The sun shone! And we were visited. I arrived on site at 7.30am, and after a much-needed cup of coffee we spent an hour getting ready. I am always amazed at how quickly everything fits into place. We don’t have much infrastructure but we have willing hands and passion! Everyone wants to take part – and show off the site. There is always a wonderful spirit……we ran around putting up signs, spreading woodchip, putting up notices and barriers, collecting tables and chairs…..I called on all of our helpers…..costumes were donned…Jesse as a Roman soldier, Mark as a native. Jack and Nick were Victorians – and togas were everywhere! Jan arrived with her mobile burger van, Cindy set up her Science tables, Elise and her team washed finds, Hele organised childrens’ activities and Zoe and I set up the headphones for the site tours. We devised an order of events, the Prof arrived, I drank another cup of coffee – and we were off! At 10am sharp people began to pour through the gate. Jim was at the public car park trying to organise parking – and our first Open Day began.
We had a fantastic day – it was such fun. All of our visitors were full of enthusiasm for the project, for the day, for the sunshine. Mike and I ran site tours every hour; the students ran Childrens’ tours. Jack and Tom wove fantastic stories for children, dressed in pieces of chiffon and false moustaches. Jack’s voice could be heard in every corner of the site shouting ‘Childrens’ Tours, Childrens’ Tours’. The children loved him, gazing open mouthed as Romulus and Remus, Perseus and Andromeda – and many other stories were re-enacted. Jack leapt around shouting and Tom fell on the grass, mortally wounded in a dozen different ways. The children wore masks and cloaks and booed and growled and cheered.
Dressing up was the order of the day…..sheets, rugs, wigs, waistcoats, blue body paint…..the site was a riot of colour and noise. Dogs barked, generators hummed, pumps clattered, Jack shouted and Mike and I delivered site tours through a microphone. And through it all pulsed the smell of bacon and egg butties, courtesy of Jan and Sam.
And then it was all over….we had over 60o visitors….thank you everyone who came along and helped us put the challenges of the last 3 weeks behind us…….
And tonight is Pirate Night at the Calleva Arms……..see you tomorrow!