Friday, October 03, 2008

Any Old Iron?

It's been a while since the last posting here. Days spent instead revising for the OU physics exam (Oct 15th) and reading the 800 page Wally Lamb book "The Hour I First Believed" which I have to review for Amazon. Actually I just finished it today, and I'm currently mulling over how to put a decent 250 word review together.

Clare is also working on an OU course - a short course on Archaeology. This evening we dropped by the monthly meeting of the Friends of Andover Museum, billed as a society devoted to local history and archaeology. We went entirely on spec - we didn't know any of the people, or the subject of the meeting. In fact we had seen the ad. for the society posted on a wall in Andover Library.

The title of the talk was "Any Old Iron". The speaker, Mike Walton, runs a local laundry, passed down through his family, and is a keen collector of historical irons. He had brought a selection and described the history of ironing.

Even as I write these words, I can read your reactions: incredulity, anticipation of an hour's worth of anorak-tinged tedium, a sinking feeling in the stomach. Yes, those were exactly my reactions as I realised what we had let ourselves in for. Mr Walton was a perfectly pleasant and erudite speaker, who to my immense surprise kept us interested all the way through. He was particularly good on Elizabethan Ruffles (I realise this is sounding more like the specialist publication on 'Have I Got News for You' by the second).

The "Friends" are mostly silver-haired retired people who all appear to be very good friends with each other. In Myers-Briggs terms I would guess mostly SJ ('Guardian'). The Rotary Club was mentioned and more than a few appeared to belong to it.

Clare believes there is scope to get more plugged into our rich local Neolithic history (Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Danebury, etc) so we shall persist. Next month the topic is "Warfare in late Anglo-Saxon England" - (Dr Ryan Lavelle) which, as titles go, shows considerably more potential.