whatever interested me. This helped enormously with Time Team. I had the necessary knowledge but being entirely autonomous I could do or say as I pleased. I was also completely used to the broadcasting environment and equipment. I worked on many of their Roman programmes and World War 2 aviation digs, an experience that led me to take a pilot’s licence at Biggin Hill in 1999. Time Team was fun, but I can honestly say I wasn’t very interested in the actual digging. I was and remain a historian.
In the 1990s I’d become engrossed in publishing the correspondence of the 17th century diarists and friends, John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys. This galvanised me because it was a path right into real human lives past. Their letters, which are widely dispersed now, had to be tracked down, transcribed, and even set to camera-ready copy by me. In those days the Internet did not amount to much, so the process was very hands-on, involving fax machines and laborious hand-written transcriptions made in the British Library, the Bodleian in Oxford, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. I’m proud of the result as it has
Guy’s reconstruction watercolour of Verulamium, painted for The Buildings of Roman Britain.
The Past | April/May 2021