Saturday, 26 November 2016

Wednesday 23rd November 2016

It was bitterly cold but beautifully bright and sunny, with vibrant yellow autumn leaves still fluttering above us in the trees.

We got a lot of work done, and apart from 3 stones which need RTI photography the survey of the North side is now complete.
That just leaves some un-marked plots on the south to finish and we will have met our target to finish all the fieldwork by Christmas!

While we were having our morning coffee to warm up, a large class of children from Embsay Primary School visited the church as part of their First World War project – they came to look for memorials within the church and outside in the churchyard. They were so well behaved, and attentive to the teacher, and seemed to really enjoy hunting for the little memorials scattered around the place. We were very impressed with their enthusiasm combined with quiet and respectful demeanour.

Jane Lunnon

Friday, 18 November 2016

Thursday 18 November 2016

At the invitation of Long Preston Heritage Group three of us visited Long Preston today to tell them about our churchyard survey project at Embsay. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and were well fed with plenty of home-made cakes.

Members of the committee and a couple of other interested local residents listened patiently to our three presentations – Sue gave an overview of the way the project has been managed and evolved over the past two years or so; Jane explained how the data collected and photographic collection can be analysed for a broader understanding of the cultural and social significance of the gravestones; and Alan explained the technique of RTI photography which has proved so useful in the project.
Sue chats about the project while Alan sets up the RTI demo
For the afternoon, we had planned a practical demonstration of RTI but the persistent rain meant we were driven indoors. So Alan set up a demo of the technique inside the church where a very lovely Jacobean bench-seat provided a good substitute for a gravestone.
Alan, Sue & Tony run the RTI demo inside Long Preston church
Some of the Long Preston Group then came back with us to the village hall where Alan wowed them with a demonstration of the RTI Viewer software.

We hope very much that the Long Preston Heritage Group will be inspired to run their own churchyard survey, and look forward to sharing our experience with them if they decide to go ahead.

Our thanks to them all for showing such an interest in our project and giving us such a warm welcome.

Jane Lunnon 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wednesday 16th November 2016

I know we’re always going on about the weather but we are  British, and churchyard surveying does mean working outdoors – if it’s cold, wet and windy you get pretty cold standing around in a graveyard!!

Rained off this morning, three brave souls among us ventured out in the autumn sunshine of the afternoon to continue recording on the North side. At first it was fine – a bit chilly, but fine, so long as we wrapped up warm with fleecy jackets, woolly hats, caggys and gloves.
Wrapped up warm!
We spent a little time inside the church in the rather unexpected pursuit of lifting a wet carpet to dry off the wooden floor underneath after a leak from the water boiler in the kitchen. Lots and lots of newspaper put down to soak it up.

Gorgeous autumn colours of fallen leaves
Back outside as the afternoon progressed it got colder, breezier and wetter – we finished our target of grave plots just in time – the sun had gone, the drizzle was becoming more like rain, and the wind was blowing our tape into curves, making triangulation rather awkward. 

Quite a good day’s work was done though.

Jane Lunnon. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wednesday 2nd November 2016.

This was the first day since last winter that we could really feel the crisp, fresh autumn chill. But it was a beautiful sunny day – not ideal for RTI, but nice for general surveying and photography of the gravestones.

We had several visitors in the morning – a group of ramblers popped in for a quick look at the church, before they set off for their walk; and a couple came looking for the grave of a relative as part of their family history research. We had an interesting chat with them and were able to exchange information for each other’s genealogical databases.  

Surveying then continued, and we did well almost completing 2 more rows of grave plots, before the light began to go and the cold drove us back inside.

Jane Lunnon