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Fifty Shades of ………utter filth and dirt !!

Yes, you too can enrol in torture and lashings of filth when you take trowel in fist and connect with every crevice, scraping away at decades of history. Be prepared to get wet and roll about on your knees in mud and muck when you participate in in an archaeological dig in the next few weeks.

Archaeologists from the Museum of Liverpool have come to Calderstones Park to share their experiences, with mapping sessions that give you a chance to learn about how they use their maps and how they identify dig locations in and around Merseyside.

Involve yourself in interrogating, Saxon, Viking and Medieval maps right up to todays modern satellite projections of Merseyside landscapes; then find out how you can contribute to the Museum of Liverpool’s Interactive Map of Merseyside.

This Thursday, 19th February, 2.00pm-4.00pm, will help get visitors at the session, trained up and ready to dig.

The event offers the chance to get a further insight into ‘the day in the life of an archaeologist’ where you can learn the tricks of the trade including, how archaeologists prepare for an excavation, what equipment they need, how they choose where to dig and how they sort out finds which have been excavated.

If you are a follower of Time Team or the new BBC ‘Digging for Britain’ then this session and the ones that follow are a definite must for you. At the end of February we will see a geophysical survey of the park which, I can say will be a sell-out!

Following the excitement of the location find, Spring will beckon the ‘Community Big Dig’. This will bring people closer to the park than they’re likely to have ever got before.

Together, over a period of two weeks digging, the ancient history of Calderstones will be revealed and perhaps we will even find things that have never been unearthed before.

As an archaeologist working in the 80’s at Norton Priory Halton; York Viking dig at Coppergate and as an industrial archaeologist at Ironbridge Telford, we were pioneers at the time. We worked with English Heritage, presenting finds and bringing history alive to all walks of life with innovative displays and living history which is now common place today in museum displays.
It would be fantastic to discover and uncover a long lost historical past and transform it into a Liverpool ‘Jorvik’ experience just like York has with its Viking relics. A dream, yes, but who knows?

Today, Tony Robinson and the BBC Time Team have caught the publics imagination with programmes that show how it’s done…….you now have the chance to take part and ‘do it’! You can be trained as an archaeologist and take part in this major dig here in Liverpool.

This is a fantastic opportunity, a wonderful education and if finds are revealing enough, history will be made. The area of Calderstones is ripe with our early history. Bronze age finds have been unearthed and the Woolton’s Camp Hill Iron age fort has produced several interesting exhibits in the past.

Check the website for full details or speak to my colleague Richard Macdonald on 0151 729 for a confirmed date and full details of the above events and get involved in the ‘Big Dig’ this year.

This is a unique Heritage event as part of National Museums Liverpool.

Sony World Photographic Awards and a new exhibition at Open Eye Gallery.

If you happened to view the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards at Liverpool One this summer, then you would have been impressed by the very best of contemporary photography. This exhibition was one of the biggest of its kind featuring an electric mix of imagery in current events, wildlife, landscape, portraiture, travel and more.

The Sony awards certainly cultivate a photographic culture!

You may also have viewed the pictures and said, “Well, I can take pictures, so lets have a go”….. Now is your chance to become that David Bailey, because the call has gone out for the 2015 entries with the categories…….

Professional- for serious photographers.
Open- for amateurs and enthusiasts.
Student- for those studying photography.
Youth- for those aged 19 and under.
Choose your category but be quick as the entry closes 05/01/2015.

For that inspiration and kick start, a must is a visit to the Open Eye Gallery at Mann Island to see the UK Premier of Robert Heinecken’s “Lessons in Posing Subjects”.

Although he rarely used a camera, Heinecken (1931-2006) is widely regarded as one of the most influential photographers of post-War America, describing himself as a ‘para-photographer’ operating at a Pop and Conceptual Art Level. It’s not surprising that the exhibition of well over 250 photographs alongside sketchbooks and magazine cuttings are on display and linked to the Tate’s ‘Transmitting Andy Warhol’ exhibition.

This photographic exhibition is well worth a visit and focuses on the polaroids Heinecken took between 1976 and 1982 with a SX-70 camera. All has been produced in partnership with the Wiels (Brussels) and Fri-Art Centre d’art Frieburg/Kunsthalle Germany.

A trip to the Open Eye Gallery and the Tate this weekend to see Robert Heinecken’s work will certainly refresh……

Open Eye Gallery
7th Nov-11th Jan 2015 Tues-Sun 10.30am-5.30pm

Harald Jaeger…..the man who opened the Berlin Wall.

Liverpool University’s £500m upgrade facilities will be host to a very special guest on Tuesday 21st October 6pm at the Eleanor Rathbone Building, when Harald Jaeger, the man who opened the Berlin Wall gives a fascinating interview.

When hundreds of East Berliners showed up at the Bornholmer Strasse border crossing on a cold and grey November evening in 1989, demanding to be let into West Berlin, Lt Col. Harald Jaeger asked for guidance from his superiors.

By the time the crowd grew into a thousand and became more demanding it became clear to Jaeger that he would get no guidance from his superiors.

If you are interested in this story; this significant world event, an event that gave individual freedom, an event that started the slow disintegration of Communist Europe, meeting a classic Stasi intelligence officer and talking to the man who opened up the Wall in which a ‘class enemy’ gained a victory. Then book a ticket for the event on

The excited East Germans did converge on the border crossing that Jaeger commanded with him unaware that hours earlier Politburo member Gunter Schabowski had announced to the international media that the ruling Communist party had ‘declared East Germans were free to travel immediately’.

The dramatic decision took all by surprise. Jaeger, the highest ranking officer at the time, having spent 30 years in the East German army and overseeing the building of the Wall in 1961, gave his people the order to ‘raise the barrier’.

The decision to open the Berlin Wall border crossing almost 25 years ago began the process of German unification that left former Stasi officer Harald Jaeger unemployed.

On Tuesday Harald will deliver a talk recounting his experiences and subsequent reflection.

This is the only UK stop on his world tour, a tour which should be ‘very, very interesting’.

6pm Eleanor Rathbone Building L697ZA

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