Roy Gough - Author  Yes, I am working on the following four articles and stories.

(i)    The Daily Life Of The Early Celts of Briton
(ii)   Regicide At Sutton Walls – A Detective Inspector Fox Investigation
(iii)  A Lay Man’s Account Of An Archaeological Dig
(iv)  Helping Adam To Climb Out Of The Pit

(i) The Daily Life Of The Early Celts of Briton

This book describes how the early Celts lived in pre Roman Briton. It contains chapters covering Celtic society and background, Celtic tribes, Celtic warriors and warfare, the religion of Druidism and the power of the Druids, Celtic agriculture, hillfort construction and a hillfort schedule, also Romano-British Herefordshire.

The book is not an academic exercise, but a detailed account about the life of the early Celts. As an experienced investigator and a Celt myself, I unearthed a lot of information whilst extensively researching their lives. History and archaeology is full of different ideas and points of view about them so, using my legal and investigative background, I have followed the balance of probabilities when there has been any conflict.

During my research I have reviewed and consulted every book on the subject that I could find, visited museums, Celtic Centres, hillforts, goldmines and modern representations of Celtic life. It has been a fascinating journey, with the irony for me as a retired senior police officer to discover that the origin of my Celtic surname means ‘Cattle Thief’!

(ii) Regicide At Sutton Walls - A Detective Inspector Fox Investigation

This book takes a light hearted look through the eyes of Detective Inspector Fox of Scotland Yard as he gives an easy to understand explanation of an archaeological dig. In 1999 an archaeological investigation was undertaken at Sutton Walls by Herefordshire Archaeological Department. The local county team were aided by the television archaeologists of ‘Time Team’ in examining six sites alongside the River Lugg, four miles north of the city of Hereford.

In the eighth century AD, this beautiful spot in Rural Herefordshire is believed by some to have been the location of a palace belonging to King Offa of Mercia where, at the instigation of his wife, King Offa killed the young King Ethelbert of Norfolk. In the fascinating story developed by DI Fox, we learn of the queen’s ambitions to extend the power of her husband by marrying King Ethelbert to one of her daughters but, on discovering that things would not go the way she had planned, she changed her mind and persuaded Offa to commit regicide.

The story relies heavily on the accounts of scribes who later recorded the event in writing, but to say that their accounts were contradictory and possibly imaginative would be an understatement. Inspector Fox considered that had such a brutal murder not been involved, the accounts of the religious scribes would be considered as farcical.

(iii) A Layman’s Account Of An Archaeological Dig

As an amateur historian and archaeologist with many friends interested in these subjects, I am frequently asked, ‘What is it actually like to take part in a dig?” Also ‘What does it feel like to be kneeling in a trench and working with a trowel and brush in search of hidden historical treasure?’ To answer these questions and others relating to archaeological digs, I have recounted details of a dig I took part in at Sutton Walls in Herefordshire in 1999 in search of King Offa’s Western Palace.

This dig was carried out by Herefordshire Archaeological Department, aided for a while by the television archaeologists of ‘Time Team’. This project came about after a study of the annals of religious scribes who made reference to King Offa’s presence in the area in the eighth century AD, while the exact location of the proposed site was identified from aerial photographs containing signs of abnormally large buildings in the area.

The dig was certainly a big one and included six individual sites, requiring not only a considerable amount of professional archaeological knowledge, but also good organisational skills to keep the show on the road. Having considerable experience in organisation, I was therefore quickly raised from the trenches and given the day to day administrative responsibility for all of the sites. In this capacity I was able to monitor the overall progress of the work and individual finds, while at the same time sharing the problems and successes of the diggers. These experiences both great and small and in many cases very personal, are included in this book.

(iv) Helping Adam To Climb Out Of The Pit

This is a completely different type of story to the previous ones, although it does have an historical leaning. It involves a twenty two year old English man named Adam, who joined myself and my colleagues at our weekly sessions at the Ten Pin Bowling Club in Benidorm in the winter of 2011, where he raised some interesting questions.

Let me make it clear that Adam was a very presentable young man and a man of his time, while the rest of our company were in the autumn of their lives. As an intelligent and questioning young man, Adam discussed many things with us and one subject quickly stood out as being at the forefront of his mind. This was the comparison between the current good life styles of our members and the many opportunities that we had had to achieve them, compared to the poor chances and even poverty that he and the majority of young people like him had today.

As I previously indicated, the members of our club are all old age pensioners who worked all their lives and retired to Spain in search of better weather than that in the UK. None of them were brought up with a silver spoon or would consider themselves as wealthy, while most saw themselves as having climbed the ladder from poor beginnings to ‘middle class’.

Knowing that the backgrounds of my colleagues and I were all filled with hard work, determination and personal sacrifice, I remonstrated with Adam and argued that our lives had been much harder than the lives of him and his contemporaries. Then later that evening over a few beers, together with my colleagues I compared his background and opportunities against ours sixty years ago. After a great deal of discussion and argument, in which Adam played a major part, we finally were able to point him in the right direction for climbing out of what he saw as ‘his pit of poverty and despair’, which is the basis of this story.
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