Day 24

It’s Time Team’s last day on site. Will we find the Iron Age, or can the director find a blinding excuse as to why we haven’t? The day starts badly with pouring rain, which is not a good result on the penultimate day. Chris Skinner arrives with his cherry picker, which turns out to be a cunning device involving a box mounted on a bailing fork. It’s just the job for taking pictures and has the added advantage of looking like a comedy weight that is about to fall on Wiley Coyote. It only needs “10 tons” written on the side to complete the picture. Chris also tells us that the rain will ease off later in the morning and we believe him as he’s a farmer so will know about weather and stuff.

The team wait in the tea tent sunk in gloom. Thankfully a well-known comic actor arrives in the form of Tony Robinson, but rather than come into the tent and say “I have a cunning plan” or similar to lift our spirits, he remains ensconced in his big blingy Range Rover.

The rain eases and the team gingerly step out into the drizzle, as we need to crack on. There are still large pots to come out and a road surface to remove in Trench 2. The church trench, who’ve kept themselves to themselves since the discovery of the south aisle (only emerging periodically for supplies of biscuits) have spoiled the party by finding a load of bodies rather late in the day. Trench 1, meanwhile, only has to remove some bits of features and a layer of dirty sand and they’ve won the race to get to the bottom.

Time Team emerge from their motorcade and get set up. They have a super whizzy boom thing that allows them to do sort of sweeping aerial shots. There is a continuity issue from the first week, so the director has to dig out the clothes he was wearing then, which have been mouldering in a bag in his tent ever since.

Tim from the Castle Museum arrives with the famous curse tablet, a splendid thing from the River Tas, which tells how a certain Nase has had some items stolen including a pair of leggings. In return for Neptune’s help in securing the culprit’s blood, Nase offers to give Neptune the leggings. What a bargain for an all powerful ocean deity that was. Unfortunately the outcome is not recorded. Tim won’t let the curse tablet out to play in the rain (as it’s made of unstable lead) so the scene has to be filmed in the car.

At last the filming draws to a close and Tony Robinson walks into the sunset (or towards where it might have been on a clear day) followed only by the mighty boom. The Iceni have not been found, but we did have nice pots and ritual pits so it’s not all bad.

Heather rides the comedy 'cherry picker'.

The director snaps a cheeky shot in the rain.

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