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29th August 2011
‘A new way of looking at an empty field’ is promised at Ripon Civic Society’s meeting on Thursday 8 September, when ‘Muddy Archaeologist’ Gillian Hovell uncovers the secret of finding fascinating stories in the most unpromising-looking spots.

Award-winning writer Gillian’s talk is called ‘A Muddy History of Britain: a local view’ and promises a fully-illustrated tour of the history of our islands through the archaeology that is all around us – with added local flavour so that we can see what lies beneath our feet in the Ripon area.

An Exeter University graduate in Latin and Ancient History ‘because it's FUN!’, Gillian worked for the BBC on everything from live television at No.10 to the ‘Domesday Project’, as well as in children’s programmes; she says she certainly got a buzz from working with the famous and queuing for lunch behind a Dr Who blue-faced alien.

With her husband and children she moved Birstwith, took up archaeology and started a writing career. Her many books include introductions to archaeology for both children and adults, and several on Latin; she runs very popular Latin classes for all ages around the area.

David Winpenny, Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, says, ‘Gillian is a very enthusiastic and inspiring speaker, and I have no doubt that her talk for the Society will be both amusing and thought-provoking. Come along and see what may be under our feet without our knowing!’

The meeting takes place at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall in Victoria Grove, Ripon, and starts at 7.30pm. Non-members are welcome, and pay £2.00 for the evening.

The Civic Society’s October meeting is its Annual Awards ceremony at Ripon’s Spa Hotel. This takes place on Thursday 6 October, 7.00pm for 7.30pm.

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