Kensal Green Cemetery

A Day in the Life of a Local Society Officer


I am the Chair of the City of London Archaeological Society. Like all our Officers and Committee I work unpaid and in my own time to help organise a thriving local society. My story my ring bells for many of the unsung band who make their contribution to archaeology by enthusing and supporting others.

I did not have broadband at home for a long time, so the first thing I see when I log-on at work is ‘draft minutes’ of COLAS’s recent evening Committee meeting.

Among the things we discussed (for the Nth time) the best place to put our money, a speaker who had changed his mind about coming, getting our laptop and projector to the July lecture, when the usual transporter (me) was on holiday and how to contact the members who may already have been trained to undertake fieldwork on the Thames Foreshore.

However the big topic was our Tower of London Archaeology Weekend (26/27 May). Fifty one individual volunteers, putting in 80 volunteer days to provide a wide range of displays and activities for the public. Well that’s COLAS’s bit done for the ‘Big Society’.

Following on from the Committee meeting, I take time at lunch to send out a few emails to remind people about stuff that needs to go into the July edition of our magazine ‘Context’. It is quarterly, so must include details of our August walk and an October guided visit to the wonderful Kensal Green Cemetery.  You need to think ahead in this job.

I send the Editor a couple of hundred carefully crafted words about a small and almost unknown local museum I visited recently, and feel guilty that I have not yet done my ‘From the Chair’ piece.

I remind myself, I need to follow up an invitation to visit a Museum of London Archaeology excavation.  When could I phone XX when she wouldn’t be down a hole somewhere?  I email Tower volunteers a couple of nice Tower pictures of themselves and answer a lot of phone calls and emails that ARE work related.

Back home and fed, I wonder whether to watch TV or do a Context summary of COLAS’s last lecture; not an easy job, as it had a lot of pictures. Or both. Multitasking again.

Eventually bed and dreaming of my forthcoming holiday.  What a joy digital photography is, so I do not have to pack slide film for that possible presentation for some future ‘members night’.

Rose Baillie
City of London Archaeological Society