Study Group for Roman Pottery

Ghent Conference 2006

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Conference - Ghent - Fri 30th - Sun 2nd July 2006

Details of Booking, Programme, Hotel and Travel

The Conference

As previously announced the 2006 annual conference will take place in Ghent, Belgium, this year between 30th June and 2nd July. It is being organized principally by our member Wim de Clercq, together with his colleagues at the University of Ghent (Arjen Bosman and Wouter Dhaeze), plus Xavier Deru and Steven Willis. Ghent is renowned as one of Europe’s most charming historic cities and the conference is housed in the very centre of the city in the 13th Century ‘Het Pand’. The complex is a delightful former monastery and now part of the University; it is a spacious building with 21st century AV and conference facilities. This is a stunning venue. The hotel accommodation lies just opposite in the comfortable and good value Ibis Opera (Oper) Hotel. An evening reception is planned and a Conference Dinner.

The Conference is suitably focused around themes and latest research in Roman period pottery either side of the Channel. There is an exciting programme of lectures. Themes include recent work in Belgium and France, cross-Channel issues such as trade, the military (including the Saxon Shore), comparative ‘Romanization’, with a special theme of BBW. The conference, as usual for our annual meetings, takes place over 3 days. Conference starts on the Friday (30th June) after lunch, finishing at lunch-time on the Sunday. There will be a trip on the Saturday afternoon to view museum collections of Roman and other pottery.

It is anticipated that c. 50+ delegates will attend from Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and Luxembourg, in addition to the British contingent, so there will be opportunities to meet international colleagues, to explore common and contrasting ground, as well as the chance to view a variety of pottery types from the near Continent traded and otherwise.

This year the arrangement will be that members/delegates book their accommodation direct themselves with the Hotel where we are staying. This is the Ibis Opera Ghent (details below). This has been decided as the best option and the most convenient for those attending the conference as you can book to your own requirements. The reception staff (and one imagines most of the Hotel staff) are fluent English speakers, as is widely the case in the Flemish region of Belgium. You will find the arrangements for booking the hotel are straight forward.


The programme is organized around the themes outlined above. Confirmed speakers include: Fiona Seeley (London), Malcolm Lyne (BBW, trade and supply) Jane Timby (The Gallo-Belgic pottery project), Vivien Swan, Paul Booth (Channel Tunnel Rail Link sites), Xavier Deru (Champagne Gallo-Belgic wares and the British connection), Sonja Willems (north Gaulish mortaria), Wouter Dhaeze (Boulogne), Marleen Martens (Roman pottery from the ‘small town’ at Tienen, Belgium), Raph Clotuche (NE France area excavations and pot), Frédéric Loridant (Roman pottery in Nord-Pas-de-Calais), Wouter Dhaeze, Sofie Vanhoutte and Wim De Clercq (the pottery from the Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ fort and settlement at Oudenburg, near Ostend), Johan Deschieter (synthesis of the pottery from the Roman town at Velzeke, Belgium), and Wim de Clercq & Patrick Degryse (Waalre grey ware in Flanders).

There are one or two slots still left for papers so offers of papers are still welcome, especially if these relate to Conference themes. If you wish to propose a paper please contact Steven Willis in the first instance.


Booking of Hotel

Accommodation has been arranged with the Ibis Opera Hotel Ghent at a reduced rate (as we are an academic gathering and via connections with the University of Ghent). The Ibis Opera lies in the centre of Ghent, very close to the Conference centre.

Some 35 members have previously expressed an intention or interest in attending the conference and somewhat more than this number of rooms (some double) have been set aside by the Hotel on our behalf whilst other rooms have been earmarked for continental delegates. Note that these rooms have not been set aside for particular named people. For this to happen you must now formally book. If you have not previously expressed an interest in attending do not let this hinder you from now attending and booking the Hotel. Rooms will be filled on a ‘first come, first served’ basis as you book direct with the Hotel. The Hotel has c. 134 rooms so hopefully if you book in reasonable time you should have a room, although Ghent is a popular destination for tourists and so the Hotel could get booked if one leaves it late. There will, of course, be alternatives.

Our hotel is:
IBIS OPERA, IBIS GENT HOTELS, tel +32 9233 0000 fax +32 9233 1000


The arrangement is that individuals either phone, email or Fax the hotel to make their own arrangements. Simply state that you wish to book accommodation for X number of nights and state your specific needs. Mention the "SGRP 2006 Ghent Conference-Ibis-Opera" in arrangement with the University of Ghent, when booking; this will ensure you get a reserved room and a reduced fee. If faxing or phoning the staff member dealing with conferences is Katrin so speak to her or mark Faxes for her attention. If phoning this is best after 9.00am our time and in the weekdays.

