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George Pye

George Rowland Pye (1910-1993) was one of the enthusiasts who established the new archaeological society in Scarborough.

He was a regular attender at our meetings and served on the committee, but from the earliest days his devotion was to the practical work on the sites of excavations.  In the Society's first research report of the excavations at Crossgates, he received special thanks for his devoted service, working on the site both winter and summer, and often under harsh conditions.  This initial operation continued during the period 1947-56.  Eventually, when others had become less active at this site, George still continued work and his reports in the Society's Transactions cover the periods 1957-65 and 1966-81.  The illustrations in the later report which he produced are of special merit and interest, including one produced from memory.

George retained his interest in this site over the years and in 1989, in his late seventies, he still took an active interest in the excavations carried out by Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, with Society involvement.

A photographic re-toucher by trade, he applied his skills in his hobby to the production of many fine drawings of buildings.  Friends received cards which he illustrated, and he enhanced the cover of the Society's Transactions for 1968 with his drawing of the remains of the Chapel of St Leonard, Osgodby, which had been described eight years previously, but without illustration.  The Society's Research Report No 8 'Cruck-framed Buildings in Ryedale and Eskdale' benefitted from his illustrations of witch posts.

By his love and skill he managed to transform a lamppost, railings and rough masonry of the exterior of St Mary's Church into a picture to be treasured.

In recognition of his services to the Society, George was elected a Life Member.


Adapted from an article by Bill Lamplough  which was published in transactions 31, 1995

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