Turn the Tide: First Annual CITiZAN Conference is coming to the Yorkshire Coastline

29/09/2015   |   Megan Clement

The first annual CITiZAN Conference is being hosted by Team North in the iconic seaside town of Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast. The venue for the conference is the town's beautiful 19th-century Spa, located overlooking Bridlington Bay’s golden sands. The line-up includes professional and volunteer archaeologists who have all been involved in projects researching and recording coastal and intertidal archaeology from across the north of England.

First up will be John Buglass, who will be looking at the often overlooked archaeology along the North-East coastline including everything from rocket posts to stone quarries to the remains of the fishing industry.

Next Chris Robinson, Chairman of the Filey Brigg Research Group, on the Spittals Rock Survey. This talk will look at the work untaken at Filey Brigg by volunteers to try and discover the origins of the site: whether it was a Roman or Medieval harbour or a naturally occurring feature which was taken advantage of by the fishing industry.

Louise Martin, the Cultural Heritage Officer for the Headlands to Headspace Project, part of the Morecambe Bay Partnership, will be up next discussing the community involvement in Morecambe Bay. This talk will be looking at all the exciting sites in the intertidal zone around Morecambe Bay, including the enigmatic industrial remains at Jenny Browns Point, where H2H have been working with CITIZAN, and the complex military defences around Walney Island.

The whole CITiZAN team - North, South-East and South-West - will be on hand to give the lowdown on what has been going on in the different areas of the project and what is coming up for the 2016 season.

This will be followed by one of our volunteers Richard Martin who helped out on a Team North CITiZAN training event in Heysham, Morecambe Bay. His talk will be on this site, the 9th-century St Patricks Chapel, which is a National Trust property and the nearby St Peters Church and it associated Graveyard. This area has been a place of worship since the Anglo-Saxon period and contains many mysterious monuments.

After lunch, David Pybus, Hon. Keeper of Whitby Museum, will be looking at the human influence on the historic foreshore of Whitby and what makes it a Heritage Coastline.

This will be followed up by another community archaeology project, presented by Steve Lowe from the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, who will be discussing the Low Hauxley project from a non-archaeological partnership perspective. The fantastically successful Low Hauxley excavations uncovered Mesolithic remains, a Bronze Age cemetery, ancient peat shelves and preserved footprints.

The day will be rounded off by a talk from Antony Firth on his intriguing project investigating the East Coast War Channel during the First World War and the remains of allied shipping that were sunk by the German Imperial Navy. If this is something that interests you, check out his related event on the 8th October at 7.30pm, at the Telegraph Inn, Bridlington, where he will be discussing HMS Falmouth and her part in the First World War.

Talk by Antony Firth, The First World War Wreck of HMS Falmouth
Talk by Antony Firth, The First World War Wreck of HMS Falmouth

All in all there will be lots of interesting and informative talks about the work done on both the North-East and North-West coastline of England. We hope you will join us on the beautiful east coast of Yorkshire on the 10th October at 9.15am for a day of coastal archaeology and heritage. Tickets are £5 for the day and include refreshments. To sign up go to www.citzan.org.uk/events, click on the conference event tab and book on Eventbrite.

Lastly, if you are interested in the archaeology of the Bridlington foreshore, why not sign up for the guided walk to Auburn Sands, which will be a good introduction to one of the best preserved areas of 20th-century coastal defences in England: with pillboxes, beach search lights, anti-tank traps and anti-glider posts. The walk is free of charge, but tickets must be booked in advance. Tickets for the walk are still available and can be booked in the same way.

A group of World War II pill boxes at Bridlington, Yorkshire
A group of World War II pill boxes at Bridlington, Yorkshire