After taking Daniel’s bike to be fixed and nearly coming out with a new bike (the guy in the shop mistook me for a woman whose bike he’d fixed) I went along to the Richard III exhibition at the Guildhall. It was pretty good, considering the time they’d had to get it together, and the Guildhall was busier than I’ve ever seen it: they clearly have queues at busy times because there were cordons outside. The main colour of the exhibition was blue: and they had information about the excavation plus a mock-up of the actual skeleton and some finds from the site. There was a great sense of energy and enthusiasm about the whole project, as indeed there has been since the skeleton was first found: I am very pleased that the city has seized on this so enthusiastically. It reminded me of my digging days in Northants, helping out on an Iron-age barrow where sadly all the bones we found were those of cattle, none of whom had scoliosis or a wound in the head. It’s astonishing, really, that they found the skelly at all; it was a hell of a long shot just digging where some people thought the choir of the old church might have been, especially when there were only anecdotal accounts of Richard being buried there at all.
Among the other finds was a rather alarming object called a bollock dagger. This sounds extremely painful; however the name comes from the pair of spherical objects to the side of the handle:
Very exciting and I look forward to seeing bigger and better exhibitions in the future when the skeleton is properly exhumed.
And as I went home, crossing Richard III’s bridge and passing what little remains of the Castle, I reflected on those days when, whatever other barbaric customs they may have had, kings didn’t just order troops into battle: they led them into battle. I’m trying to imagine Cameron driving a tank into Iraq…
I may even write a poem about that.
PS: Update – here’s some info on an interesting evening at the Richard III society:
It includes information from Sir Peter Soulsby about plans for a Richard III visitor centre in the old Grammar School. Better and better!