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  • David Quick

Stroud Big Dig - Day 6, and more rain

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Yesterday we had finished at SBF but had left our tools under cover there when we were caught in the cloudburst and had to finish early. The forecast was not looking much better for this afternoon but we parked at the 'Veils & Bales' field, collected our tools and decided that today we would do geophysics in an effort to try to find two trackways.

The above image from my drone shows the villa field towards the top-centre and based on our LIDAR and crop marks we think there was a trackway running from the villa's gateway, across the field in the centre, cutting the corner of the school playground and then running diagonally across the field in the foreground towards the bottom-left hand corner of this view.

This second drone image shows Ramsdean Road running north towards the top of the image but also crop marks parallel to that road, running through the field in the foreground through the white house you can see. On the LIDAR it appears that this too might be an old trackway which runs all the way up to the Seven Stars pub.

Our aim was to see if geophysics could pick up any trace of either of these routes where they intersected a mowed section of the 'Veils & Bales' wedding venue field's east-west hedgerow.

We duly set up a baseline along the hedgerow to give us one full 20-metre grid square and 3 partials. While some were doing the geophys, Juliet was demonstrating dowsing to those who wanted to give it a go.

Juliet also broadcasted some live video of what we were doing on our Facebook site.

Ar break time it was obvious that the sky was darkening and that some big rain clouds were heading our way.

Butser looked imposing in the near distance but in the early afternoon it disappeared completely into the cloud and the rain started.

Everybody had a go at doing the geophys and we managed to complete all the squares we had set out to do. However, just as we finished at about 3.00pm the heavens opened again and we rushed to put the remaining equipment in my car, getting thoroughly soaked in the process.

As a postscript, sadly this week it was confirmed that our geophys expert Carl has injured himself pretty badly and has a leg fracture. I have not been able to download the data from the resistivity machine onto my own PC or install the Snuffler software to view it, I am asking advice from Dave Staveley who is the program expert but in the meantime I cannot show the geophys results and do not yet even know whether the scans picked up anything. I wish Carl a very speedy recovery.

It took 2 days of draping all the wet gear and gazebos over my patio and driveway this week to get everything dry again!

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