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Newsletter - December 2009

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This should reach you in time to say Happy Christmas. I hope that this year has been good for you. We certainly have had a rich programme of geological events, and these continue in the New Year thanks to the efforts of our various organisers, speakers and leaders.

In January we have an afternoon in the Precambrian, February brings the AGM and our President’s lecture, “Various Volcanoes” and our last indoor meeting is a joint one with the Geographical Society.

January is also time to pay your subscriptions.. Please help Fred Owen by paying promptly. If you sign a standing order you won’t forget!

The proposed visit to Newfoundland with Joe Macquaker is postponed till 2011, but in the meantime John Nudds has offered to take a group to North Germany, in May. Contact Marjorie Mosley if you are interested in going, ASAP.

The Herdman Symposium in Liverpool , the Shell lecture and GEMS Seminars in Manchester are all aimed at students, but MGA members are welcome and will find them very interesting.

Most of you will already know that our very dear friend and Honorary Member, Fred Broadhurst, died in October. He will be greatly missed by many. many folks; Derek Brumhead has written a lovely tribute to him.

With all good wishes for the festive season and 2010.

Mary Howie, MGA Newsletter Editor

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MGA visit to North Germany

Proposed MGA visit to North Germany - May 2010

More amazing fossils of Germany …..

Dr John Nudds (Manchester University and MGA Hon Member) has offered to take a group of MGA members to Germany next May.

Probable dates will be May 28th - June 3rd , 2010 (or one day either side).

This will be a modestly priced visit, staying in local Guest houses and travelling around in self-drive minibus (es ).

We plan to fly to Frankfurt from Manchester…...
Visit the Messel Pit and Darmstadt Museum.
Drive to Halle and see the Geiseltal opencast pit and the Halle Museum
Take a steam train ride up The Brocken (Harz Mountains)
Continue to Berlin to visit the Humbolt Museum (Berlin Archaeopteryx) and Pergamon Museum (Gates of Babylon) and other tourist sites
Returning after 6 days to Manchester by air from Berlin.

We shall stay for two nights at :- Darmstadt, Halle and Berlin.

If you are interested in joining this group please contact Marjorie Mosley ASAP 0161 432 4343 or

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Greater Manchester RIGS Group

For the past few weeks, Sue and I have been compiling a spreadsheet containing brief details of each of the 700 geological site records held in the Manchester Museum. This list was requested by Greater Manchester Geological Unit and will be circulated by them to all ten Greater Manchester Authorities and any other interested parties.

Research on the Victorian geology trail in Rochdale Cemetery is progressing very well.

Marjorie E. Mosley, Secretary, Greater Manchester RIGS Group

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In Memoriam - Fred Broadhurst

Derek Brumhead has written a tribute to Fred.

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The Building Stones of Manchester University

Marjorie Mosley has written a report about the field trip to see the Building Stones of Manchester University and its environs

Matthew Jones (aged 13) is now a regular on our field trips and at our meetings (he makes his Mum and Dad come along too!) He has sent us his account of the Building Stones day.

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Trekking in the Himalayas

Our secretary has been trekking. She writes:

I recently undertook two treks in the Himalayas. One was on the Singalila Ridge in West Bengal and from which we got stunning views of the Everest group (including Lhotse and Makalu) and the Kanchenjunga group.

Dawn striking Everest
Dawn striking Everest

The second one was in Sikkim where we trekked to the Goecha La viewpoint (at 4680m) to see Kanchenjunga at close quarters.

Lateral moraines in front of Kanchenjunga with a, now small, glacier, covered with rock debris and a river issuing from beneath it
Lateral moraines in front of Kanchenjunga with a, now small, glacier, covered with rock debris and a river issuing from beneath it

The rocks were a mixture of gneisses and schists, although the most noticeable features at the pass were the many lateral and medial moraines and debris-covered retreating glaciers.

Jane Michael

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Study Tour to the Swiss Alps

Professor Paul Selden and a swiss colleague, Danny Stockli, are leading a study tour to the Swiss Alps from 22nd May 2010 to 5th June 2010 centred on Luzern, Zermatt, Wengen & Locano.

Details are on Paul's website

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Geology Courses in Lyme Regis

The Natural History Museum is joining together with the Field Studies Council, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team and Lyme Regis Development Trust to offer a range of natural science courses operating from the town in February and March 2010.

Check out their website for details of some super courses. (I can personally recommend FSC courses as being very good value for money. Ed.)

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