Page Updated

 THE PROGRAMME - Scroll down below to see details of our events.

All talks are on a Friday at St Mary’s Church Hall, Darley Lane, Derby  DE1 3AX at 7:30 pm unless advised otherwise.


FREE PUBLIC LECTURE at 7.30pm on Friday 29 September Room OL1, The University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby

'Protecting the Roman Empire: Understanding fortlets and frontiers.

Matthew Symonds, Editor: Current World Archaeology

The Roman army enjoys an enviable reputation as an instrument of waging war, but as the modern world reminds us, an enduring victory requires far more than simply winning battles. When it came to suppressing counterinsurgencies, or deterring the depredations of bandits, the army frequently deployed small groups of infantry and cavalry based in fortlets. This remarkable installation type has never previously been studied in detail, and shows a new side to the Roman army. Rather than displaying the aggressive uniformity for which the Roman military is famous, individual fortlets were usually bespoke installations tailored to local needs. Examining fortlet use in north-west Europe helps explain the differing designs of the Empire’s most famous artificial frontier systems:
Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall, and the Upper German and Raetian limites. The archaeological evidence will be integrated with documentary sources to disclose the gritty reality of life in a Roman fortlet.  

Matthew Symonds studied archaeology at Nottingham University, and then at Christ Church, Oxford. He is a visiting fellow at Newcastle University, has co-edited three volumes on Roman frontiers, and is particularly interested in Roman fortlets. He has excavated in Bulgaria, Sicily, Italy, and Britain, but is most at home on Hadrian's Wall.  


6th October : ‘Ancient Hedgerows’

Speaker : Lynn Pickering

Ancient hedgerows have long defined boundaries for parishes, landowners and farmers. Many hedgerows are hundreds of years old. What can our remaining hedgerows tell us about the past? Lynn gives a fascinating talk on how to identify a pre-Enclosure hedge by species and their importance still in supporting wild life.


Friday 20th October : ‘The Pentrich Revolution’

Speaker : Roger Tanner

The Pentrich Revolution took place 200 years ago in June 1817. Home-based framework knitting was the main occupation in the village but steam-powered machines and the economic slump following the Napoleonic Wars had greatly reduced earnings. This led to a march from Pentrich and nearby villages to Nottingham.

Roger Tanner’s lecture will explore the background, events and implications of the
Pentrich Revolution.


FREE PUBLIC LECTURE at 7.30pm on Friday 27 October Room OL1, The University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby

Memorial Lecture for Peter Billson: Protecting Derby’s Heritage.

Lecturer : Maxwell Craven

Over the years Maxwell Craven and Peter worked together on numerous projects associated with the Derby Civic Society aimed at protecting Derby’s historic environment. Their accomplishments included the saving of the Railway Cottages, the creation of the Railway and Green Lane Conservation
areas. The number of Listed Buildings were increased and the Local List was revised. In and out of all these activities is woven the attempts of the Conservation Area Advisory Committee, which included both Max and Peter, to try and convince the Planning Sub-committee of the Council to actually take an interest in conservation at all! It was Peter who long contended that good, well-publicised research improves understanding and thus aids any effort to keep a building standing and in use and this of course was manifested in his books. Max will tell the tale of these .

Maxwell Craven previously had a life behind the scenes at Derby Museum in various roles and is of course very well known to us as an author and historian of Derby and its buildings. He is a speaker of renown. He continues to write books – a new one out this month – and to fight on for the conservation of Derby’s historic buildings.


3rd November : ‘Recent work at Ticknall’

Speakers : Sue Brown and Janet Spavold

This talk by Sue and Janet will focus on the work of the Ticknall Archaeological Research Group and how the excavations and other work that has been carried out has added to the understanding of the village and the landscape.


10 November : 'New Light on Barlborough Hall'

Speaker : Pete Smith, FSA

Barlborough Hall in north-east Derbyshire was probably designed by England's best known Elizabethan architect, Robert Smythson. Since the 1930s Barlborough Hall has been used as a schooland it is rarely open to the public. Recently new documentary evidence has come to light which allows us to understand the architectural development of this important country house and its gardens in much more detail. This lecture will illustrate the building today and using early topographical views and architectural drawings will show how it has changed through the past 450 years. It will also explain what this new information tells us about the building's history and attempt to explain some of the new questions which have arisen as a consequence of this new information.


November 17th : ‘The Unknown Warrior’

Speaker : John Hastings Thompson

The project to build a working replica of a built classpassenger engine will be described. The project will come to fruition on the centenary of the end of the First World War.


8th. December. The DAS Xmas Social will be held at 7:30pm in St. Paul’s Church Hall, Chester Green, Derby DE1 3RT

Speaker to be advised.


FREE PUBLIC LECTURE at 7.30pm on Friday 05 January 2018 Room OL1, The University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby

Paintings Along The Wall

Lecturer : Dr David Breeze

In 1848 Henry Burdon Richardson produced over 40 paintings of Hadrian's Wall, many later used in the publications of John Collingwood Bruce, thereby becoming the iconic views of the frontier. The paintings depict the Wall at the very start of its modern life. The lecture will explore the creation of the
paintings, what they tell us about Hadrian's Wall, their afterlife and the social background of the time.

David Breeze is the author of the basic text book on Hadrian's Wall, now in its 42nd year. He has also written on the Antonine Wall in Scotland, onRoman frontiers and on the Roman army. He was formerly Chairman of the International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies.


26th January : ‘Excavations at Chester Green, Derby’

Speaker : Paul Flintoff of Trent & Peak Archaeology

Paul will describe the recent excavations that took place at the southern end of the Darley Playing Fields in advance of the Flood Defence scheme work. The Trent & Peak team discovered evidence of internal streets or road surfaces and more items from day to day life of the settlement’s occupants.


