Manchester Geological Association

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Newsletter - December 2008

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Our lectures are back in the Williamson Building from January 2009.

So come along on Saturday January 17th to the Earth Sciences Department and enjoy a fabulous afternoon of talks on the Cretaceous World.

Coffee, tea and biscuits in the interval!

Members will have received their free copy of the super new edition of the Manchester Building Stones Field Guide prepared by Fred Broadhurst and Morven Simpson. More copies can be purchased for your friends and relatives at the reduced price of £3 + £1 pp from Fred Broadhurst, at 77 Clumber Road, Poynton, Cheshire, SK12 1 NW

It’s that time of year folks! Subscriptions are due on the 1st of January. It will greatly help our Membership Secretary Fred Owen if your subs can reach him before the end of January . Please send the enclosed membership form with your subs, noting any changes in your details (address, phone or email).

The MGA has been ranging far and wide this year.... across the seas no less.... more field reports follow.

It's nearly time for the AGM .......

Is it time for YOU to join the happy band of MGA Council members??

Make your New Year resolution NOW

Your MGA needs YOU!

There’s nothing more to say except to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Mary Howie, newsletter editor

PS Some members are already signed up to electronic newsletters…. You can have this in glorious Technicolor if you wish, just let me know, by email:


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Greater Manchester RIGS Group

I attended a meeting of the North West Region Geodiversity Partnership in September, 2008, at Natural England, Wigan. Amongst the items discussed were how to spend the funding received from Natural England, Site Selection Criteria, a logo for the Partnership, a constitution, and the Partnership’s name. A decision was taken that the Partnership would now be known as the North West Geodiversity Partnership.

The Greater Manchester Local Geology Action Plan (GMLGAP) has now been finalised and will be distributed by Greater Manchester Geological Unit (GMGU) for consultation.

The Warden of Healey Dell Country Park, Rochdale, has asked GMRIGS to undertake a geological survey of the Country Park. This is to go alongside the Ecology and Archaeology Reports on the Park’s website and education programme. If you would like to be involved in the survey or have any maps or information which might help then please contact me.

Marjorie E. Mosley, GMRIGS Group, November 2008

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Historic Observations!

The Island all Night vomited Fire and Smoak very amazingly; and at every belch we heard a dreadful Noise like Thunder and saw a Flame of Fire after it, the most terrifying that I ever saw. The Intervals between the belches, were about half a Minute, some more, others less: neither were these Pulses or Eruptions alike; for some were but faint Convulsions, in Comparison of the more vigorous, yet even the weakest vented a great deal of Fire; but the largest made a roaring Noise, and sent up a large Flame 20 or 30 Yards high; and then might be seen a great Stream of Fire running down to the Foot of the Island, even to the Shore. From the Furrows made by this descending Fire, we could in the Day Time see great Smoaks arise, which probably were made by the sulpherous matter thrown out of the Funnel at the Top, which tumbling down to the Bottom, and there lying in a Heap, burn'd till either consumed or extinguished; and as long as it burn'd and kept its Heat, so long the Smoak ascende d from it; which we perceived to increase or decrease, according to the Quantity of Matter discharged from the Funnel.

William Dampier, A Voyage to New Holland, 1699

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Report of MGA field trip to Liverpool, October 2008

Jane Michael has written a report about the field trip to Liverpool

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Report of MGA field trip to the Isle of Man, October 2008

Jane Michael, Marjorie Mosley, Jim Spencer and Mary Howie have written a report about the field trip to the Isle of Man

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Here are two recently published books about the geology in our region.

The Ice Age in the Lake District

If you are into the Quaternary, at £3.99 post free from Rigg Side Publications, 10 Grange Side, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4AY, this looks good! It's a new full colour 60 page booklet A5 size. Fully illustrated with 63 specially drawn maps, diagrams and colour photographs.

ISBN : 0-9544679-2-2 Check it out on

Minerals of Northern England

R F Symes and B Young

The geology of northern England
The mines and minerals
Collecting and collectors
The minerals

Co-published by NMS Enterprises - Publishing and the Natural History Museum

Look on for details

On offer at £25 from the National Museum of Scotland web site

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