When I left the Alexander Keiller Museum in April 1984, my hope was to make a new living from writing, photography and broadcasting. In the event, much of my time came to be taken up helping my then wife Hilary Howard run an increasingly busy – and award-winning – vegetarian restaurant, known as Stones, across the yard from the museum building. The two cookbooks which I edited for the restaurant were amongst a handful of publications that went out under my imprints of Stones Print and, later, Digging Deeper.
Nonetheless, I was busy with my own work from the start. There were then almost no postcards on sale in Avebury beyond the Department of Environment set (or English Heritage from 1984), small wan things that had been bypassed by years of progress in printing, photography and design. I’d published two or three postcards around 1980 (a graveyard shot seemed particularly popular with school kids, then in Avebury in large numbers). I thought I’d be more adventurous, and in 1985 I published 14 larger format photocards, and a guidebook called Footprints through Avebury. They were innovative products.
Years passed, other people launched more and more postcards, and my sales dropped. But by the time of my last print in 2003, I’d sold hundreds of thousands of cards. Footprints through Avebury was in print for 22 years and sold some 90,000 copies in several editions. A smaller, more photo-driven guide to Stonehenge and Avebury is still available.
I first traded under my own name, then as Stones Print. I adopted Digging Deeper in 1995 – to reflect the fact that by then my business had come to embrace more than just publishing, most of my work being linked to communication and archaeology. Digging Deeper became a limited company in 2010.The two spades logo first appeared in print in 1995.
Meanwhile I gained experience in radio and television broadcasting, journalism and book writing, while continuing to research and publish archaeological articles and practice photography. This remains the mix of work I do now – along with editing British Archaeology.
You can read posts that specifically refer to the story of Digging Deeper here.
• Digging Deeper Ltd is registered as a limited company in England & Wales no. 7363237. Registered address is at 43–45 Devizes Road, SWINDON SN1 4BG. Directors are Mike Pitts & Nicola Russell. Digging Deeper is a registered trade mark