We weren't sure how the weekend would turn out as we had so much on with a new possible permission to visit, a survey around the trenches and of course, the lectures too.
I did wonder if we would see any of the Time Team guys "up close and personal"...... ironically, we ended up drinking with them in the local pub as well as in the green room attached to the lecture theatre.
This was so surreal...... actually chatting to all of the surviving Time Team members that attended the Mick Aston tribute on Lindisfarne in a totally relaxed and open way.
Rob and I spent an hour sat chatting to Phil Harding in the pub and then Francis Pryor, Stewart Ainsworth, John Gater, Helen Geake, Carenza Lewis, the executive producers and all the support crew that helped create Time Team as we saw it.
Meanwhile, we called in to a farm we'd researched for a possible new permission and met up with the landowner. He was so kind and accommodating, he said help yourselves! The field was cultivated stubble but the soil was quite soft and fluffy. It started off well with a Roman brooch appearing in the second signal, unfortunately nothing else was recovered, probably as a result of the soil conditions.
We made our way to The Holy Island of Lindisfarne to see what areas DigVentures wanted us to survey. We started on the soil heaps and were excited to find two hammered coin; an Elizabethan sixpence in fair condition and a heavily clipped shilling of James Ist.
Part of the DigNation gig was a Saturday night party that involved an inflatable pub, a live performance in the lecture hall and, of course, more trips to the local pub! It was so strange seeing your Time Team icons all over the place and well up for a chat.
The climax of the weekend was a private party on Sunday night at the DigVentures house with members of Time Team enjoying the free flowing bar too! Can't believe I was sat on a bean bag with Helen Geake and discussing LiDAR and other techniques with Stewart Ainsworth! John Gator was also on-hand for topical discussion.
As we were leaving the campsite I learnt that the farm had 600-acres, I couldn't resist the temptation to ask.......
So, that was it, two new permissions, two hammered coins, two days of pure hallucination and two days of meeting new friends, contacts and of course.... the Time Team members in the flesh and in a situation that is totally surreal.
The next few weeks are going to be interesting as we've met a young lady who's heavily involved with the young farmers association and has lots of contacts with landowners. This is going to flow nicely with our quest for adding potential new permissions to the exhausted sites we have.
We're so excited for the 2018 - 2019 season.
Hopefully, we can guide other members to a more fruitful future in detecting.