News from the Scheme

Pas is the government's flagship archaeology project

Published: 16 years ago Author:

Yesterday in Parliament Estelle Morris (the Minister for the Arts) said that 'the Government is fully committed to increasing public interest and participation in all aspects of the historic environment, including archaeology' and gave as an example its decision to fund the Portable Antiquities Scheme. In the same debate Hugh Bayley MP (City of York, Labour) welcomed 'the Government's new funding for the Portable Antiquities Scheme' as did Don Foster MP (Bath, Liberal Democrat) who said that 'the Portable Antiquities crucial for the 95 per cent of finds that are not covered by the Treasure Act 1996'. For the full debate click here >>

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PAS offers a win win situation – there are no losers says Estelle Morris

Published: 16 years ago Author:

Yesterday, at a conference to celebrate the work of the PAS and look to its future, Estelle Morris (Minister for the Arts) praised the work of the Scheme, saying it provides a 'win win situation' for all and that 'there are no losers'!

She went on to say now that future funding for PAS has been secured (until April 2008) 'we can feel confident that if the Scheme goes on the way it has so far there is absolutely no reason why it should not continue well beyond that'.

 Mrs Morris particularly welcomed the educational potential of PAS. She said that archaeological finds offer a tangible link with the past - 'objects teach far more than words in books'. 'There is something exciting about finding Treasure which take me back to my childhood - not just value, but who put it there and why did they put it there'. She went on to say, 'the reason that PAS get so much publicity is that there is something deep inside all of us that gets exited about the past'. 

Following this Mrs Morris launched the online Anglo-Saxon village of West Mucking (, which is an eLearning resource aimed at 7 to 11 year olds. The village is a virtual environment that learners can explore and learn about the Early Medieval period. It shows aspects of everyday life in the sixth century AD, from the houses that people lived in to the day to day activities that they carried out. Learners also have the chance to explore the site as it is in the modern day too - hidden beneath ploughed land. By carrying out their own virtual fieldwork they can gather clues about the past and the people that once lived there.

Conference Digest - Looking to the Future

Setting the Scene

Andrew Burnett (Deputy Director of the British Museum) welcomed delegates to the British Museum and spoke about the support the British Museum has given PAS.

Chris Batt (Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council) talked about MLAs role running PAS and welcomed DCMS funding for its future. He also introduced the Arts Minister.


Estelle Morris (Minister for the Arts, DCMS) talked about the success of PAS and its educational potential. She launched the online Anglo-Saxon village of West Mucking (see )

Gill Chitty (Hawkshead Consultancy) talked about a recent review of the PAS and made some recommendations for talking the PAS forward.

Philip Wise (Curator of Archaeology, Colchester Castle Museum) talked about managing the PAS locally from the perspective of the Society of Museum Archaeologists.

Advancing Archaeological Knowledge 

Paul Cuming (SMR Manager, Kent County Council) talked about the benefits of PAS data for enhancing the SMR.

Andrew Richardson (Kent Finds Liaison Officer) talked about involving the public in archaeological excavation and gave examples from Kent.

Andrew David (Head of Archaeological Science, English Heritage) talked about the benefits of survey work and excavation to understand detector finds.

Education and Learning

Ceinwen Paynton (PAS Education Officer) talked about the educational potential of the Scheme and plans for its future educational work.

Anna Marshall (South & West Yorkshire Finds Liaison Officer) talked about learning through the PAS, giving examples of the educational work of FLOs.

Rod Couper (Mental Health Social Worker) talked about using PAS and archaeology (particularly field-walking) to benefit the mentally ill.

Looking to the Future

Jim Spriggs (Conservator, York Archaeological Trust) talked about YATs work providing conservation advice for PAS and developing resources and talks for finders.

David Barwell (Chairman, National Council for Metal Detecting) talked about empowering finders and working with PAS to encourage liaison and dialogue between archaeologists and finders.

Roger Bland (Head of Portable Antiquities) talked about talking PAS forward and plans to improve the efficiency and management of PAS.

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Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference: Looking to the Future

Published: 16 years ago Author:

Monday 14 March 2005 - 10.00 until 16.30
Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum, London

A day conference to assess the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to date and look to its future beyond March 2006. Time will be set aside for open discussion.

The conference is FREE but bookings are essential.

