Monday, 8 March 2010

Update on the illumination of Hadrian's Wall - March 13th - this Saturday!



The event is getting nearer and everyone is getting excited!

There was a running feature on it on last night's Countryfile (BBC1). My boss, Kerry Shaw, Volunteer Co-ordinator for Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd.,(which is organising the event) was interviewed by Julia Bradbury. The BBC showed the rehearsal of it - the lighting of the torches/burners which are at 250 metre intervals along the 73 mile long Hadrian's Wall. And by golly it looked stunning!

There is a fabulous gallery of 47 Hadrian's Wall, Northumbrian and Cumbrian pictures at this website www.illuminatinghadrianswall.com and you can reach this link - here. So I would urge you to have a look at it. It also includes some (towards the end of the slide show) from the rehearsal. You can see the BBC crew including Julia Bradbury and one of her lighting a torch/burner. (I would download it and run it from here but I cannot do that for some reason.) The photos feature "Romans", Arbeia (South Shields fort), Carlisle Castle, various views from the Wall, a super photo of the AD213 bathhouse at Vindolanda and the reconstruction (milecastle and Wall) there, Lanercost Priory, Hexham Abbey and some great ones of Newcastle. (Plus more!)

Why is it being held on March 13th or "Two Ides"?
It is celebrating "Anna Parenna" - the eve of the Ancient New Year. Anna Parenna is the Roman goddess of the new year. Her festival was celebrated on March 15. This date is the infamous "Ides of March": Click here for a wonderful explanation of "The Ides of March. Apparently Test Cricket was born this day in 1876! The Romans gave various explanations to the origin or her name, amnis perennis ("eternal stream"): she was a river nymph; her name was derived from annis ("year"); she was a moon-goddess of the running year; also, she was equated with Anna, the sister of Dido, who was received in Latium by Aeneas, but drowned herself in a river. In the class-struggle between the patricians and plebeians she chose the side of the plebeians.
The illumination is also celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Romans officially leaving these shores. (And more closer to home - it is also British Tourism Week: 15-23rd March.)

I'll be writing more on all of this. My colleague and I did the reccie for our cell (2 miles) between Walltown and Gilsland. It's an absolutely fabulous stretch of the Wall and it was a pleasure to do it. Fingers crossed that everything goes to plan on Saturday. I'm sure it will. Hopefully the weather will hold good. (The sun is shining brilliantly today.)

I'm at a day long event this Friday in preparation for Saturday and helping out all day on the big day itself. The B&B is fully booked and so is everywhere else along the Wall! If you are planning on coming you may still be lucky to get into a B&B close-by. You could try going a bit further out on both sides...e.g. Alston, Allendale, Hexham, Carlisle, Longtown and Borders etc. Everyone is more than welcome. The two big shows: one at Segedunum (Wallsend) "The German Angels" and "The Light Show" at Carlisle will be fascinating. There are tickets still for sale here whereas the Central Sections of the Wall are now booked up. It will be mesmerising to see how the whole Wall looks alight.

The first burner will be lit at 5.45pm at Segedunum and the last burner will be lit around 6.35pm I believe. Sunset is 6.08pm. The entire view of the Wall will be filmed from overhead by plane or helicopter.

Thank you everyone for your great comments on my City reminiscences...more episodes are promised after this week is out....

19 comments:

Lynne said...

Sounds a great event and I wish you all well with it. It's a shame that I will miss seeing it as I fly in at the end of the month. I look forward to hearing all about it though.

The Dotterel said...

I saw the item on Countryfile last night and thought it looked amazing... even in the weather they were battling. A pleasant early-Spring evening would, no doubt, be very welcome on Saturday. Hope it goes well.

Expat mum said...

Ooh, this sounds fabulous. I shall send the clan over to Segendunum for a gander. Hope it goes well. What happens if it lashes down?

the fly in the web said...

