How can we tell that the cellar was filled-in quickly and during demolition? Well, there are a number of tell-tale signs. Firstly, the deposit looks very similar all the way down to the base of the cellar, which is a good indication that it was laid down in a single event. In archaeology-speak, this type of deliberate infill deposit is known as a 'tertiary fill'. The material comprises loose brick and stone rubble, iron fittings, window glass, coal, mortar and plaster - all hinting towards demolition as the likely source for the material.
Mixed up within that deposit of debris are clues as to the date of the event. An enamelled saucepan, mid-century domestic crockery, glass jars and even a bicycle saddle (made by Brooks, who've been making traditional leather saddles in the West Midlands for over 140 years).
Some of the most evocative finds are those which reflect the shadow cast by the Second World War. These buildings were demolished just six years after the end of the war, at a time of rationing and post-war austerity. Reminders of the war would have been everywhere, such as the 'war grade' composite rubber bottletop, still attached to the neck of a mineral water bottle. Our favourite has to be the morale-boosting celluloid keyring below, with a slogan reminding ordinary folk of their responsibilities: 'For Victory and Freedom - It all Depends on Me'!
|WW2 'War Grade' |Composite Rubber bottle stopper|