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Newsletter - September 2006

Dear Member,

A bumper edition this time, for during this long hot summer, thanks to Jane’s efforts, we’ve had some super outings “on the rocks” . Field reports follow below and more next time!

Now we are looking forward to the rich programme of lectures that Jim has arranged for us this winter. Notes and details are on the Indoor Meetings page. Please note start times of 1.30 pm for the afternoon seminars.

If you are thinking of coming along in May 2007 to the Lagerstätten of southern Germany you need to let Jane Michael know as soon as possible, then she can go ahead to arrange dates and bookings. It will be a modestly priced trip, using self-drive mini-buses and staying in pleasant guesthouses (see advert in June newsletter).

If you live in Lancashire or north Manchester, please support our RIGS team and go to Wigan Library next week - details follow.

I’m delighted that so many of you are sending contributions to the newsletter, please keep them coming folks. See you all soon

Mary Howie, newsletter editor


Holiday geology

Betty has been to Jersey this summer

She writes:-
I have just returned from a week on Jersey and would like to advise anyone intending to visit to buy a copy of “Jersey Geology Trail” by RAH Nichols PhD. A series of explanitory notes on selected traverses. It is well illustrated and has clear, detailed maps of the ares to be studied. It is meant to be used in conjunction with the BGS “Classical Areas of British Geology, Jersey” 1989.

The booklet can be obtained from the main museum in St Helier. It should cost £12.50. As there is an excellent bus service throughout the island the selected areas are easily reached. There is also a small museum at La Hogue Brie which has numerous well displayed samples.

Of course there is lots more to see and do besides geology, from Neolithic Tombs to Medieval Castles and beautiful beaches.

Betty Whitehead


Greater Manchester RIGS Group

There are over 700 geological sites of potential interest in Greater Manchester. Members and Volunteers of Greater Manchester RIGS Group are in the process of assessing their existence and accessibility, with the ultimate aim of designating some as Regionally Important Geological Sites, which may include their use for educational purposes. As the geology has already been professionally recorded in the 1970’s and 80’s onto sheets held in the Manchester Museum, the task of assessment is relatively straightforward.

We would like to involve members of the MGA in this process of site assessment, so come on folks, please lend us a hand with this interesting and rewarding activity.

If you would like to know more or become involved, pay a visit to our display in Wigan Library, College Avenue, during the week Monday 2nd October to Saturday 7th October 2006, or contact Marjorie E. Mosley, on 0161 432 4343 or email Sue Plumb at sueplumb1@aol.com

Marjorie E. Mosley, Secretary, Greater Manchester RIGS Group.


Mostly too late for this year, but Geotours and Rockwalks run guided walks and tours in Britain’s first UNESCO European Geopark, the North Pennines. They are an initiative of the North Pennines AONB Partnership and are supported by Lottery and others. Their last walk this year is on 19 October - From Quarry to Village (Blanchland).

Go to their website for their programme:- www.northpennines.org.uk or email info@northpenninesaonb.org.uk


Art at the Rock face: The Fascination of Stone

An exhibition in Sheffield from 23rd September 2006 to 7th January 2007

This exhibition at The Millennium Galleries in Sheffield looks like a MUST for those of us interested in both Geology and Art.

Exhibits range from prehistoric rock engravings, through Egyptian statues to watercolours, paintings, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Turner, Magritte, Ruskin and Byrne-Jones, and many others along with sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein. Works of art have been borrowed from the British Museum, the Tate, the V & A and many other galleries round Britain as well as from private collectors.

Sculpture, jewellery, pigments are all represented and explored as well as photographs taken by Victorian explorers and Cecil Beaton, Francis Frith and others.

I’ve not been yet, but the report in the June edition of the GA Magazine is really enticing.

I’m looking forward immensely to popping over to Sheffield, revisiting some old favourites and enjoying what looks to be, particularly for geologists, a very exciting exhibition.

