Thursday, 12 June 2014

Cambo First School - Did they enjoy the day?

Last week The Deja Crew spent the day with Cambo First School in Northumberland.  The whole school were involved from Reception to Year 4.  After we left the children then slept over!
The children were brilliant, despite the heavy rain, they threw themselves into the activities. Over the next few posts we'll let you know about the activities and the characters they met during the day.

Here's a couple of images as a taster and the words of the Headteacher...

...thank you and your team for a wonderful learning day! The children are absolutely shattered but have really enjoyed everything they have done! They are thoroughly exhausted and indeed are in bed as we speak! Mind not asleep!!!!! 

Just one more finishing touch!
...keep going - this is the Roman Army
Thanks to Lesley and Graham for the photos.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Our next project...

We're excited about next week.  We'll be working with the Haltwhistle Film Project and Cambo First School to make a film about what we do!
It's still a bit of a secret, but  as soon as it's finished we'll post a link here - YouTube here we come...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Wonderful Willow

Part of the fun of working in a heritage education cooperative is that you get to meet all sorts of interesting people. Last summer, working at Maryport in the 10th anniversary celebrations of Hadrian's Wall Path opening, I had the pleasure of working with Paula Constatine, a weaver with wonderful practical aptitude. We got chatting and I then invited her down from Wooler to run a basket making course last autumn. From that, we formed an interest group and she came back this spring to make large sculptural willow tripods for gardens or large pots. 

Here we are, working away under the silver birches at St John Lee, Acomb, Northumberland. If you are interested in learning more or in joining our willow interest group, please contact me on

Lesley Silvera

Lesley can be found at Segedunum Roman Fort at Wallsend on Monday 14th April 2014 as part of The Deja Crew's Roman Occupation - for more details see Segedunum's event's page

Monday, 31 March 2014

Roman Occupations

Over the Easter Holidays members of The Deja Crew will be at Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend.

7th April 2014, 11:00am to 3:00pm:  Victor the Veteran will be looking for new recruits and explaining how a life in the Roman Auxilary is a good career choice.  Find out what you need to join the 4th Cohort of Lingones, wear the armour, handle the sword, smell the garum...
There will be drill sessions (in Latin!) at

14th April 2014, 11:00am to 3:00pm:  Muriel the Herbalist will be demonstrating how the local British tribes used herbs for cooking and healing.

21st April 2014, 11:00am to 3:00pm:  Gaius Bellicus, itinerant Master Pottery will be setting up his workshop.  There may even be a chance to get your own hands dirty...

for more details go to Segedunum events

See you there...

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Recruitment and Reward - September 2013

-a selection of short diversions for adults and families...

...that's how the blurb described the two days I was involved in!

Slightly different venues, Vallum Farm on the 14th September and Walby Farm Park on Saturday 21st September.  Both are part of the Hadrian's Wall World Heriatge Site, the entrance to Vallum Farm being at Milecastle 18 and Walby Farm is between Milecastle 62, found in excavations in 1999, and milecastle 63.  There's not much to see, but if you try hard you can make out the impression left by the Vallum.

A small select team from The Deja Crew, Shamus the Storyteller, Muriel the Herbalist and Victor the Veteran, where there...
Not quite out usual backdrop, this was indoors at Walby.

Shamus in his Den.

But Muriel made it seem like a home from home...

As you might suspect,
it was a little different at the Farm Park...

There were still plenty of voluntarii wanting to sign up for 25 years in the Auxilary!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Romans in Ravenglass

...not to mention Britons and a few archaeologists!
Last weekend saw the last in our series of events marking the 10th Anniversary of the Opening of the Hadrian's Wall Trail.  The Deja Crew travelled to the farthest point of the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site in Cumbria - Ravenglass.  There, just a few minutes stroll south of the village is the Fort, vicus and Bath House of Glannoventa.
Archaeologists are on site for a month-long exploration, check their blog - Romans in Ravenglass. for the latest news and finds.

The Crew were on the Platform of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway where Victor was gathering voluntarii for the Army, Muriel pedalling herbs and willow garlands, while Sulwyn made charms.

Victor tries to gain recruits from the Station Staff...

...after issuing some kit and a short training session! 

Garland and a charm to protect against bad luck.
Potter Gaius Bellicus, and Nest the Weaver worked at the  Pennington Arms Hotel showing the skills that made Britain famous across the Roman Empire for the quality of it's exports.

Shamus travelled between us and the Bath House, with tales of Britain, Rome and the Sea.

Meanwhile the recruits seemed to get smaller, 

and smaller...

and smaller still!

Despite the weather, many people took the time to explore the heritage of Ravenglass with us, some even coming back on Sunday for more!

Thanks to everyone, who helped us make the two days so much fun.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Romans in Ravenglass - 7/8 September

The Deja Crew are over in Cumbria at Ravenglass as part of the 'Lives in the Landscape' celebration.  This is a month long series of events celebrating the lives, past and present, all taking place in Ravenglass and Eskdale.  As their press release says,

Find out who has walked this on this landscape before you - was it the Romans, Vikings or Wainwright enthusiasts? Have you ever pondered who pulls the pints in pub, runs the post office and village shop or farms the land? Maybe wondered who lives in the castle on hill and how a narrow-gauge railway ended up in the Western Lake District?
That is our living landscape, shaped by people from the past and the present and the custodians of some of the finest landscapes, coast and heritage in England.  The community of Ravenglass and Eskdale offer inspiration, relaxation, and contemplation as they open the valley for a month long celebration of their lives in this rugged and beautiful landscape. 
It's a FREE EVENT,  no booking required.

Victor the Veteran will be there, moving around the village between the Pennington Hotel, The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and the Site of the Fort of Glannoventa - could be translated as the "Market-by-the-Shore"; although some think it's called Itunocelum.  Archaeologists are on site for a month-long exploration, and they will be blogging - Romans in Ravenglass. 

Potter Gaius Bellicus, and Nest the Weaver will show the importance of crafts-people to local trade, as they demonstrate their skill at weaving and potting. They will be at the Pennington Arms Hotel from 11:00am until 4:00pm on Saturday and from 10:30am until 4:00pm and Sunday.

On the Platform of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway there will be Herbs and Willow Weaving with Muriel, and Sulwyn making Charms to keep you safe and give you luck. They'll be plying their trade from 11:00am until 4:00pm on Saturday and from 10:30am until 4:00pm and Sunday

On Sunday  Shamus the Storyteller  will be out and about, moving around the village and out to the Bathhouse and Fort.  Look out for signs or just tag along as he gathers the crowds.

Thanks to Hadrian's Wall Trust and Photographer, Andrew Heptinstall for the image

If you are near Ravenglass at the weekend, come and join us!