2nd February : ‘Portable Antiquities Scheme’

Speaker : Alaistair Willis of Derby Museum

Alaistair Willis has been the Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire since 2015.  He is based at Derby Museum. Items discovered by the public are wide and varied and include medieval gold jewellery, a Viking silver ingot and hoards of Roman coins. Alaistair will describe some of the finds and explain more about the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.


February 9th. 2018‘100 Years of Trent Buses’

Speaker : Alan Hiley

Alan will describe the growth of the Trent Bus Company and its service network over the last 100 years and alsous ofof the special excursions and trips offered.


Friday 16th February : ‘Warriors, Warlords and Saints. Some themes in Mercian History’

Speaker : Dr John Hunt

The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia was a major power with stable foundations and strong traditions, powerful and sophisticated with a rich material culture, and by all measures well able to rival the standing and achievements of the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. This lecture will introduce the kingdom of Mercia by highlighting some selected themes in its history and development, concerning Mercian origins, the expression and exercise of power, and questions relating to wealth and identity.


Friday 23rd February : ‘Derbyshire in the Civil War’

Speaker : Brian Stone

Derbyshire was of crucial strategic importance during the Civil War. This talk will examine its role and the stirring events of the period through the eyes of the notorious Parliamentary Commander, Sir John Gell of Hopton.FREE PUBLIC LECTURE at 7.30pm on Friday 2 March Room OL1, The University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby


Pottery Production in Anglo-Scandinavian Torksey(Lincs)

Lecturer : Dr Gareth Perry, University of Sheffield

England in the 9th century witnessed a revolution in pottery production. For the first time since the Roman period, pottery was wheel-thrown and produced on a near industrial scale. Previous research into this ceramic revolution has focused on chronology and, in particular, whether the technology was introduced before Scandinavian settlement. Yet little attention has been paid to technological choices made by the potters or how these choices were influenced by wider societal changes. The presentation will show how a range of analytical techniques has now revealed the production sequence followed by potters working at one of the new industries — Torksey (Lincolnshire). The work has given insights into raw material choices, processing procedures, vessel forming practices and firing regimes and has challenged long-standing assumptions about manufacturing practice and the spread of the potters’ wheel. Opening a window into the mind of the potter, the presentation will offer a greater understanding of the mechanisms that facilitated the diffusion and ultimate success of this new technology.

Gareth Perry originally trained as a Mechanical Engineer and as a physics teacher. He arrived at the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, in 2007 when he enrolled on the Material Culture Studies MA. Here he completed his PhD and progressed to his current role as head of the Archaeomaterials Laboratory.


9th March : Section AGM followed by a talk ‘Heath End pottery kiln’

Speaker : David Budge of Mercian Archaeology

David will talk about the excavation of Joseph Tetley’s 18th century pottery kiln discovered at Ley’s Farm, Heath End, Ashby de la Zouch, the finds and the connection with the Ticknall pottery industry.


Friday, 16 March 2018 : 'Lutyens and the Great War'

Speaker : Tim Skelton

Widely celebrated as one of Britain’s finest architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens is mainly known through the wonderful collection of Arts and Crafts houses that he designed, often in collaboration with the garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Less well appreciated (apart from the Cenotaph and the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Thiepval) is the wider part that he played in the way that those who died in the First World War 1 are commemorated - being involved with over fifty memorials in England and 130 cemeteries on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in France and Belgium.


Friday 23rd March : ‘LHS AGM and Derbyshire Surnames’

Speaker : Dr Paul Cullen

This lecture will offer an introduction to the four basic categories of English surname (occupational names, relationship names, locative names and nicknames), using as examples surnames which are particularly characteristic of Derbyshire. The meanings will be discussed, including a few unsolved mysteries, and distribution maps will illustrate their geographical range.

Dr Paul Cullen has worked for The English Place-Name Society since 2001. For the last six years he has worked as a research fellow on The Family Names of the United Kingdom Project, the first four volumes were recently published as “The Oxford
Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland”.


April 6th. 2018 The Industrial Section AGM followed by ‘Saltaire’

Speaker : Rod Pearson

Rod will describe the efforts of mill owner Titus Salt to provide good quality planned housing and services forworkers in his mill, setting up one of the first planned
Industrial villages.


Friday, 13 April 2018 : AGM and 'Nottingham in Hanoverian Times, 1714 to 1837'

Speaker : Graham Clarke

At the start of this period Nottingham was described as the loveliest and neatest town in England outside London, with fine houses and gardens and just over 7,000 souls within the line of its ancient walls. At the end of the period there were 51,000 people living within the same area, 4,400 were on poor relief, and it was described as the worst slum in the Empire after Calcutta. The talk will look at the life of the town through this period of momentous change, and what remains from those times to be seen today.


Saturday 19 May 2018 - EMIAC 94 – Industrial Heritage Day.

Hosted by DAS in Long Eaton. Booking form in January newsletter.

It is the turn of DAS to host the twice-yearly East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference, and the theme will be coal fuelled electricity generation. In the 20th
Century, power stations along the River Trent were the backbone of the UK’s electricity supply. They ran with remarkable thermal efficiency 24 hours a day, burning locally mined coal, transported from the collieries in ‘merry-go-round’ trains that could be loaded and unloaded without stopping. Today, the local mines have all closed, and the few surviving power stations operate for a few hours a day to supply peak load in winter.

This conference will look at the history of electricity generation in the Trent Valley, with 5 speakers covering the subject from the first small scale local plants of the 1880s to the CEGB giants of the 1960s. In the afternoon there will be a walk through Long Eaton looking at the buildings of the town’s original electricity generating station and the lace factories that were its first consumers