Loch Awe crannogs 1972 – the team
After 35 years it's not easy to put together a set of photos that you can tie to names in the report. Or remember other details, as our records (still stuffed in their folders: the benefit of not moving house for 34 years) were obviously aimed at the crannog results rather than the bios.
So, despite hunting, we can only find a picture of the back of Rose's (Parker: can't recall Rose's maiden name; she and John(7) got married after the exped and now have a mature family) head; and Cdr Lowick's picture might be actually a repeat of 'Figgy' Duff's. Memory doesn't always serve
However, what does stay in the mind is of a great bunch of people – everyone – who all gave up their time (in NACSAC's case their annual leave) to wade, dive and struggle round a freezing, gloomy and except for the truly committed, uninteresting environment. Scottish freshwater lochs are not the most lively places to dive; by comparison, any marine surroundings are bursting with interest, animal and vegetable. One of the wags said it was like diving in a cup of cold tea, at night, without the interest of the tea-leaves.
Although they all had their parts to play, John Waterfield turned out to be a very capable surveyor and organiser, a great guy to get on with. Bryan(6), for his quiet but dry humour; and the irrepressible Chris Spick, who could keep everybody laughing when things got a bit grumpy, as will happen.
So having asked the NACSAC men to put their leisure time to the above K and Duncan McArdle are still immensely appreciative to them all for their forbearance; and efficiency in getting the job done.
And the same thanks to the others: colleagues and friends, who stayed the course. Ian Morrison, of course, the prime mover in setting up our NACSAC connection, with his great fund of knowledge and expertise, particularly in the geographical and survey fields, as well as his diving ability and enthusiasm. Ian is dead now; he died in 2005, never the most appreciated of scholars by his peers and colleagues. He had a hugely expansive love of doing exciting projects, in no matter what field. And in the academic world, straying into others' fields, no matter how helpful, can be seen as the same as treading on toes. Ian was the least manipulative and 'political' of academics. He had no time for the guile and secrecy which many a career has been based on, and often couldn't keep quiet when a sly reticence would have been better for his career. A big bear of a man and a great communicator, he never married, but got on very well with children as his open, often simple good-humoured enthusiasm and love of a good story had them spellbound.
A colleague, Doug Miles, from I think, Liverpool Uni and a ?marine biologist was doing a project on marine molluscs. Apart from his full-time presence on the Loch Awe among the crannogs, Doug was at least part of the excuse for the welcome relief of dives off the west coast, including in Loch Sween.
Connected with crannogs from the start – even before Loch Awe he was involved in survey with us in Loch Tay – Pip Hills (6), a good friend then and now, was along for part of the exped and very much pulled his weight. At the time a tax inspector after a philosophy post-grad degree, Pip is now the leading writer on the appreciation of malt whisky and the science behind it. These days based on the east coast of Scotland in St Cyrus, he's still into collecting sailing boats, preferably old and wooden; currently has one very handsome yacht (at least – may be more?) with mooring plans for the west coast of Scotland.
Bill Morris was a great backup to have on the exped. A friend, diver in the Edinburgh Uni S-A Club and mad-keen fisherman, Bill was in process of doing his PhD research on microelectronics; now has his own international business. He was along for the whole time of the exped and had looked forward to getting some really good fishing on the loch. But the west coast midges put paid to that: after several tries and racing back to shore, demented, Bill got in very few casts on the loch. At the time Claire, another friend and diver, was married to Bill: they have a mature son. Into language teaching for foreign students, she's still in touch. Claire came for part of the time and helped in and out of the water.
John Parker was another friend and member of the Edin Uni SAC. A medic, not sure of his degree(s) at the time, or of his wife Rose's. Both kept in touch after the exped with occasional globetrotting newsletters; think they are maybe settled in Queensland.
Of course, it's now 37 years and counting, since all this was happening. Some of the team we know have died. Others, with whom we've lost touch, may well be too. If so, commiserations to their relatives and survivors. Our abiding memory of everyone is of tolerance and helpfulness; and you can't ask more than that.
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