If you would like further details or wish to book a place please telephone Claire Costin on 0207 323 8618 or email

Museum 'Renaissance' to be extended

Published: 16 years ago Author:

Regional and local museums received a boost today with the announcement of £17 million new funding for the Renaissance scheme, led by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

The announcement by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will allow MLA to extend the scheme further across the country, bringing more regions in line with the North East, South West and West Midlands which are already receiving full Renaissance funding. But there is not yet enough funding to be able to implement the scheme nation-wide.

Museums currently in the scheme have achieved astonishing results in record time. In the first year alone, visits by school children rose by 28%, half of which were from schools in deprived areas where child poverty is high. Museums in those regions have doubled their work with community groups, exhibitions and displays have improved, visitor numbers have soared, and some £7 million is being spent on improving collections.

MLA Chair Mark Wood said: "New funding is always welcome news. But we are very disappointed that regional museums are still not receiving the support they need and that there is not enough in this settlement to roll out Renaissance nation-wide. We have already shown the enormous difference that this money can make in the pilot regions, where the teams have achieved amazing results in record time. This settlement will allow us to extend this success further, but it means that the inequality in museum services for people living in different regions will continue."

Mark Taylor, Director of the Museums Association said: "Any additional funding is obviously good news, but many people who care about museums will feel let down by this announcement. The Chancellor had stated very clearly that Renaissance in the Regions would be rolled out nation-wide. So we are obviously disappointed that the government has not found the money to fund the programme fully. The government has recognised that many major regional museums stand in need of additional investment, so why the half measures' When the government invests in museums, they deliver impressive results. So this settlement represents a real wasted opportunity."

As well as enabling the Renaissance scheme to be extended, today's funding announcement guarantees the future of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (, the nation's largest community archaeology programme, which helps the public to record and find out about the hundreds of hidden treasures they unearth every year.

Mark Wood added: "We are pleased to have secured the future of the Portable Antiquities Scheme which has been an enormous success and has helped put countless priceless objects into the country's museums. The scheme enjoys huge popular support and provides a vital link between amateur archaeologists and metal detecting enthusiasts and the museums community."

Today's funding of £17 million comes on top of £70 million already allocated to Renaissance in 2002. It means that by 2008 the annual budget for the programme will be £45 million - still £15 million short of the total required.

- ends -

# # #

Notes to Editors:

Press enquiries:

Jo O'Driscoll, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, 020 7273 1450, 07802 181249


MLA is the national development agency for museums, libraries and archives, advising the government on policy and priorities for the sector. MLA's roles are to provide strategic leadership, to act as a powerful advocate, to develop capacity and to promote innovation and change.


Renaissance is MLA's groundbreaking scheme to transform England's regional museums. For the first time ever, investment from central government is enabling regional museums across the country to raise their standards and deliver real results in support of education, community development and economic regeneration.

For further information see, or request a briefing sheet from the MLA press office.

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Funding received, December 2005







Current funding






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Finds Roadshows – A Success!

Published: 16 years ago Author:

On Saturday 27 November 2004 the Portable Antiquities Scheme ran finds identification and recording roadshows in Colchester, Donington, Exeter, Reading, Shropshire, Wrexham and York. In many cases other events were organised to coincide with the Roadshows, often attracting more people to come along.

In total these events were attended by more than 1100 people - adults and children alike. In some cases they queued for more than an hour to ensure their discoveries were properly identified and recorded! On the day almost 900 finds were seen by the Finds Liaison Officers, of which over 390 were recorded.

Bill Wyman  - rock legend and metal-detectorist - opened the Finds Roadshow at Colchester Castle Museum. Bill is a great fan of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and regularly records his finds with the team in Suffolk.

Besides the Roadshow people had the opportunity to meet 'real' Romans of the Colchester Roman Society and learn about Roman crafts and pottery. There was even the opportunity to dress up as Roman soldier! Philip Wise (Curator of Archaeology) gave tours of the museum and its galleries, and experts were also on hand to provide information about Countryside Stewardship Schemes.

Many objects were seen by the Finds Liaison Officers including a Roman key, a fifteenth-century silver gilt pilgrims badge (now declared Treasure) and a Mesolithic tranchet axe, as well as several interesting Roman and Iron Age coins. 

