Q&A with Alison Smith ( BA Hons )
Archmdmag – Hi Alison. Thanks for taking the time for this Q & A. Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
A.S – I was born at Clatterbridge Hospital, which is ironic with my workhouse research. I grew up in Ellesmere Port and moved to Buckley area when I married. I have 4 children and 2 marriages and now I enjoy the single life. I have many tattoos and enjoy going to the pub and spending time with my friends. I love F1, horse riding and Ghost Hunting.
Archmdmag – was the initial reason for you to become interested in archaeology and history etc?
A.S – It was mostly down to Time Team. I remember watching it and thinking ‘I wish I could do that but I am not clever enough’. I have always loved historic buildings and stone monuments and I have always been fascinated by Workhouses and how those people were treated. Once my children went into full time education, so did I.
Archmdmag – And what are your accreditations in the archaeology world?
A.S – I achieved a 2:1 BA Hons Degree in Archaeology. I also attempted a MA Degree, but sadly, I had to leave half way through, due to family commitments.
Archmdmag – Can you give us some examples of the archaeological sites and work you have been involved in?
A.S – Most of my work has been studying but I have worked on Project Eliseg in Llangollen. We excavated phase 1 of the burial mound. Phase 3 did confirm that it is a Cairn burial mound. I have worked as part of a team geophysical surveying of Kelsborrow Hillfort iand Shocklach churchyard and grounds in Cheshire. I am a Retained Archaeologist of Outpost Paintball in Kinnerton, Chester, as this site is an Anti-Aircraft Gun Battery Site and Cold War Site. I have also helped to list a Grade II listed building of a Georgian Farmhouse in Nottinghamshire.
Archmdmag – What has been you most exciting or interesting part of your studies. Either finds or similar?
A.S – The most Awesome was holding a Neolithic flint hand axe, which had been on display in Liverpool Museum. Feeling the shape of how it fit exactly into your hand. I think the worst is, I have dug on a few sites and always seem to find Sheep teeth. My favorite artifact is Black Burnish Ware pottery. I did a life and times research project on a sherd and I have also discovered a sherd on the Chester Grosvenor Park dig, which I think is my favorite find.
Archmdmag – You mentioned your interest in Workhouses. Can you Elaborate and what have you been looking at?
A.S – I have looked at 12 individual workhouses, mainly in the North West area. I have researched them as standing buildings and also as historic buildings and the changes and adaptions throughout time, to reuse and utilize these buildings in the modern day. Some of these workhouses are museums and some have been demolished. Workhouses are important historic monuments as a reminder and commemoration to those poor people, who were treated so awfully and who resided and died in these places
Archmdmag – What’s next for you. What does the future hold in relation to archaeology and what would you like to achieve?
A.S – Next…. I will continue my Archaeological work and research and await my big break……
Archmdmag – Finally. You’ve had a number of papers published by archaeology and metal detecting magazine. What are your thoughts on the magazine, and what is your role working alongside it?
A.S – The magazine is a very useful resource for metal detecting and archaeology. It is also helping to unite both Detectorists and Archaeologists to work together and combine each others techniques and resources to gain the same result, in the discovery of artifacts and the understanding and hopefully the preservation and conservation of archaeological sites. My role is an advisor in an archaeological context and also, hopefully, in the future, to conduct full archaeological excavations.
Thank you Kindly for your time and assistance within the Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine Alison. From ourselves and our readers, we wish you luck in your future endeavours.