post-medieval mining heritage

A Day in the Life of an Investigator for the RCAHMW – Part II

Today I’ve had several different pieces of work to do, which makes it an average day for me.

After my morning cup of tea, I set about checking my work e-mails. The project I work for, the Atlanterra Project, are in the process of submitting the next financial claims for the work that has been done since January 2011. As part of this I have make sure I have all the relevant paperwork ready to upload, and this morning my in-tray contained some of the papers I needed, as well several e-mail attachments of previous project business meetings. Whilst it might not sound very glamorous and archaeology like, the project management element of work like this is very important, if perhaps not the most exciting part of the day. I do enjoy it though, as it helps me plan ahead for the next year of the project and work out how, when, why, where and what I’ll spend the project money on.

The Atlanterra Project is a European funded project with ten project partners from five countries (Wales, France, Spain, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland) working together to preserve and promote post-medieval mining heritage.

Among the work being carried out are projects on the creation of geological gardens; reconstruction and preservation of mining machinery; surveying and archaeologically recording mining complexes and collectively working on how best to provide public access to the information collected and diseminated during the life of the project. My own particular role within the project is to provide expert advice and guidance to the other project partners on ‘Physical and Digital Data Capture, Storage and Tender Specification’. Basically, if you want a site surveying, have you actually considered why it need to be done and what you will do with the data (which could be CAD drawings, CGI animations, or someone with a tape measure, ruler and piece of paper) once you have asked someone to collect it for you?

As part of my work on the Atlanterra Project, I carry out fieldwork surveying and recording mining heritage sites which are at risk. Two of the sites I have been out to survey as part of this work are Maenofferen Slate Mine, near Blaenau Ffestiniog:

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2010/10/survey-at-maenofferen-slate-quarry.html

and Mynydd Nodol Manganese Mine, near Bala:

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2011/06/surveying-19th-century-manganese-mine.html

After that, I worked on a talk I am giving at the National Eisteddfod next Tuesday. The National Eisteddfod moves around Wales each year, and this year is being hosted in my home town, Wrexham. With that in mind the RCAHMW Education Officer asked me if I could prepare something for a general audience. I decided to prepare something on one of the RCAHMW projects which is being prepared for publication – in some for or another – in the long term. That project is the The Workers’ Houses of Wales Project. You can find details of four of our National Projects here:

http://www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/ENG/Our+Services/Research+and+Recording/National+Projects/

http://www.rcahmw.gov.uk/HI/CYM/Ein+Gwasanaethau/Ymchwilio+a+Chofnodi/Prosiectau+Cenedlaethol/

and details of my talk at the Eisteddfod here:

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/welsh-workers-housing.html

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/tai-gweithwyr-cymru.html

Because my first language is Welsh, I’ve also been asked by CADW: Welsh Historic Monuments if I will guide a walking tour of the village of Cefn Mawr, near Wrexham, to explain its character and history. Details of my walk can be found here: 

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/walking-tour-exploring-urban-character.html

http://heritageofwalesnews.blogspot.com/2011/07/ar-daith-dywys-syn-cyflwyno-cymeriad.html