b'Owen Robinson - A NeighbourKate & Mike PrattW hen we first moved to Bishop Wilton it becamecontention, both as pottery finds and as the result clear early on that we had a choice to make.of metal detecting which was a hobby of his. It was When in our garden we had to decide if it was moreobvious to him that there were signs of habitation in important to keep our heads down and continuethe very field that he tended.with our chores or have a break and talk over twoAs a result of talking to Kate and our daughter, hedges with our next door neighbour but one, OwenMegan, about fossil hunting and finding things in Robinson. We chose the latter. Owen smoked a pipegeneral, Owen gave us a cardboard box of some of and it was possible to get a whiff of his approach andhis pottery finds for us to keep. Although we hung on await the familiar, Now then! Once chatting we couldto them, they did not become significant to us until we go from one subject to another until the light failed orstarted our local history studies after Owen died. We until Owen realised that it was time for the Archers onhad no idea when he gave them to us to which era the radio. they belonged.Owen was our neighbour for 23 years and toLooking through the items now it is clear that they begin with it was not unusual for him to come to ourall come from the Roman period. Two of them are back door for a chat almost every evening. During thepictured here: a piece of decorated box tile from a summer months he would stand near the open doorheating flue and a decorated piece of samian ware.and smoke a cigarette. He always rejected the idea ofOwens other finds include pieces of Roman roof using an ashtray preferring to knock any ash off ontotile, the pointed base of an amphora, quantities of the cuff of his tweed jacket and rub it in. It becamegrey ware, pieces of unglazed red ware and a number such a nightly occurrence that our 2 year old sonof pieces of undecorated samian pottery.began to imitate him! So, in the box that Owen gave us we have the From the start it was clear that Owen was keenbiggest accumulation of pottery finds from the Roman on history in general and the history of the village inperiod that have surfaced in the Bishop Wilton area particular. We remember that he always used to say(not counting anything in private hands that has not that the village started further down the Beck andbeen made public).moved up to its current location. It was only later thatThe finding of a Roman sarcophagus in the we understood the reason for this view. field next to Owens in 1983 and the chance to see Owen had a field that bordered on the Becknumerous archaeological aerial photos of the area, down Mucky Lane on the South side of the village.once our local history studies commenced, proved Over the years he had found a lot of evidence for hisOwens point. Before the siting of the village as we know it, there had been a settlement further down the Beck. But closer exploration of that is part of another story Fragment of Roman decorated box tile from theFragment of decorated Roman samian pottery.heating duct of a hypocaust heating system. The scale shown is in cms.390 BULLETIN 19'