At Donington le Heath Manor House in Leicestershire there was lots to do for the public who came along to the Finds Roadshow. Local experts were on hand to talk about their work and there were hands-on-activities, including 'dig boxes' and an archaeological excavation simulation. Finds displays were organised by local fieldwalkers Kate Don and Mick Morris and members of the Leicester Search Society and the Meton and Belvoir Search Society. Wendy Scott (Leicestershire & Rutland Finds Liaison Officer) was really pleased with the displays - 'the fieldwalkers and both metal-detecting clubs put on excellent and varied displays, which gave visitors a really good idea of the types of objects that turn up'.  
Finds Liaison officers kept busy
The Finds Liaison Officers are kept busy recording finds at the Donnington Roadshow

Although the Roadshow was quieter than anticipated - perhaps due to people going Christmas shopping - 143 people attended the event.

 Fitting with rock crystal
The copper-alloy fitting with rock crystal - one of the finds recorded at the Donnington Roadshow.

Nicky Powell (Devon Finds Liaison Officer) declared the Finds Roadshow at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter 'a phenomenal success'! The South-West Finds Liaison Officers were overwhelmed by the response of local finders who attended the event and recorded their finds. 
Kurt Adams and Katie Hinds hard at work
Finds Liaison Officers recording finds at the Exeter Roadshow

Besides the Finds Roadshow local author and finds specialist Brian Read was on hand to talk about metal-detecting and his publications. There was also a display of metal-detecting finds found by local people. Children had the opportunity to handle real archaeological finds and dress up as Romans!

The Romans are here!
Dressing up as Romans

It was a slow day for the Finds Liaison Officers in Reading, although lots of visitors were attracted to other events in the museum which had been organised to coincide with the Finds Roadshow. These including spinning and weaving activities, pot making, face painting, coin striking and the opportunity to dress up in historical costume. Indeed, 399 people visited the museum!

Finder with cohort of FLOs
The finders were kept busy at the Museum of Reading!

This said several interesting finds were brought in for recording including a Medieval copper-alloy openwork knife handle with heraldic motif and a gold Iron Age stater.

Iron Age gold stater
The gold Iron Age coin recorded at the Reading Roadshow

The Finds Roadshow at Shrewsbury was a half day event organised to coincide with a conference about recent archaeological work in Shropshire, and provided an extra attraction for conference goers. A small display of local finds, including some metal-detected finds, was also organised.

Whilst there was a fee to go to the conference the Finds Day was FREE and the small team of Finds Liaison Officers were kept busy recording finds including some rather nice Bronze Age objects and beautiful a gold seventh-century pendent - consequently reported as potential Treasure.  

Gold pendant
The Anglo-Saxon gold pendant

Mark Lodwick (Finds Co-ordinator, Wales) and the staff of Wrexham County Borough Museum had an unbelievably busy day in North Wales. Over 500 finds were brought in for recording, including a Bronze Age socketed gouge and a Medieval finger ring. Mark was particularly pleased that the finder has not cleaned out the socket of the gouge, which might help provide vital clues about the object.

Axehead uncleaned 
The uncleaned socketed gouge recorded at the Wrexham Roadshow
As with the Finds Roadshows elsewhere other activities were organised to coincide with the event, including a finds display and hands-on archaeological activities for younger children, such as a mini dig!    
Display case Wrexham
A display cabinet of local metal-detected finds at the Wrexham Roadshow

The Finds Liaison Officers at the Finds Roadshow in York had a busy morning, but in the afternoon it was dead! York was busy with Christmas shoppers and it was felt that this may have put off people coming into the city for the Roadshow. The Roadshow was also being filmed as part of a documentary about a significant find reported to Simon Holmes (North and East Yorkshire Finds Liaison Officer) and this might have put off the camera shy. Do such people exist'

FLOs at work
The Finds Liaison Officers recording finds at the York Finds Roadshow

Amongst the finds reported included two items of potential Treasure, several Roman and Medieval coins, a Roman trumpet brooch and a rather nice Medieval buckle and plate (now in three parts). People visiting the Finds Roadshow were also able to enjoy demonstrations of Roman armour and handle archaeological objects from the Museum's reserve collection.  

Medieval buckle and plate
The Medieval buckle and plate

All in all the Roadshows were great success. Lots of people offered finds in for identification and recording and no doubt many would have not done so had the Roadshows not been organised. It was also a good opportunity for the Finds Liaison Officers to get together, share their experience, learn more and meet new people.

The tales that Treasure can tell....

Published: 17 years ago Author:

Museum experts will be on hand to identify whether you have uncovered hidden treasure at the Portable Antiquities Finds Roadshow, Saturday 27th November, 11am 3pm, Wrexham County Borough Museum.

