3.166 Rose Theatre update (114)

Fri, 23 Jun 89 18:25:47 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 166. Friday, 23 Jun 1989.

Date: 23-JUN-1989 09:07:27 GMT
Subject: Rose theatre update

Steve Miller has asked me to forward the following two
messages (one of which has already appeared on the
Archaeological Information Exchange) concerning the Rose theatre.

Susan Kruse


[Archaeological Information Exchange]

Subject: AIE 89-45 update on the Rose theatre campaign

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 89 18:40 BST

After Ridley's announcement on 15th that the Rose would not be scheduled
"at this time", the Rose Campaign phoned supporters to come to the site
to show interest and watch the doings of English Heritage. Quite a few
people were there at 6.30, some of whom had spent the night. Lorries were
due at 7.30 (it was 9.00 in the event) bringing sand to cover the Rose and
protect it, as it is rapidly drying out in the hot weather. The Campaign
did not intend to obstruct these, as the protection is necessary. Several
radio and television teams were there, and more protesters arrived during
the early morning until there were about 40. Ian McKellen gave a television
interview in which he criticized Simon Jenkins (Deputy Head of English
Heritage) for guaranteeing that there will be no damage to any part of the
Rose from Imry's latest building plans (earlier Jenkins had said there would
be some damage.
An archaeologist and a conservator working for English Heritage arrived,
and answered questions from the protesters about their measures to cover and
protect the Rose, refusing to be drawn on whether the site should be scheduled
or fully excavated, or other wider implications. "I'm only a hireling," said
Everyone agrees that the site must be covered, but the method is contro-
versial. The English Heritage people explained that no site of this size
had ever had to be treated before. They will cover the site with a layer of
polymer (already in place), then with two metres of a special fine sand, as
used on the Huggin Hill Roman Baths site, because it is inert, can be wetted,
and will exclude oxygen. On top of this will be an impermeable membrane to
stop air getting in, and a thin layer of lean-mix concrete. People could
walk on this without cracking it, and Imry have agreed that no vehicle shall
go on it. The covering will stay in place for about 15 months. The Museum
of London archaeological team, the original excavators sacked last week by
EH, do not agree with this method. The unions of the two sets of archaeolo-
gists are still discussing the irregular situation caused by the sacking
and substitution.
The pilings are now to be TEN feet across (six feet was last week's
rumour), and will pass within inches of the exposed walls of the Rose.
Pilings will also be driven into the unexcavated part, after very local
digging by the EH archaeologists, which the Museum of London team fear will
damage the remains. It is ludicrous for English Heritage to "guarantee"
that no damage will occur from the massive earth-disturbance and vibrations,
or from building on unexplored areas. The viewing area for the Rose when the
car park and office block are on top of it, between the huge "stilts", is
now to be 17 feet high instead of the up to 22 feet promised earlier. This
sounds like a mean and unworthy way to display these unparalleled remains
(or what is by then left undamaged of them), and the whole scheme, far from
"protecting" or "saving" the Rose as reiterated by Jenkins and Ridley, looks
like a shabby little compromise aimed at saving only government cash.
No building can start until the revised plans are passed by Southwark
Borough Council on 3rd July. Meanwhile the Campaign will ask for a judicial
Further information and petitions from:
The Rose Theatre Campaign, c/o Shakespeare Globe Centre, Bear Gardens,
Bankside, Southwark, London SE1 9EB, telephone 01-928 4555.

Deirdre Kincaid.


21 June 1989
Dr. Susan Brock, librarian to the Shakespeare Institute
in Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham is keeping a cuttings
file on the discovery of the remains of the Rose theatre
to date and its reporting in the press. I have noticed
that several correspondants who have responded to my previous
messages about the Rose have connections with the press or
have managed to contact the press elsewhere. Could I pass
on a message from Susan -

I've been saving cuttings on the Rose developments from
the Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Sunday Times,
Observer and Sunday Telegraph but would be grateful for
anything else especially from papers in the States and
elsewhere. If you can send out a request for information
on our behalf that would be a great help.

Please address any cuttings or copies you might wish to
send (annotated with journal, date and page) to:
Dr. Susan Brock - (Rose cuttings)
The Shakespeare Institute
Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire CV37 6HP England.

Sincerely, Stephen Miller
c/o Dept of English, King's College London, The Strand,