The Town Hall, Bridport, was the venue selected by the Dorset Archaeological Committee for the presentation of its 2013 awards, given every two years since 1988. The awards were presented on Friday 11th October by the eminent archaeologist Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, of Oxford University.
Maureen Putnam. Chairman of the Judging Panel, summarised the eight nominations, saying that ‘it has been an extremely difficult exercise making our decisions, as all of the entries were for interesting and important projects in Dorset’.
The major award, a wooden bowl made by Cecil Colyer, based on a 12th-century bowl found in Charmouth in 1979, was presented to St Mary’s Church, Puddletown, for a major conservation programme involving the relocation of the important monuments in the Athelhampton Chapel.
The Runner-up certificate was awarded to the Friends of the Sandsfoot Castle and Rodwell Trail, for their inspired commitment to conserve the castle and open it for public access.
For his on-line study of the lost torpedoes of Weymouth and Portland, Ed Cumming was highly recommended.
The Ian Horsey Memorial Award (given in memory of the distinguished Poole archaeologist), was given to Dr Alistair Somerville-Ford, the TV presenter Julian Richards, and Claire Ryley, for leading the archaeological project ‘What’s Under Your School?’
As part of this project, the Young Archaeologist’s Award, was presented to Spetisbury (Hall and Slopers) C.E., V.A., Primary School. The school was given a certificate and a framed map of Dorset, drawn by the author J. L. Carr.
Laurence Keen, OBE, Chairman of the committee, and former County Archaeologist, remarked that ‘I am delighted that eight excellent nominations were submitted. The judges have had to make very difficult decisions. The remarkable fact is that all of the projects came from non-professionals, demonstrating the enormous amount of interest and work being carried out, making sure that Dorset’s superb archaeological heritage is properly examined and appreciated for the benefit of us all. It is especially pleasing that this year we have been able to recognise the involvement of a Primary School. So it should be’.