I attended the above conference at the Milton Rooms in Malton last Saturday, organised by the Roman Antiquities Section of the Yorkshire Archaeologial Society and The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (The Roman Society)
It has to be stated that the conference was to some degree spoilt by the woeful quality of the PA system which seemed to consist of a couple of speakers from somebodies old HiFi that couldn’t deal with the output of the amplifier, an amplifier that spent most of the day either on the verge of distortion, or doing a Norman Collier impression by clipping the output, fronted by what seemed like an oki koki 3000 microphone nicked from a chidrens karaoke machine with awful frequency response.
Most of the speakers were to some degree affected by the quality of the PA, at least one had their talk ruined in my opinion, only the predictably loud Dominic Powlesland abandoned it all together and went vocally commando to do his talk on West Heslerton that replaced the original talk on the Aiskew villa. . Surely it is not beyond the wit of organisations where public speaking is at the core of their function, to either pick a venue with decent sound equipment, or spend a few quid to buy a portable system themselves.
It was encouraging that two of the talks were from amateur groups working in Yorkshire. The Roman Roads project was presented by Mike Haken who came up with some interesting ideas regarding settlement along the major routes, and the Swaledale & Arkenga thdale Archeaology Group(SWAAG) presented an interesting talk on their work in their valley. Steve Sherlock gave a talk on the A1/Catterick road improvements, Steve had that much to talk about that the 30 mins slot was just not enough. Archaeology on another scale!
Prof Martin Millet and Dr Peter Halkon both gave their usual professional and interesting talks about their work in East Yorkshire.