Following up on a historical story

If you work on a weekly newspaper long enough it is likely some of the people you meet and write about will go on to be famous in the field of their choice.

While working in Rhyl many of the people I knew socially, or met as part of my work, were either already known or were in a position or family that would lead to them becoming known.

As it happens the story I referred to last time introduced me to a young man who went on to be prominent in his academic field.

If you remember I got a call out to Bodrhyddan Hall, Rhuddlan, to meet a mummy which had been found in what was believed to have been an empty sarcophagus – one of two at the hall which had been there since the 19th century.

The young man was archaeology student Peter Rowley Conwy, son of Lord Langford. He had become curious about the sarcophagus, which according to family legend had been at the hall since the early 1800s. It was thought that this item, and another sarcophagus, had begun to smell in the late 1800s and the contents were supposedly dumped in the grounds.

Peter Rowley Conwy, in 1971, with the 3,000-year-old mummy he uncovered at his family home

Peter had asked an eminent Egyptologist, John Ruffle, to examine the artefact and it was found to contain the 3,000-year-old mummified body of an Egyptian priest.

Fifty years later and young Peter is now an eminent archaeologist himself with a professorship at Durham University, having gone there as a lecturer in 1990.

There he had met John Ruffle again, even though their archaeological interests were far apart.

Professor Ruffle was still one of the most eminent Egyptologists in the country.

One of the books by eminent Egyptologist John Ruffle

Peter, meanwhile, had concentrated on the hunter-gatherers of the Neolithic period as well as the prehistoric economics of Denmark from 3700 BC to 2300 BC.

He had also examined the role of the domesticated pig in the prehistoric ages.

Geoffrey Rowley-Conway, 9th Baron Langford, who lived to the ripe old age of 105

What did surprise me, however, was to find that Peter’s father, Geoffrey Alexander Rowley-Conwy, 9th Baron Longford, had only died four years ago, 2017, at the grand old age of 105.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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