It does not often rain on AIM events, but on Sunday the 5th of October it rained and rained and rained.
Despite the inclement conditions, nine hardy AIM members turned out for a morning of Dowsing. Members Sue Brown and Jeff Griffiths instructed us in the art of dowsing and kindly brought along sets of rods so that all could experience dowsing first hand.
Our first task was to locate the ‘Roman Vineyard’ so often mentioned by local people. A vineyard was not located, but whilst trying to find a Roman presence, on the west side of the valley, a rectangular feature became apparent, but it was evidently not used by people (a barn?).
Peter Ricketts, AIM member and owner of Happy Valley, had asked us if we could try to locate a long lost water main. A few members concentrated on finding water and a line running very close to the footpath was duplicated by most. After 60 or 70 metres, the direction changed by 90 degrees turning away from the footpath for about 10 metres. However the footpath line also continued on for another 20 metres, or so, where it made a 90 degree turn in the opposite direction across the footpath. Peter subsequently said that a main electrical cable runs along the same route, so, were we right? Time and more investigations will tell.
Further along the west side of the valley most dowsers, who trained their thoughts on Iron Age features, traced out the same circle of about 9 metres in diameter. Amazingly, this circle was within a few feet of our September 2004 excavation across the old footpath! Other smaller circles were also traced out, but the persistent downpour was beginning to dampen even the most enthusiastic dowsers.
We left in good spirits to return to our respective homes to dry off, warm up and hope for better weather next time.