It is with great sadness to hear the news of the passing of Janet Hammond. Janet was one of the founding members of SHARP and was keenly involved with research into Sedgeford's historic past.
Below, Neil Faulkner and John Jolleys remember Janet and her contribution to SHARP and our knowledge of the Sedgeford landscape:
'I first met Janet Hammond in 1995. Bernard and Susan Campbell had invited her to Sedgeford Hall to meet me when we were first discussing setting up the Project. I was fascinated by this local historian who had such a vast store of historical knowledge. That fascination was compounded when, very soon afterwards, I first visited Janet's house, a rambling old warren of a farmhouse and associated outbuildings at the end of Church Lane. Along with the cats, dogs, ducks, geese, peacocks, and at least one turkey, there was a heaving archive of books, photocopies, box-files, maps, and much else, all of which appeared to the outsider to be in a state of complete chaos, except that Janet invariably knew exactly where whatever she wanted was stashed.
Janet went on to play a key role in the early years of the Project. Before we had the use of the Old Village Hall, and before we had such a comprehensive summer-season infrastructure on Boneyard, Janet's outbuildings served as tool-shed, finds-processing centre, project archive, and meeting space, as well as providing us with our shower unit. Without Janet, I doubt the Project would ever have got properly off the ground.
John Jolleys is now leading the ongoing research on the historical records for Sedgeford. We owe it to Janet to try and bring the fruits of her lifetime of research on the history of the village to publication, and I know that Tim is keen that SHARP should make full use of Janet's great archive as we move forwards. But Janet herself, with her great store of knowledge and understanding, is irreplaceable.
Tim, an old friend going back more than 20 years, has my deep and sincere sympathy at this time'.
Dr Neil Faulkner
‘All those who have been involved with SHARP, particularly those who knew the project in its earlier years, will be saddened to learn of the death of Janet Hammond.
Janet was integral to the foundation of the project, living locally she was a close member of the community and as one with a passion for research into and understanding of local history, she embraced the project with a supportive enthusiasm.
Always welcoming, I first met Janet when arriving later on a Saturday evening for my first week at SHARP. She greeted me like a lifelong friend and immediately took me on a site tour explaining, in detail, all that there was to see. She was like this to everyone, both new to the project and those who returned every year and it was ever a pleasure to chat with her each year. In latter years she was less able to visit the excavations, but always came for open day to meet up with her many old friends on the project.
Her historical research was both detailed and innovative and our "Reconstructing Medieval Sedgeford project" is in the process of collating all her work along with that information which continues emerge.
The aim is to produce a published work dedicated to her as a lasting memory from us all.
Our thoughts are with Tim and all those close to her. It has been a privilege to have known her’.
Dr John Jolleys