Mark Lodwick, Finds Co-ordinator Wales based at the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff and Karina Kucharski, County Archaeologist will be available to identify and reveal the history behind objects found.  There will also be hands-on archaeological activities for younger children, including a mini dig.

"Archaeology is all around us."

said Mark Lodwick, Finds Co-ordinator Wales.

Many thousands of interesting objects are found every year, many by people out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Such discoveries are a significant source of information that helps us make sense of our past.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme ( is a voluntary recording scheme for archaeological objects found by members of the public.  The Scheme was established to promote the recording of chance finds and broaden awareness of the importance of such objects for understanding our past.

The Portable Antiquities Roadshow is free entry.

Entry to the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

For further information please contact:

Julie Richards, Press Officer, National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff

direct line: 029 2057 3185 email:



Sioe Pen Ffordd Henebion Cludadwy

Bydd arbenigwyr amgueddfaol wrth law i helpu i ddweud a ydych chi wedi datguddio trysor cudd ai peidio yn Sioe Pen Ffordd yr Henebion Cluadadwy, ddydd Sadwrn 27 Tachwedd, 11am – 3pm yn Amgueddfa Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam. Mynediad am ddim.

Bydd Mark Lodwick, Cydlynydd Canfyddiadau Cymru, sy’n gweithio yn yr Amgueddfa ac Oriel Genedlaethol, Caerdydd, a Karina Kucharski, Archaeolegydd y Sir, ar gael i enwi’r darnau a ffeindiwyd a datgelu’r hanes y tu ôl iddyn nhw. Bydd yna weithgareddau archaeoleg ymarferol ar gyfer plant iau hefyd, gan gynnwys cloddfa fach.

“Mae archaeoleg ym mhob man. Mae pob yn ffeindio miloedd o bethau diddorol bob blwyddyn, pobl sydd allan yn cerdded, yn garddio neu’n mynd o gwmpas eu gwaith pob dydd yw’r rhan fwyaf ohonyn nhw. Mae darganfyddiadau fel hyn yn rhoi gwybodaeth bwysig i ni i’n helpu ni wneud synnwyr o’n gorffennol,” meddai Mark Lodwick, Cydlynydd Canfyddiadau Cymru.

Cynllun cofnodi gwirfoddol ar gyfer darnau archaeolegol sy’n cael eu ffeindio gan y cyhoedd yw’r Cynllun Henebion Cluadadwy (  Cafodd y Cynllun ei sefydlu i annog pobl i gofnodi darganfyddiadau ar hap ac ehangu ar ein gwybodaeth am bwysigrwydd y darnau hyn wrth ddeall ein gorffennol.

Mae mynediad i’r Amgueddfa ac Oriel Genedlaethol, Caerdydd, am ddim diolch i gefnogaeth Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru.
Am ragor o wybodaeth, cysylltwch â:

Julie Richards, Swyddog y Wasg, yr Amgueddfa ac Oriel Genedlaethol
Llinell uniongyrchol: 029 2057 3185 e-bost:

Jonathan Gammond, Amgueddfa Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam
Llinell uniongyrchol:01978 317978


Portable Antiquities Scheme Roadshows

Published: 17 years ago Author:



11am - 4pm Have you ever found an archaeological object and want to know what it is' Bring it along to a "Finds Roadshow" near you where experts will be on hand to identify your finds.

Colchester Castle Museum, Castle Park, Colchester, Essex ( Bill Wyman, rock star and metal-detectorist, hope to attend and open the event! Besides the Finds Roadshow there will be an opportunity to meet real Romans (of the Colchester Roman Society) and demonstrations of Roman crafts. Children will be able to dress up as Romans and learn about Roman pottery through hands on activities. Philip Wise (Curator of Archaeology) will be giving tours of the galleries to see the museum's highlights and there will be experts on hand to provide information about Countryside Stewardship Schemes. For more information contact Caroline McDonald (Essex Finds Liaison Officer) on 01206 282929 or

Everyone bringing along an object for identification will receive FREE entry to the museum.
Roger BM finds day

Donington le Heath Manor House, Coalville, Leicestershire (the site has its own car park and restaurant). As well as the Finds Roadshow there will be the 'Found in Leicestershire' display of metal-detected and field-walked finds. Local experts will be on hand to display additional finds and talk about their work. There will be a range of hands-on activities including dig boxes and an excavation simulation. Also, various people will talk about archaeology in the East Midlands. For more information contact Peter Liddle on 0116 264 5810 or

Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Queen Street, Exeter, Devon. Besides the Finds Roadshow local author and finds specialist Brian Read will be on hand to talk about metal-detecting and his publications. There will also be a display of metal-detector finds found by local people. Activities for children will include the chance to dress up as a Roman and handle real archaeological finds! For more information contact Nicky Powell (Devon FLO) on 01392 665983 or

Museum of Reading, The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire (there are car parks near by and the building is fully accessible for people with disabilities). Other events organised in conjunction with the Finds Roadshow include spinning and weaving activities, pot making, face painting, coin-striking and the opportunity to dress up in historical costume! For more information contact Kate Sutton (Berkshire & Oxfordshire FLO) on 01635 30511 or  Kurt

Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire from 2pm - 4pm (parking available at Shirehall). This Finds Roadshow is part of the Shropshire Archaeological Day School, a small conference to highlight recent archaeological work. On display there will be a small collection of archaeological/metal-detected finds. Whilst the Finds Roadshow is FREE tickets for the conference cost £9.00 and need to be purchased in advance. For further information contact Peter Reavill (Herefordshire & Shropshire Finds Liaison Officer) on 01584 813641 or For more information about the Day School contact Hugh Hannaford on 10743 255352 or   

Wrexham County Borough Museum, County Buildings, Regent Street, Wrexham ( or Besides the Finds Roadshow there will also be hands-on-archaeological activities for younger children, including a mini dig! For more information contact Jonathan Gammond (Wrexham Borough County Museum) on 01978 317978 or or Mark Lodwick (Finds Co-ordinator, Wales) on 029 2057 3226 or  

The Yorkshire Museum, Museum Gardens, York (the nearest car park is Marygate, opposite the Museum Gardens). As well as the Finds Roadshow Simon Holmes (North & East Yorkshire FLO) will be giving talks, and demonstration of Roman Armour in the museum's Roman Galleries throughout the day. There will also be an opportunity to handle archaeological objects from the museum's reserve collections. For more information contact Simon Holmes or Dave Evans on 01904 687668/687666 or /  

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Report Launch successful, Hawkshead Independent Review released.

Published: 17 years ago Author:

Tuesday 26th October, saw Estelle Morris MP, Minister of State for the Arts and Mark Wood, Chairman of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council attend the Roman Amphitheatre at London's Guildhall to launch two major reports. This event saw the presence of members of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the National Council for Metal Detecting alongside press reporters from most of the national press. The Portable Antiquities Scheme report summarises the work of the Scheme in it's first year of nationwide coverage, documenting the amazing figure of 47000 objects being recorded on the online database (

The DCMS' 2002 Treasure Report, showcases the 240 finds that meet the criteria of the 1996 Treasure Act, with the Wheathampstead hoard acting at the centre piece. Of these artefacts, around 45% of these have been acquired by local and national museums. The recent establishment of the Headley Trust Treasure Acquisition Fund, will aid many museums that in the past have been unable to acquire significant finds. (This will be reflected within the Treasure Report for 2004, when it's impact can be quantified.)
The Roman Amphitheatre, Guildhall
Ms. Morris welcomed the announcement of the two reports and the continuing success of the Scheme, and was able to view some of London's archaeological Heritage and 6 major artefact discoveries that were featured within the reports. The thrill of discovery and the importance of these finds was explained to Ms. Morris by some of the finders, with experts from the British Museum, St Albans Museum and the Portable Antiquities Scheme on hand to answer her questions. The Minister said as she announced the reports, "I would like to say thank you to all those people who go out in inclement weather to look for treasure. I hope many of the objects will join years of heritage in our museums and continue to tell the stories of our civilisation." 
Hedley Swain, Mark Wood and Estelle Morris MPIn the past year, 2300 people have been able to get involved with the scheme and record their objects. The subsequent increase in both treasure and non-treasure was  described by Ms Morris as a "testament to the effectiveness of the Portable Antiquities Scheme."  The Scheme allows public participation in Archaeology, something that is not an easy task to achieve. Mark Wood, Chairman of MLA stated in his opening address that, "With nearly 50,000 items logged last year it provides an amazing record of some truly extraordinary discoveries and as the country's largest community archaeology project it does more than any other scheme to democratise history and open up the past to people from all walks of life." 
Hedley Swain, Mark Wood and Estelle Morris (Picture - Dan Pett)

Wednesday 27th October, saw the Scheme release the Independent Review of its impact, commissioned by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and conducted by Hawkshead Archaeology and Conservation. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the Scheme's work, and what action will be needed. Several of the findings have been addressed already, with extensive work planned for the database, website and our education initiatives.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme has had a successful year and is going from strength to strength. In the past 12 months, the Scheme has assisted with the excavation of a Viking Cemetery in Cumbria, the discovery of a Viking site in Yorkshire, the opening of a successful touring exhibition and several "Finds Days" around the country. 

