TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


As the Society grows, it is intended that a series of books and pamphlets will be published in-house.


This page will also feature, from time to time, other publications that may be of particular interest. 

Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed, Antony Chessell, softback, 276 pages, TillVAS, 2014, £10.00

Foreword by Rt. Hon. Lord Joicey, Ford & Etal Estates

The author is donating the proceeds from the sale of this book to TillVAS

The book looks at the various sections of the two river valleys between the source of the River Breamish in the Cheviot Hills and the junction between the River Till and the River Tweed at Tillmouth (The River Breamish becomes the River Till at Bewick Mill). The author has been on a subjective journey looking at archaeology, flora and fauna, history, geology, and things that just appealed to him on an 'as and when' basis as he came across them.

The aim of the book is to give some background information on the area of study identified at the beginning of the Constitution of the Till Valley Archaeological Society, but information that will be of interest to the general reader who likes the countryside of north Northumberland.

This is the first in-house publication by TillVAS and copies of the book will be available at TillVAS meetings and exhibitions and at local retail outlets in north Northumberland including Cornhill Village Shop, Lavender Tearooms, Etal and Ford Village Shop.

The book may also be purchased online. Just click on:-  www.lulu.com/spotlight/antonychessell 

TillVAS members may remember that the story of Andrew Todd, born in 1844 in Crookham, was featured in one of the Society's exhibitions held at Heatherslaw Mill. Research by Val Glass on local schools led to the story being featured in the exhibition. Andrew had graduated from Glasgow University but all trace of him had disappeared after 1871. A chance meeting between Heather Pentland and descendants (one of them from America) of Andrew Todd provided a crucial contact that enabled them to see the information in the exhibition. As a result, it was discovered that Andrew had emigrated to New Zealand in 1874, married Blanche Jones from England and become a government surveyor. In 1883, the family (eventually there were 8 children) moved to America where Andrew became a farmer in Oregon. He died tragically in 1908 from a farming accident.

Now, one of the descendants, Vivien Wilcock from Yorkshire, has published a book on Andrew Todd's life-story, featuring his diary during the voyage to New Zealand.  Copies of the book are available for sale through TillVAS.

The photograph shows Heather Pentland and Val Glass (top row) and Vivien Wilcock (below right) with Vivien's husband, Dennis, who was involved in the design and production side of the book.

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© TillVAS


TillVAS is looking for volunteers to help with research. Please see archaeology page for details.

The next TillVAS talk will be on Wed 6th Feb 2019 at 7.30 in Crookham Village Hall. The title is Operation Nightingale which tells the story of the initiative to help rehabilitate injured soldiers through archaeology.

Lowick Heritage Group
On Monday 14th January (7.30pm) we have our first talk of 2019 when Peter Calder will tell us about some of his memories of his time as a farm manager.

Bowsden History Group


The first meeting of 2019 programme is on Monday 4th February, 7.30pm at Bowsden Village Hall


Dr Mike Oliver on 
From Pirates to Poets
Dr Oliver, a historian and an authority on naval history, has written three nautical novels set in the period of the Napoleonic Wars. His talk will concentrate on some of the great sailors who have connections with Northumberland.


The Society has an extensive collection of documents and photographs held in its secure archives. These are invaluable for members wishing to study the local history of the area or wishing to gather information for e.g. the  Village Atlas Project. Please click on the tag above to see the catalogues. Anyone wishing to access the archives should contact the Society's Archivist, Maureen Charlton or the Assistant Archivist, Julia Day.


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Please click on the Latest Newsletter page to see information for the current month.


Click on Reports on Events, above, for detailed accounts and press reports.


The Society operates a bookstall at all its meetings.

Items for sale include:-

1. The Society's first publication Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed at £10 per copy and

2. Vivian Wilcock's Andrew Todd 1844-1908 ( with research input by TillVAS members) at £5 per copy.

See the Publications page for more about these books. Copies of Breamish and Till are also available in Cornhill Village Shop and the Lavender Tea Rooms and Village Shop in Etal.


There are also archaeological books and journals for sale. Net proceeds of sale go to TillVAS funds.