Archaeological endeavour – a brief autobiography, by Tam Ward

Tam Ward – the early years
Tam Ward – the early years
Tam at Glencotho Lime Kilns excavations
Tam at Glencotho Lime Kilns excavations

This pdf – Archaeological endeavour – a brief autobiography  is a true account of how I became involved in archaeology and the principal events which occurred during that time and until the date of writing.

I am often asked how I got involved in archaeology and it is an interesting tale.

My boyhood days were always taken up with stories of the past, local folklore and the inevitable tales of William Wallace, the Scottish Wars of Independence and of course, coming from Biggar – The Battle of Biggar and the story of the Cadgers Brig, stirring stuff, but in modern parlance – fake news. Nevertheless, all good stuff to get people inspired in the past.

My brother Pat and I took annual trips to Edinburgh as boys to visit the National Museum in Queen Street to marvel at the objects on display, and especially those from our own area. I must therefore always have been interested in the past, although we were brought up with the more recent history of WWII since many people we were associated with and spoke to, including our father and uncles, were directly involved in it.

My principal hobbies before leaving school were hill walking and local exploring, and after school age they became golf and shooting, especially the latter and of course that took me around farms, hills, and moors. After I contracted severe arthritis in my big toes to the point where my life was constant pain from my feet; I had to pack in both the golf and the shooting as I could not walk any distances.

Autobiography pdf cover
Tam Ward Autobiography

I eventually got the problem sorted by surgery and while I was convalescing during mid winter and getting bored silly, my mother in law told me of extra mural classes on archaeology at the local school, saying that I had always said I liked that. So, I went. Ed Archer from Lanark was talking about The Romans in a series of lectures, and I got hooked, I was encouraged to join the Lanark and District Archaeology Society (LADAS) and the rest is history (and in the downloadable pdf Archaeological endeavour – a brief autobiography), that was in 1978. I soon became a committee member, and then Chairman of the Society at one point, and started to learn all about archaeology.

Read the full story in Archaeological endeavour – a brief autobiography pdf.