Some members of the Prehistoric Group have recently catalogued a small collection of lithics deposited at the Lightbox, Woking. These items were collected by Mr Arthur Raymond Bliaux, who had been headmaster of Horsell Primary School from before WW2 until about 1946.
Richard Christophers kindly arranged for the group to access this collection and has provided some information about Mr Bliaux who was born in Jersey in 1881 but by 1911 was teaching in Alresford.. During WW2 he was involved in assimilating evacuees around Horsell as well as being Chief Warden in Civil Defence, resigning from this in 1944 when a testimonial book (now in the History Centre) was given to him. In 1951 he was commissioned by the Woking Review to write a series ‘North West Surrey in English history’ and five years later was asked to revise it as ‘Our forgotten past’ which was again reprinted in 1971. There is a photo of him in the 23 January 1953 issue of the Woking News & Mail, when he placed his services at the disposal of a Coronation pageant committee. In this article mention is made of his “fine collection of prehistoric and historic weapons, utensils and fossils”. Mr Bliaux died in 1963.
Having catalogued the collection of lithics we would agree that there are some good examples of early stone tools. Highlights include 11 Palaeolithic handaxes, 4 leaf arrowheads, 3 barbed and tanged arrowheads, 5 scrapers and there are also a number of flakes and blades. Unfortunately none are provenanced so have limited use as research material: however, they are excellent items for display and teaching purposes.
Our thanks must go to the working party of Judie English, Roger Ellaby, Chris Taylor, Robin Tanner, Keith Winser and Ken Waters. David Williams has also participated in some sessions.