In 1994, while he was at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Rodney held the first meeting for the founding of the East Midlands Earth Structure Society. This is a group of conservationists, architects, builders and house holders who are interested in buildings made from earth. These structures include Lincolnshire's mud-and-stud cottages. It is appropriate that the short name for a society which enjoys working with wet, sticky mud, is EMESS - in other words ...ee-mess!
Rodney wrote a unique and informative book about mud-and-stud buildings in Lincolnshire. This followed his project to move an unwanted mud-and-stud cottage from the village of Withern to the Church Farm Museum in Skegness. With EMESS members, he attended the international conference on earthen buildings called Tera 2000 in Torquay, and sold lots of copies of his book there!
Over the years since, in EMESS and as its chairman, Rodney gave talks himself and organised talks by others. He organised walkabouts around villages where there were mud-and-stud cottages. He also arranged practical demonstrations of mud-and-stud building techniques. Most recently, these have focused on the repair of a barn at Tumby Moorside, which is a listed building. He was there on the 10th and 11th September this year, showing people around, for the National Heritage Open Days, and that was his last activity for EMESS.
Within EMESS, Rodney was an enthusiastic erson who was full of life, giving his all to everything in which he was involved. The members of EMESS will feel this loss greatly, both as a friend and as an advocate for earth buildings.