Sunday, June 14, 2009
On the last weekend of May, a group of volunteers from the Society met to record the gravestone inscriptions at Minto church, near Denholm.
This was a training event for volunteers new to recording gravestones, and something of an experiment for us.
There were 11 of us working from 10am to 3.30 pm on Saturday, and 8 on Sunday from 1pm to 3.30 pm.
There are 214 gravestones in the churchyard, and we divided ourselves into 5 pairs to record stones. One person entered inscriptions straight into our recording database on a laptop set up next to the church.
It was an unusually hot and very sunny day, which proved slightly difficult for those trying to read faded inscriptions.
Reading inscriptions on the older stones was harder than I expected. We spent a lot of time gently rubbing the weathered lichen covering inscriptions to uncover them, and almost as much time trying to puzzle out the inscriptions. It is greatly tempting to guess what the inscription is, and a huge mistake. One stone took us nearly an hour, as we tried to decipher the text.
Having entered all the inscriptions, they were printed out for us to check, most of which was done on the Sunday. Just to be sure, we checked transcriptions on stones we hadn't recorded; and we found a few mistakes, which we corrected.
All in all, a very enjoyable couple of days, and we did some useful work which will be published soon, another volume in our hugely popular Monumental Inscriptions volumes.
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