Saturday, 19 July 2008

Soggy Solstice

It's been a while since I had the following encounters, for one reason or another I just haven't had time to put all this up on the blog before now.

Since my last blog entry I decided that I wanted to go back up to the site I"ve being thinking about most during this project, Simonside Hills nr Rothbury, for the weekend of the longest day, Summer Solstice in fact.

I booked myself into a pub B+B in Rothbury for Saturday and Sunday night and arranged to meet with Chris Jones NNP archaeologist on the Monday morning.

My main reason for going was to hunt out some suitable rocks to photograph and measure. Since being informed that carving onto the rocks up on Simonside is not permitted I have been thinking about the interpretation and representation of history or heritage alot. This also ties in with my current day job, which is information assistant at Killhope Lead Mining Centre. One of my tasks in this job is to guide people down part of the lead mine, it takes about an hour and is as you might expect, dark and wet. However one of the most surprising things I discovered when training for the job is that a large part of the tour takes place in a completely fake or replica mine. Due to health and safety and other visitor comfort considerations the centre built a big concrete box underground and connected to the real mine level. Inside the box they employed specialists to recreate features from various lead mines in fibre glass, which we walk through whilst telling people various tales of old.

This has obviously been on my mind. I point out the fakeness of the mine to all visitors, by the way, it doesn't seem to detract from their experience. It sort of bothers me and at the same time I love the idea of being inside this giant sculpture or Dr Who set.

Any how the reason for this little story is I started to think if I can't have a real rock maybe I'll have a fake one. I am currently in contact with one if the guys who worked on the Killhope mine, hence rock hunting, he needs plenty of photos in order to do a good job, and he is good. Check out his work is the three rocks above this posting Robin Burch rocks one, two and three.

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