Rotherham care home residents get a real touch and taste of local Roman history

Roman Rotherham was brought vividly to life for residents of a care home.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 9:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 9:30 pm

Genuine artefacts were brought into Broadacres Care Home, Parkgate for residents to handle, including an unused Roman nail dropped by a workman – possibly during construction of the wooden fortress at Templeborough.

Residents even got a taste of history with bread made using a recipe recorded by the writer Cato.

The event was organised by Aaron Poole, activities coordinator at Broadacres Care Home, who created information leaflets so residents could learn more about the town’s Roman past.

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Dorothy Tomlinson, aged 91, with a piece of ancient Roman pottery

He said: “Our residents have not been able to venture out to have their usual experiences, so we thought we would bring the outside world into the home.

“I’ve always been fascinated by archaeology. From the age of 15, when I wasn’t in school, I’d go on archaeological digs and I’ve worked on digs in the South West of England.

“So we decided to run our first archaeology experience, focussing on Roman Rotherham, which we’ve called “Look, learn, touch, taste”.

Alwyn Galbraith, 80, said: “The Roman nail was amazing. It looked so new and so big. I could eat the bread but, if I had a choice, I’d have the bread we have today.”

Alwyn Galbraith, aged 80, with an ancient Roman glass perfume container

Ann Edwards, 84, said: “I was amazed to be able to hold items that were so old. It was very interesting. The bread was very tasty too. Brilliant.”

Iris Oldfield, 92, said: “The Roman brick was so heavy. The builders must have been strong.”

Kathleen Needham, 82, said: “I loved holding the items, they are so old. It’s amazing they have survived. The bread reminded me of soda bread.”

Future archaeology experience events at Broadacres Care Home will have a different focus each month, including medieval Rotherham, ancient Egypt and Victorian Rotherham.