‘Two Tribes’

Ian Blair

‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away’: and light years before the creation of MoLAS/MOLA. There were two large archaeological tribes: the Department of Greater London Archaeology (DGLA) who inhabited the marshier, boggier regions, on the south bank of the Thames in Southwark,

and the Department of Urban Archaeology (DUA) who occupied the higher ground on the opposing north bank of the Thames in the City. With the creation of MoLAS in 1991, the two units were merged, and the archaeologists learnt to peacefully coexist, and were forced to explore the previous ‘bad lands’ of their formal rivals.

The photo is an early one of the DGLA tribe outside their premises in Southwark. Once again, it would be nice to put names to faces, so please do feel free to contribute: amongst others, Carrie Cowan, Pete Hinton, and Hafed Walda are certainly in there. I particularly like the Ford Capri, which is one up on the ‘wheels’ that the DUA had access to, but doesn’t quite measure up to the Ford Gran Torino that ‘Starsky & Hutch’ were driving around in the 1970’s. I had wondered whether it might have belonged to Derek Seeley, but he told me that ‘sadly he couldn’t afford a flash Capri – mine was a grey Morris Oxford 1970 vintage’.

SLAEC DGLA group 900 17sep2020.jpg 

SLAEC DGLA group people outlined 900 17sep2020.jpg


DGLA port medical centre Group photo



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