It was the first Open Day of our 17th season: the weather was cooler, but definitely more enticing! I have just downloaded my images from the day….and there is a definite theme: rubber ducks (#Roman rubber duck) and ‘story time’. Although these were definitely highlights of the day, there were a lot of other activities going on too…..my excuse for a lack of pictures was that I spent 4 hours of the day giving site tours…and there didn’t seem to be much time left over to capture a little bit of everything that was happening!
We had childrens’ activities of many varieties: coin making, drawing, planning and colouring in, the Childrens’ Dig Pit, Childrens’ tours, sticking together pots! We had demonstrations and displays of Finds and Scientific techniques. We had finds on display from Reading Museum and Rhi came out from Reading’s Department of Archaeology to talk about the new Museum Studies and Archaeology undergraduate degreestarting this Autumn – as well as the many and alluring facets of the Archaeology degree at Reading! Jan brought her mobile PitStop van to sell bacon sandwiches, teas and coffee, cold drinks! And Romilly and her team of dyers and weavers introduced us all to Iron Age techniques of cloth spinning and colouring. Oh – and yes, Mike and I gave site tours on the hour every hour….
It was a really great day – and I would like to say a really big big thank you to my Visitor Manager Ross and his Visitors’ team of 2: Joe and Emily. They did an amazing job – and Ross’s organisation was supreme. The visitors loved it! Also….a very very big thank you to all my students and staff who volunteered to help on the day – they were all magnificent – and you only had to catch the smiles of the several hundred children who visited us to see how successful the day was. We had over 700 visitors and the atmosphere was wonderful – everyone was pleased, excited, happy – and full of compliments about the excavation. For a project which runs on a shoestring and is substantially funded by donations made by the public, a successful Open Day means a continuing supply of goodwill and coppers to keep us afloat for a little longer. Thank you to everyone who came along- and told us how much they enjoyed themselves. We will be doing it again in 2 weeks’ time!
And….last but by no means least, Mr. Story Time himself: