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RCAHMW U-boat Project - NAS Field School 2018

During 2017 MADU were commissioned by the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) to run two field schools, one in North Wales during 2018, and one in South Wales during 2019. The field schools formed part of Commemorating the Forgotten U-Boat War around the Welsh Coast 1914-18 that was a project co-ordinated by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The 2018 field school was planned and took place over the weekend of 22nd - 24th June, and include diving on the wreck of the SS Cartagena, which lies approximately 6 miles off the north east coast of Anglesey in around 37m of water, and with the land-based element of the field school being held close to the launch site at Traeth Buchan.

In late 2017 and through 2018, to help publicise both the field schools, MADU ran exhibitions stands at various conferences (see below):

Anglesey Marine Archaeology & Shipwreck Conference in Moelfre on AngleseyAnglesey Marine Archaeology Shipwreck Conference, Moelfre. (Oct. 2017) Nautical Archaeology Society Conference in PortsmouthNautical Archaeology Society Conference, Portsmouth. (Nov. 2017)
DAT Archaeology Day 2018Dyfed Archaeology Trust - Archaeology Day, Aberystwyth. (March 2018)
CHERISH Professional Seminar, Llandudno - May 2018CHERISH Professional Seminar, Llandudno. (May 2018)
MOROL Conference, Pembroke Dock 2018 NAS Conference, Newport 2018
MOROL Conference, Pembroke Dock. (Nov. 2018) Nautical Archaeology Society Conference, Newport. (Nov. 2018)

MADU also provided talks about the field schools at 3 of the above events:

NAS Conference - Newport 2018

MADU providing a talk on the field schools at the 2018 NAS Conference in Newpoprt (© Lynn Jones)

In January 2018 the BSAC & SAA dive clubs in Wales were invited to bring their dive boats to dive the Cartagena and join the field school in June.

Dive club invitation to join the 2018 field schoolEnglish (enlarge) Dive club invitation to join the 2018 field schoolWelsh (enlarge)
Dive club invitations to take part in the 2018 field school

and in March 2018 the following joining flyers were prepared for the field school

Field School Programme - Page 1 Field School Programme - Page 2
English (enlarge)
Field School Programme - Page 1
Welsh (enlarge)

The field school was based on the beach at Traeth Bychan on Anglesey and was very kindly hosted by the Red Wharf Bay Sailing and Watersports Club.

The Red Wharf Bay & Watersports Club on Traeth Bychan Beach
The Red Wharf Bay Sailing & Watersports Club on Traeth Bychan Beach with the field school being run under the gazebos on the left.

Over the course of the field school weekend, 7-dive clubs participated in diving the wreck of the Cartagena including:

Dive Club Briefing on Saturday Morning Launching
Dive Clubs attending the Saturday morning dive briefing Launching on the slipway onto Traeth Bychan Beach
Dive Club Briefing on Sunday Morning
Dive Clubs attending the Sunday morning dive briefing
Launching on Traeth Bychan Beach
Launching using a tractor on Traeth Bychan Beach
About to set off for the dive
Boats waiting for slack water before casting off to dive the SS Cartagena

On the Friday and Saturday evenings, talks were held in the Red Wharf Bay Sailing and Watersports Club house on the beach at Traeth Bychan. The speakers included:

Friday Evening

Saturday Evening

Nigel Cossons providing a talk on the SS CartagenaNigel Cossons talking about the SS Cartagena
(© Helen Rowe)
Lowri Roberts providing a talk on the Royal CharterLowri Roberts talking about the Royal Charter
(© Helen Rowe)
Dr Michael Roberts providing a talk on 3D Multi-beam ImagingDr Michael Roberts talking about Sonar Imaging
(© Helen Rowe)

Over the course of the weekend in the club house there were permanent displays by the Nautical Archaeology Society, the Blind Veterans UK and the story behind the SS Cartagena, together with demonstrations of Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning of artefacts.

The Nautical Archaeology Society Display The Blind Veterans UK Display
The Nautical Archaeology Society Display The Blind Veterans UK Display
The SS Cartagena Display 3D model of the SS Cartagena courtesy of Bangor University
3D model of the SS Cartagena courtesy of Bangor University
The SS Cartagena Display 3D model of the SS Cartagena courtesy of Bangor University

During Saturday and Sunday on the beach there were a host of events for divers and non-divers, families, children, and anyone who happened by, including:

Demonstrating the use of a Plane Table The Plane Table Setting up a Total Station
Demonstrating the use of a Dumpy Level © Lynn Jones Sighting through a Dumpy Level
Recording - Learning how to survey a site using a plane table & total station.

 

Sand Sculpture Competition Sand Sculpture Judging
Sand Sculptures - Creating maritime themed sand structures.

 

Excavating & Recording Finds Excavating & Recording Finds
Excavating & Recording Finds Excavating & Recording Finds
Excavation - Trying your hand at excavating a site and recording finds.

 

The ROV tank found a secondary use!
Remotely Operated Vehicles - Piloting an underwater ROV.

 

Reading maritime signal flags Reading maritime signal flags © Helen Rowe Reading maritime signal flags
Maritime Flags - Reading maritime signal messages.

 

Trying your hand at tying knots Trying your hand at tying knots
Trying your hand at tying knots © Helen Rowe Trying your hand at tying knots Trying your hand at tying knots
Ropework - Trying your hand at tying knots.

 

A message in a bottle A message in a bottle A message in a bottle
Searching - During the course of the weekend a pair of geocache messages in bottles were hidden close to Traeth Bychan Beach to act as a field school legacy.

For further information see Geocaching

The 2018 field school concluded with a report:

Running a Maritime Field School at Traeth Bychan, Anglesey, North Wales as part of the U-boat Project: Commemorating the forgotten U-boat war around the Welsh coast (1914-18)

Reference Links:

For additional information see the following article:

Commemorating the Forgotten U-boat War around the Welsh Coast 1914-18. which can be found in the "Council for British Archaeology (Wales)" newsletter 56 Autumn 2018.

For further information regarding the project see:

RCAHMW U-boat Project - NAS Field Schools

RCAHMW U-boat Project - NAS Field School 2019

 

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