1st July 1946 - 24th June 2013
Mick Aston who died suddenly at the age of 66, was a leading academic archaeologist who attracted a large public following through the channel four Time Team programme. With his unkempt hair and beard, and multi-coloured sweaters, and his Black Country accent he introduced archaeology and made it fun and interesting to a wide section of people who hadn't experienced it before.
He began his career in 1970 as field officer for the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock. In 1974 he became the first Somerset county archaeologist. During his career he taught at the University of Birmingham, University of Oxford and the University of Bristol. He was an emeritus professor at Bristol University after his retirement.
There is lots written on various obituaries on his various achievements, which I am sure we have all read, but for our society he was a valued friend and came to talk to us many times. Unfailingly generous with his time to linger after and answer questions we had. He was a genuine man with an unfailing enthusiasm for archaeology and he managed to infect all of us with his passion. We will all miss him.
A Memory of Mick Aston's final talk to WANHS by Peter Johnson
The Winscombe Project so far
For most of us Mick's visit to the Society in April was to be a final goodbye, for some ten weeks later we were to learn the sad news of his death on 24 June. We were fortunate to have so unique a figure as a near neighbour, and over the years he had spoken to the Society several times, notably refusing on one occasion to be deterred by some very wintry conditions.
Mick talked with enthusiasm of the mapping study of early documents, excavation, building surveys and test pits that were all contributing to an overall picture of the history of this peculiarly shaped parish.
He was always insistent on the importance of publication. We send our condolences to his many collaborators in Winscombe and hope that though grieving, they will be able to see the work through so that in due course we will all be able to share the outcome of Mick Aston's final project.