From FAB88 to JOE90: Inspiring site codes from the past

Ian Blair

The DUA & DGLA years represented a golden age for the assignment of memorable and frequently humorous site codes. Whereas, now they are simply a random (and generally instantly forgettable) alphanumeric combination assigned by the LAARC, formerly those for the City and the DUA were directly attributable to Penny MacConnoran, and consequently there was more than a hint of humour contained therein.

The list below is illustrative of this fact, and there is undoubtedly a PhD in it for someone with the time and patience to decipher the code that is hidden within.


One thing that I had not considered when I first mused over this subject was that the DGLA were similarly assigning memorable site codes during this period, and I can only assume that if Penny wasn’t also responsible for these, that she had a like-minded colleague, south of the river who she was secretly colluding with.

Collectively, many of the site codes can be grouped together under general headings such as: Alcohol & pub related, Animals & Insects, Female names/gender related, Male names/gender related, Food related, Modes of transport, Woodworking etc. Other (as yet) uncategorised codes include: LIE90, FIB88 and CON86, with others including WET89 and DRY90. Although I have many personal favourites, I have warmed to JAN90, which by all accounts and confirmed in a recent conversation with Ken Pitt, was assigned solely on the basis that Janet Street-Porter lived on the corner of the street in Clerkenwell where the excavation was taking place: a classic example of the genre of site coding.

Penny would have been pleased to see that a couple of more recently assigned site codes: RAT13 and GUN14 had been accidently spewed out of the LAARC’s random site code generator machine: a solitary throwback to a great tradition that she had started, but alas no longer exists.


Inspiring site codes from the past



Inspiring site codes from the past two


Penny M at Lyme Regis with giant ammonite, clearly following in the footsteps of Mary Anning.Penny M at Lyme Regis with giant ammonite, clearly following in the footsteps of Mary Anning.

Mary Anning paintingMary Anning at Lyme Regis, pointing at an even more gargantuan Jurassic ammonite and an extremely rare fossilised spaniel which she has painstakingly chipped out of the rock. RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE


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