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Poos from the Past

For many people the idea of excavating old human poo is disgusting! Not so for archaeologists.

Poos are called 'coprolites' by archaeologists. Coprolites can include loads of evidence to understand what people ate in the past, and also how they prepared their food. They can tell archaeologists about past eating habits, trading of foodstuffs and much more.

During the Easter holidays (9, 11, 16, 18 April), Wallingford Museum will be holding 12 one-hour workshops in their new meeting room to explore this subject!

This activity will give families a chance to gain some hands-on experience of excavation, recording and analysing the contents of fake coprolites. The challenge will be to work out from which time period they came, and share their findings with other members of the workshop. If time allows, you will also look at food timelines to discover which foods were introduced and when!

We expect these workshops to be popular, and so advance booking is required for these events. This activity is suitable for ages 7 to adult, but children must be accompanied by an adult please. The workshop is free to children and season ticket holders. Adults accompanying children will be requested to pay an admission charge to the museum of £5, for an annual season ticket.
Please see the Wallingford Museum website for full details including online booking.

Stu Darby

Wallingford Town Walks

Wallingford's popular Guided Historic Town Walks held on Saturday mornings will commence again at 11am on Sat 6 April 2019 from the Town Hall. Walks last 1 - 2 hours and cost £5 per head, money which will be donated to support Wallingford Museum.
These are general walks covering the rich history of our town, but also touching on the links with Agatha Christie and 'Midsomer Murders'. They will appeal to residents and visitors alike.
If you’d like to organise a Town Walk like this for your group / society / school at a different time, then please contact Philip Burton on 01491-836200 or
Philip Burton

Once Upon a Time … the changing face of Wallingford ….. and the MUSEUM!

January and February were two of the busiest months since the museum expanded in 2005 to take over the ground floor of Flint House. Not only have we re-organised all the ‘back-room ‘ space in the museum, but we have created a splendid new all-purpose activities/meeting room, and provided a palatial fully-accessible public toilet! The new Collections / Archaeology store at the back is now in full working order and we have also created ‘Once-upon a time… the changing
face of Wallingford’ a new exhibition for 2019.
Amidst all the building work this year’s exhibition has been finished, with new displays to enjoy. These include several ‘interactive’ features where visitors have a chance to ‘take part’ in the displays - from plotting elements of the town’s past with magnets on an aerial view, to detecting the age of photos and using objects, documents and photos to plot the position of shops of the past. Such activities, together with the ‘shoe-bag’ challenge (different things to do with objects hidden in shoe-bags), are designed to engage old and young alike.
Thanks to everyone who has given a hand, it has been an amazing team effort!

Judy Dewey (Curator - Wallingford Museum)

'The Turbulent Lifetime of Thomas Vachell'

Tony Hadland will talk to The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society (TWHAS) about 'The Turbulent Lifetime of Thomas Vachell'

Thomas Vachell was the heir of an old Reading gentry family; his wife was a Reade from Abingdon. Thomas’s father suppressed the hugely wealthy Reading Abbey, yet Thomas doggedly stuck to ‘the old faith’. His story spans five monarchs and four changes of religion. He became the most fined man in Oxfordshire, his wealth was seized in a government raid and, as a result of ‘swimming against the tide’, he fell out with his wife. Thomas Vachell’s story illustrates some of the huge changes England went through in the Tudor and early Stuart era – and it has a fairly happy ending!
Our speaker is a retired chartered building surveyor, information scientist and operational risk manager. Today, Tony is a historian, writer and broadcaster specialising in bicycle history and various aspects of local and family history. Since retiring the first time, he has been administrator of the Vale & Downland Museum and editor of Oxfordshire Family Historian.

This talk will be held on Wednesday 10th April, 7.45 for 8pm, at St Mary’s Church, Wallingford.
Visitors (£4) are most welcome.
Katharine Keats-Rohan
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