David Parker contacted me a few months ago and asked if we could meet up and have a chat about the Devil’s Arrows for a podcast he was putting together. I met up with David who is a lovely bloke, full of knowledge and enthusiasm. David has now released his podcast, the second in a series.
David’s website is here
During our chat I said a couple of things that weren’t 100% accurate so here’s a few corrections
- The paper on the alignment of Henges is by Roy, not Ron, Loveday
- I was way out on the height of the bank at Mayburgh Henge, 15 feet is probably a more accurate estimate.
- The Bronze Age monument at Street House was a round barrow not a long cairn. The long cairn was part of the final stage of the Neolithic monument.
I went to see the Wilderness Way exhibition at MIMA today.
This exhibition treats Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Teesside in 1987 as a starting point to reflect on the 1980’s, a decade that shaped the way we live now. Art, film, music and archival materials examine themes of class struggle, agency, racial division, and protest.
Mima Users Guide.
I left my teens behind in 1981, along with many of my family and friends I experienced the raw edge of the decade through redundancy, unemployment and hardship. I was keen to see how MIMA’s curators would explore these troubled times.
The themes in this exhibition leave a huge area to cover, any one of them could have been the subject of a large exhibition, so I was expecting something a little larger with more material. Despite this, the exhibition is worth visiting, it contains some thought-provoking pieces.
I found the piece on the Cumbrian Iron Ore Miners to be extremely powerful and disturbing. Using official documents, claim forms, Doctor’s letters and a death certificate, it documents industrial disease and the struggle for compensation from a system that has little regard for the hardships being endured by disabled ex-miners and their families. Even when a miner prematurely dies of lung disease, his widow is denied compensation. The narrative seemed to belong in the black days of the 1930’s rather than the 1980’s.
Mike Figgis’s film of the The Battle of Orgreave is equally powerful. Footage of the re-enactment of the battle is cut with interviews and commentary which caused me to reflect on the continued struggle of people who are still being treated with little or no regard by an ideologically-driven conservative government.
An account of a ghostly Midsummer procession on nearby Souther Fell by Diane McIlmoyle on Esmeralda’s Cumbrian History & Folklore
This beautiful stone is thought to date from the Tenth century, it was found in 1847 during a restoration of the chancel. The local tradition is that the stone depicts the Norse god Loki. The Norse sagas tell of Loki being bound with the entrails of his son and tormented by a serpent which dripped venom onto his face.
This wonderful carving is probably Norman in origin. It is depicts two hounds and a human figure. No-one really knows what it is supposed to symbolise.
A Tenth Century cross shaft
A Tenth to Eleventh century shaft fragment depicting three crudely drawn animals.
Marcus H aka Soiled at Mayburgh Henge
THE MONUMENT COMMONLY CALLED LONG MEG AND HER DAUGHTERS, NEAR THE RIVER EDEN
A WEIGHT of awe, not easy to be borne,
Fell suddenly upon my Spirit–cast
From the dread bosom of the unknown past,
When first I saw that family forlorn.
Speak Thou, whose massy strength and stature scorn
The power of years–pre-eminent, and placed
Apart, to overlook the circle vast–
Speak, Giant-mother! tell it to the Morn
While she dispels the cumbrous shades of Night;
Let the Moon hear, emerging from a cloud;
At whose behest uprose on British ground
That Sisterhood, in hieroglyphic round
Forth-shadowing, some have deemed, the infinite
The inviolable God, that tames the proud!
William Wordsworth 1833
Mayburgh Henge – Long Meg and Her Daughters – The Maughanby Circle (Little Meg) – St. Michaels Church, Addingham.