The 2020 trip was due to be based in Kings Lynn, visiting many sites in Anglia. It was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have now decided not to attempt to run a summer trip in 2021. Hopefully things will be back to normal in 2022 and we will finally get to Kings Lynn.
In July 2003, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society, 36 members visited Hadrian’s Wall, staying for four nights at Ridley Hall, a boarding school in Northumbria. Under the guidance of Dr Ffiona Eaves, the party spent three days visiting sites along the Wall, starting with Newcastle Museum and followed by Arbeia, Housesteads in the early morning mist, Birdoswald, Corbridge, Chesters and finally Vindolanda. A small booklet was published and an article written for the newsletter to record the event.
This was the beginning of the Learning Journeys that are still a major annual Society event. The small committee which organised the Hadrian’s Wall visit decided to repeat the idea with a stay at Bishop Otter College in Chichester in 2004, where the highlight was a visit to the Mary Rose. Since then visits have been organised annually to centres of historic interest across the length and breadth of England and Wales: Colchester (2005), Durham (2006), Worcester, a week between two floods in July 2007, and Canterbury (2008) where David Carder was adopted as our new leader. Swansea followed (2009) and then Wiltshire (2010) where Dr Julian Richards of Meet the Ancestors fame, guided us round Stonehenge on a wet but memorably atmospheric evening. Visits to Exeter (2011), North Wales (2012) and East Anglia (2013) followed and then Carlisle (2014) with a foray into Scotland to visit sites in Dumfries.
Since 2015, when the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester proved to be an excellent centre for exploration of the Cotswolds, accommodation has been found in a conference centre or hotel, rather than a university. While exploring Hertfordshire and Essex (2016) our base was High Legh Conference Centre at Hoddesdon and in 2017 Cober Hill Hotel at Cloughton, near Scarborough, from where we visited East Yorkshire and took a ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from Pickering to Whitby. Herefordshire followed (2018), the high light being the Chained Library and Mappa Mundi at Hereford Cathedral and in 2019 we explored Devon from a hotel in Torquay. All these adventures can be found in members’ reports in the Society’s Winter Newsletter or in the booklets which accompany each visit.