It looks wonderful.
Mother missed it oncountryfile...is there some 'see it later' gadget by which she can catch up? I'm out of touch with U.K. T.V. so can't help her, and with her interest in the area, she was furious to have missed it.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks Lynne. It should be really good. I'm hoping that there will be lots of media coverage. I'll try and tell it how it is!

Yes, the Dotterel, they must have done it in a recent cold spell we've had. Thank you for your best wishes. I went to a Hadrian's Wall conference (in fact I've been to a few lately!) last week and heard a bit more about it. The day long event is in Corbridge on Friday and we are on duty from about midday Saturday. Fingers crossed it isn't too blowy! :)

Hi expatmum...hey you're back! They've designed the calor gas burners to "perform" in every weather. Apparently the worst will be if it is foggy but according to the weather forecast on Countryfile it is lining up to be good weather but a bit windy. I think they've tested the burners so much that they are not supposed to blow out, blow down or blow over! Be great if your family could be there to see it!

Hi Fly: there is an i-player which I think is quite easy to download from the BBC website. Is your mum OK with computers? Maybe she could do it or get a friend to do it. It is well worth it. It will be on the i-player for a week. Some people may have been enterprising and already downloaded some bits of it on "You Tube". I'll go and see... will let you know....

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I've just been sent some e-mails from Kerry about what we need to do on Saturday. I haven't put myself down as an illuminator but maybe I will get the chance to have a handheld flare...which should be fab. A friend is an illuminator (in a different cell) so I'll get her account too!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Fly:

Here is the BBC link for countryfile:

http://bbc.co.uk/i/rdw24/

If you send this to your mum...it should work.

There's nothing on You Tube as such as yet!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Fly:

There is also a signed repeat of the programme at 12.55am on Thursday (essentially Friday morning). Not very wonderful timing but the possibility of letting a 4 hour tape run for a long time? Or...

Pre-setting the video to record at such time

or...


If your mum is flash and uptodate she might have a Sky+ box (which sadly we haven't as yet) but I think you can waft the Radio Times in front of it and it does it all by osmosis...

French Fancy said...

Oh Hade this is so exciting and hurrah your B&B is fully booked for it - I'm sure people that have stayed once will want to return.

I hope the gales lessen a bit for the lighting of the torches

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I saw Countryfile last night and from what I saw I am really looking forward to seeing the entire Wall lit next weekend. Quite exciting. A x

Grumpy Old Ken said...

As Tommy Trinder would say, you lucky people.

Maggie May said...

Saw this on Country File and was thinking of you.

Nuts in May

Nota Bene said...

This looks so exciting...I'm realy quite envious!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

FF: Yes...it is great that the B&B is full. Mr.H. has made sure that our guests all have their passes for the official car parks and their tickets to see the event. He'll keep an eye on them (if that is what they want) or let them go if they are "self-sufficient"! It would be great if they'd like to come back and stay with us some time...

I don't think that there are gales - just that it might be a tad windy. I'm hoping that it won't be!

SJA: Yes, I think they did a pretty good job of it and built up the excitement! Linda Tuttiett, the top boss of Hadrian's Wall Heritage explained how it was all her idea...

GOK: I reckon we are.. :)

Maggie: Thank you - I really appreciate you saying that. You have plenty other things to think about right now.

NB: Yes...we really are all excited about it. Can't wait for the weekend now...

the fly in the web said...

So chuffed that the B and B is full - and lucky guests that everything is organised for them.

Thanks for the tips for mother..I have telephoned her friend who will set things up - really thoughtful of you to take the time to help her.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

That's no problem at all, Fly. Hope your mum finds the programme interesting. No doubt there will be more to come....!

Mickle in NZ said...

Now - woolley hats, gloves and socks please - that rehearsal landscape looks mighty cold and very white!

Enjoy, enjoy and celebrate.

Care and huggles from En Zed, Michelle and Zebbycat, xxx and warming purrrrumbles

webmaster said...

Thanks Michelle and Zebbycat. I think thermal underwear is in order...although the weather this week, so far, has been fantastic - lovely sunshine!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Don't know how my profile came up as "webmaster"....anyway it's me...Hadriana!