Monday at St. Andrew’s Church in Holcombe

Yesterday was sort of a typical Monday. I woke up to find that I must have been sleeping in a weird position, because I could barely turn my head to the side without a shooting pain going down my back. But I got up and we left for St. Andrew’s Church in Holcombe around 9am. Unfortunately, we got lost on the way there. Growing up in the States, I’ve realized that I take street signs for granted….street signs and lanes that are big enough for two cars to pass without having a mild heart attack. We got turned around in the middle of a bunch of country lanes that all look the same after a while, but we did eventually find our way once the GPS started working again.

The weather was cold and rainy again. The kids participating in the Cathedral Camp were working at Holcombe church, learning some archaeological survey techniques. So I was taking pictures of them doing that, and of the locals interacting with the CCT staff. There were also a few people from Wessex Archaeology there, doing the training in the survey techniques. The original plan was for one of the archaeologists to give a presentation inside the church, but the generator that had been delivered earlier in the morning, wouldn’t kick in…which meant no electricity, no computer, and definitely no PowerPoint presentation. So the locals were a bit disappointed by that, but the Holcombe Project will be going on for the rest of the week, so they’ll still get their presentations on Saturday.

Also at Holcombe were two people specialized in a fairly new photography technique called Reflectance Transformation Imaging, which can be used to help read old gravestones that have been eroded over time. Essentially, you can use your camera and a light source, and take betwen 50-60 photos of the same object at the same depth of field, but for each photo the light comes at it from a different angle. These photos are then compiled into a software program that will allow you to manipulate the photo and transform how the light is reflected, so that you can read what is left of the engraving. It’s actually a really simple idea, and the organization that developed it, wants it to remain a relatively cheap technique for that average people can use it, not just experts like archaeologists.

I interviewed the two of them briefly after their demonstration, so I could put a bit about them in the newsletter (more on that later), and then went back to taking photos. A little while later the regional director of CCT West, Colin, came by. I had already been emailing him, and we had decided to take about the plans for the regional newsletter that I’ll be working on. So we headed down to the Holcombe Inn for some tea and were able to discuss what his expectations were for the newsletter. My official title is something like guest editor of the west regional newsletter. I have a lot of ideas, especially after talking to Colin about his ideas, and hope to put an emphasis on volunteer work within the CCT. Colin wants there to be an overaching theme of team work and optimism…so hopefully I can achieve that.

After sitting down to tea and taking about the newsletter, we headed back home. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some fish, potatoes and zucchini and offered to cook dinner. And after dinner I was able to Skype with Mom and Mike, and then went to bed pretty early.

Today I’m starting the initial work on the newsletter, and setting up a timeline for it’s production and distribution. Next Monday and Tuesday I’ll be a the regional office in Bristol, and hope to have some kind of mock-up ready to show them by then.

So…that’s all for now.

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2 thoughts on “Monday at St. Andrew’s Church in Holcombe

    • It does have a spookiness about it. Their is a lot of history at all these churches, and you can definitely feel it when you walk around the church yards. For me it was nice to experience historically significant churches that weren’t these big well-known cathedrals. These were village churches, where common people went to worship, and there’s something really special about that.

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