Sara excavating it

They are fiddly to plan. Bricks are easy, being generally rectangular in nature, but horn-cores? They are all shapes and sizes. Next came the long Victorian drain Context: 606 & Context: 607, a surprisingly interesting thing to dig and very intricate to plan, but it ended up being the plan that I am most proud of.


Gary excavating skeleton (1039)

Then came my first contact with cremations and burials – slightly daunting, but overall, rewarding. After that point I became a lot less worried about touching horrible things, licking black smears from my elbow with reckless abandon. After having my stomach pumped I was back and raring to go, taking part in the excavation of the first giant quarry pit. Bigger than a bus it was truly a sight to behold…..

This is how I view all I did in those distant first few months, and begin consider all I have learned… The site is now a lot more technical, with the large amount of burials, but lumping out a large soak-away is still good fun!

As for the remaining month, only time will tell!