The cost is €69 (c. £48) a night, €79 (£55) with breakfast. Members state the Ibis Hotel is good quality accommodation at good value and that the breakfasts represent good value too. You can book for the Thursday night if you wish, this being a consideration since the Conference begins immediately after lunch on Friday.

A number of members have now booked their accommodation via these various means and its easy. If you do not wish to give your credit card number over email you can fax this to the hotel. Your credit card information will only be used as a guarantee and booking confirmation, the actual payment will be done at your arrival.

This price is entirely in line with what we have been expecting since last summer - so that is re-assuring.

Conference Fee

The Conference fee will be £38 (or £18 if one opts out of the Conference Dinner on Friday evening – this being the ‘Flemish Beer Meal’ (see below)).

As normally the Conference fee will cover such aspects as the hire of facilities (rooms, AV equipment, portage), tea/coffee, Saturday sandwich lunch, Saturday coach trip, museum entry fees and the Friday evening conference meal: a 'Flemish Beer Meal' (the fee for the latter includes both drinks and food at c. £20).

Conference fees should be sent as a cheque made payable to ‘Study Group for Roman Pottery’ and be posted to:
Louise Rayner, Hon. Treasurer, 121 Church Road, TEDDINGTON, Middlesex, TW11 8QH.


By Rail

Enquiries made in April on costs of Eurostar fares from London Waterloo to Ghent produced the following information.

There is a direct train from Waterloo to Brussels every 2 hours (sometimes more frequently).

A fare from Waterloo to Ghent costs presently £29.50 each way – travelling that is on Thursday 29th June and returning on Monday. Non-flexible fares are cheapest.

A fare for a journey on Friday or Sunday may be more expensive. Hence travel this way is no more expensive than travel to a conference in Britain. Fares will be likely to increase as one gets nearer the date. One can book via the Eurostar Website using a credit card.

The journey from Waterloo to Ghent (‘Gent Sint Pieters train station’) may take 3 hrs and 30 minutes with a break of a half an hour to change trains at Brussels Midi Station for Ghent, Sint Pieters Station. From the station it is 0.9 of a mile to the hotel.

By Ferry

Enquiries made in April on costs of return sailings from Dover to Calais produced the following quotes.

A P & O return leaving midday Thursday 29th June and returning in the evening on Sunday 2nd July based on one car and 2 people gave a quote of £70. Phone: 0870 520 2020
A Sea France return leaving midday Thursday 29th June and returning in the evening on Sunday 2nd July based on one car and 2 people gave a quote of £108. Phone: 0870 571 1711
These are ‘moment in time’ quotes and costs may go down, or more likely up nearer to the time.

By Car

It is 98miles from the port of Calais to Ghent, and takes about 1hr 40 minutes as the roads are very easy, relatively clear and direct. The Ibis Hotel website has a map showing its location in Ghent.

The Ibis Hotel has car parking and this costs 13 euros (£9) per day; it may be that we can arrange some free car parking at the nearby University car park.

Much of the city centre of Ghent is car free, though this should not be an issue for those arriving in the city from the motorway as one can drive direct to the hotel/university quarter. Note that Ghent is a comparatively large centre so be prepared with regards to navigation.


BA flights from London airports, quoted at £44 for one way, so £88 overall (including taxes). Departing from Heathrow or Gatwick. Website is
Slightly cheaper flights seem to be provided by SN Brussels Airlines at £85.30 (including taxes) from London Gatwick to Brussels but only two flights came up for 30 June so there is a limitation. The flight takes just over an hour. From Manchester this takes about 1 hour, 20 mins, and the cheapest cost, again seems to be from SN Brussels Airlines, quoted at £86.00; found at

Most international flights go to the Brussels National airport. You can catch a train from Brussels National airport to Brussels Midi railway station where you can catch a train to Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station. The train journey from Brussels to Ghent takes about 35 minutes. However, a few flights do go into the Chareloi airport which is south of Brussels. There is a coach service from Chareloi to Brussels Midi Rail station which costs 10 Euros and takes an hour. From there you can catch the train to Ghent (see above).

Car hire at the airport is an option.

Official website for Belgium Tourism in UK is

See you there!

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