Ms. Morris with the Wheathampstead Hoard

Estelle Morris with the Wheathampstead Hoard - (Picture Jonathan Goldberg)

Database usage has exceeded 2.8 million hits for the month of October with 300,000 pages served to the public; the Scheme's web presence is increasing on a monthly basis as shown within the report itself. The site remains our best tool for the dissemination of the information that we are collecting.
The Scheme only succeeds due to the efforts of the finders to record their heritage and the skills of it's staff. If you have found an archaeological object and would like to get it recorded, then contact your local Finds Liaison Officer or contact us at
To download the Annual Report 2003 - 2004, click here.
To download the Treasure Report 2002, click here. (External link to DCMS)
To download the Hawkshead Review 2004, click here for the report / appendices

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Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report 2003/4 launched by Arts Minister

Published: 17 years ago Author:

Today (Tuesday 26 October 2004) Estelle Morris (Minister of State for the Arts) launched the Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report 2003/4 and the Treasure Annual Report 2002 at London's Roman Amphitheatre.

Both reports outline recent archaeological discoveries, most of which have been found by the public, including a post-medieval witch bottle from Navenby in Lincolnshire, a medieval silver brooch from Pitsford in Northamptonshire and a hoard of Iron Age coins found at Thurnham in Kent. These were amongst several objects on display at the launch. Estelle Morris also had the opportunity to speak to finders and learn more about the work of the Scheme and its Finds Liaison Officers.

The launch highlighted the importance of the Portable Antiquities Scheme's Finds Liaison Officers in encouraging the reporting of Treasure and other archaeological finds for public benefit, as well as giving the public the opportunity to get involved and learn more about archaeology and the past. 

There will be more news on this story tomorrow...

Click here if you would like to download a pdf of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report 2003/4 or the Treasure Annual Report 2002.

Click here for the press releases published about the event by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council.

Click here if you would like to see images of the finds on display at the press launch or learn more about them.

West Berkshire Museum is 100 years old!

Published: 17 years ago Author:

West Berkshire Museum is 100 years old!

On 26th October 2004 West Berkshire Museum celebrates its 100th Birthday as Newbury's public Museum. To celebrate a day crammed with activity on is promised. Magic, Punch and Judy and music from Wantage Silver Band. Meet historical characters, from Edwardian gentry to Medieval sword fighters. Take part in the balloon race and see inside a fire engine. (The Fire Brigade were always present at public functions in the early 20th century!)

On this day only you can also see West Berkshire's most exciting recent find, a hoard of Bronze Age gold.

The programme for this exciting day is as follows...

10:30 - 10:45 Punch & Judy
11:45 - 12:15  Magic Show
1:15 - 1:30   Punch & Judy
1:30 - 3:00  Wantage Silver Band
2:00 - 3:15   Enter the Balloon Race*
2:30 - 3:00  Magic Show
3:30    Balloon Race Launch
3:45 - 4:00   Punch and Judy
4:00 - 4:30  Magic Show
5:00 - 7:00   Toast the Museum! Late Night Opening

* The Balloon Race Launch will take place at 3:30. The first 100 children to collect their entry cards from the Museum at 2:00 will enter their balloon in a race to win a mystery prize.

If you really can't make it along on Tuesday there will be lots of other fun Birthday activities throughout Half Term. The Museum is normally open 10:00 - 16:00 and is not open on Sunday.

For more information please call 01635 30511 or visit

Notes to editor:

The Museum still resides in the Grade I 17th century Cloth Hall and now also extends into the Granary building.

One hundred years after Jonathan Hutchinson, curator of Haslemere Educational Museum, officially opened the Museum to the public, the Museum continues to care for the area's historically significant objects, attracting visitors from all over the country and helping local people to understand and appreciate their cultural heritage.

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