Life on Site
Come the end of June, a field on the outskirts of the small west Norfolk village of Sedgeford is transformed into home for the SHARP project. The grass in Boneyard is mowed and mobile cabins, toilets, showers, and kitchen units move in. The main marquee gets erected and the site is ready to accept volunteers and students from around the globe.
So what is life in the field like? Our working week runs from Sunday to Friday and our daily timetable looks like this:
07:30 – Breakfast
08:15 – Morning briefing
08:30 – Work starts
10:30 – Morning break
10:50 – Work
12:30 – Lunch
13:30 – Work
15:15 – Afternoon break
15:35 – Work
17:00 – Work finishes
18:00 – Dinner
There is a strict overnight curfew on site that does get enforced! Noise levels are expected to simmer down at 10.30 p.m. and there should be absolute silence on site from 11.00 p.m. This continues until the generator starts in the morning at 07.00 a.m. Not a word, not a whisper, not on the site or on the tracks. It’s a hanging offence!
From our kitchen, the catering team produce a fortifying breakfast of porridge, cereals, toast, fruit and yogurt, a nourishing lunch of soup, sandwiches and salads, and a wholesome hot dinner with dessert. That’s every day for six weeks for up to 75 people. Naturally they do require a little help with the clearing up and people will be asked to take a turn with this.
There are showers on site and the toilets are situated a short distance down a track, away from the main site. The track can get very muddy when it rains so it pays to bring those wellies! The only electricity on site comes from a combination of solar power and a generator, which runs power to the kitchen, the site offices, and the Marquee, so a torch for any late visits to the toilet is a must too! It will also come in handy when returning from the pub.
There is a washing machine onsite that can be used if you are on a long stay or have a disaster (like a leaking tent).
As you can see from the timetable, our working day finishes at 17.00 and we try and arrange a variety of activities for your evening entertainment. The entertainment schedule usually runs something like this:
Saturday: We lay on a BBQ after your induction site tour where you can get to know everyone.
Sunday: An ultra-competitive team quiz for incredible prizes and trophies.
Monday: A free evening on site where, depending on the weather, we might use the firepit for marshmallow roasting!
Tuesday: During our excavation season we run a series of lectures at St. Mary’s Church, Sedgeford, which feature a range of stimulating speakers on both local and more general archaeological and historical themes.
Wednesday: Card/Board games in the marquee.
Thursday: A 'night off' with activities depending on the weather. A trip to a nearby beach, football in the local park, or a trip out to the cinema to catch a film are all possibilities.
Friday: The final night of the week is reserved for an entertainment evening. This will usually feature some music and general relaxation.
Although Boneyard Field is our home for the summer, we are all its guests. As such, keeping the site and adjoining areas tidy and free from litter is of paramount importance. Importantly, the site itself is in a field surrounded by woodlands and open countryside. We have people camping in tents, so we have a strict policy on smoking and open flames. There is a designated area on the site where smoking is permitted but elsewhere (including inside of tents) it’s a no-no. Likewise naked flames of all types are not allowed on site.
Life on site is a very relaxing and stimulating experience. SHARP people come from the other side of the world and from around the corner. From all ages and from all backgrounds. In fact, people just like you...