I'm Andrew and I volunteered for the Access to Archaeology programme in June 2017. I had previously met Charina and Calli, the Historic Environment Record Officers, whilst working in their office mapping footpaths across Gower, aiding the Old Trackways part of the Gower Landscape Project, so I knew of their patience, kindness and tolerance previously. I had no previous experience of archaeology apart from rambles during my childhood over the round barrows and war defences on Mynydd Margam, and searches for the Bodvoc Stone; and later on family holidays in France finding menhir, walking through the Carnac stones and in Greece discovering beehive tombs and Byzantine chapels.
As a retiree getting to grips with the software was a slow-ish process but with assistance from both Charina or Calli plus the (constant!) use of a printed guide, I soon found that converting the contents of paper reports into digital format soon became a pleasurable task. It was reassuring to know that my input was being quality-assured by the HER Officers.
I am pleased to have assisted in the conversion of the paper archaeology reports into digital format. Seeing the digital versions of the reports online using Archwilio is amazing, as so much archaeological knowledge from Wales' history is instantly available. The Access to Archaeology project has opened up access to archaeological sites in Wales from any period of history for everyone.
I also learnt from the environment of the HER Office, from a layperson's view, a little of how modern archaeology works, and of the structure and planning that go into looking after the heritage of this part of Wales.
I feel very lucky to live in Wales and be able to access the work of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust and to have the resources of Archwilio and Coflein so freely available online. In my view the Access to Archaeology project has been an immense success.
Thanks to everyone at the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust for making my stay so pleasant and memorable.