;Report of February Meeting 2011


Jackie  Huck

Orton & Tebay Local History Society met in Orton Market Hall, on Monday  21st February. Chairman, Bernard Thornborrow, welcomed the speaker for the evening, Annie Hamilton-Gibney, who is working through ACT,  on a Tebay & Orton Distinctiveness Project. Annie outlined her work to date within the two communities, which has included a tourism conference, work with  the Tebay Church Steam Exhibition and an on-going scheme to gather together old  photographs of our farming heritage and transport. Two ladies from Eden Tourism came to a day recently that Annie organised to show what this area has to offer and they are keen to put a leaflet together showing what is on offer. Annie is also working with the newly formed "Friends of Tebay Church" to help them develop the Vestry into a community facility.

By training an  Archaeologist, Annie has run two archaeology workshops, and led a field walk about a half mile west of Orton which produced a number of very interesting finds. Evidence of late Neolithic and early Bronze Age people living in the Orton area was discovered, by finds of pieces of tools. Also a piece of pitch stone was discovered, which is only found on the Isle of Arran, and this has led to evidence of widespread travel even in these early eras. The finds have been displayed and Annie has taken them to  Orton school.

Plans are in hand to form a local Archaeological Group,  which will be separate from the History Society, but the two groups will share information. It will most likely be called the Lune or Lunesdale Archaeological  Society.

Annie explained that Archaeology is basically "what people  leave behind" This can take many forms including stone circles, walls,  foundations, pottery, coins etc. Wartime sites like pill boxes and gun emplacements, are now classified as archaeology.

Castle Fold

Stone Circle

There was a discussion  regarding metal detecting, it's value and drawbacks. It was agreed that  responsible detectorists, who report finds and don't damage sites are a valuable  aid to finding lost artefacts, but in view of the many irresponsible people with  a detector, it would be better if the whole hobby was better regulated and  licensed.
The Portable Finds Officer, for Cumbria was also present, and  she explained what is classified as "treasure trove", and how to have items dated. She also said how sad it was that the unique Roman Helmet, found recently  and sold for a huge amount, was not available for display in  Cumbria.

Also present was a representative of the Kendal Metal Detectorists who are a responsible organisation.

Many questions were asked and the displays in the room were enjoyed by the audience after the meeting.

Anyone interested in joining the archaeological group can e-mail us and your details will be passed to the relevant people .