Mary Howie


The Geologists' Association is holding a Festival of Geology at University College, London on Saturday November 4th from 10am to 4pm. There is a rich programme of events and talks, Sunday morning walks with Eric Robinson and others. Details on the GA website www.geologist.demon.co.uk or Tel: 020 7434 9298


Geology Courses for the public at The University of Manchester CCE this winter

Earth: Our Evolving Dynamic Planet
10 Wednesdays 1.30 –3.30 pm, starting 11th Oct 2006
Christine Arkwright and Chris Horsfall
Rocks and Relief
5 Thursdays 6.30 –8.30 pm, starting 5th Oct 2006
Paul Aplin
Great Discoveries in Geology
10 Wednesdays 1.30 –3.30 pm, starting 17th Jan 2007
John Pollard and John Wadsworth
Magmatic Differentiation - A Global perspective
7 Saturdays, 10.00 am—1.00 pm fortnightly starting 4th November 2006
John Wadsworth (advanced level, no exam)
The Building Stones of Manchester - A City Visit
Sunday 15th Oct 10.30 am—4.00 pm
Fred Broadhurst
The Building Stones of Manchester - Workshop & Guide
Sat 10 Feb 2007 10.00 am—4.00 pm
Fred Broadhurst
For details and/or brochure ring CCE 0161 275 3275 : email:- cce.reception@manchester.ac.uk or visit www.manchester.ac.uk/continuingeducation


Reports of three field trips from Summer 2006 follow:
Rossendale Forest and North Manchester, June 2006 - click here
Anglezarke and Rivington, July 2006 - click here
Anglesey, August 2006 - click here



Derek Brumhead has sent me a fascinating cutting from the Daily Telegraph of August 22, far too long to do more than give a few quick points. Most of the info seems to come from the journal Palaeontology.

They lived from 220 Ma till the great extinction at around 65 Ma.
Their wing spans ranged from 30 cm to 10 m.
They could take off from the ground.
They couldn’t flap their wings, but they could angle the leading edge of their wings.
They were very similar to hang gliders.
Their crests were only fully developed in adults.
They probably didn’t fish by skimming along the water surface.
They probably had good colour vision.
They were not strong enough to carry off Raquel Welch!

Drs Dave Mantill and Darren Naish of Portsmouth University have recently found a rare juvenile skull of Tupuxuara in Brazil with a very unusual crest.

Dr Matthew Wilkinson and model maker Vivian Bock at Cambridge have just made a huge model of Anhanguara ultra to fly over the fens and demonstrate its flying abilities.


Help needed!!!
The MGA Council is in need of a Minutes Secretary.
If you can spare 2 hours 4 times a year, and can listen and write,
this could be the job for you.
All the current Council members already have jobs, so what about it?
Please tell Michael Aiers if you can help your association in this way.
No previous experience needed.


Events Elsewhere

MGA members are welcome as guests at events of the following societies. Ring the contact given for details of times and places and to book in, or look at their web sites via our 'Links' page.

Cumberland Geological Society
Ring contact for details

Gogledd Cymru (N Wales) OUGS
27/28 Oct - Anglesey weekend with Ros Todhunter and Chris Arkwright. Contact Chris on 01772 335316

Lancashire Group GA
Ring contact for details

Leeds Geological Society
Ring contact for details

Liverpool Geological Society
Tues 10th Oct 7.30 pm - Presidential talk by Norman Harrison 'From RIGS to riches' - a look at the geology of Cheshire through RIGS

North Staffordshire Group GA
12th Oct - Geomorphology, Tim Harris
9 November - Volcanoes and research in Iceland, Dr Dave McGarvie

North Wales GA
Wed 18th Oct 7.30 pm, Conwy Civic Hall - 'Unravelling the folds at Rhoscolyn, Anglesey' by Dr Sue Treagus

Oldham Geological Society
Sat 7th Oct - Castleton, Bill Hotchkiss
Wed 1st Nov - Etna DVD, Ron Powell
Sat 11th Nov - Forest of Bowland, Stewart Clarke
Wed 6th Dec - Xmas activities

Open University Geological Society NW Branch
27/29 Oct - Anglesey weekend, Ros Todhunter
Sun 3rd Dec - Lectures at Rainhill

Shropshire Geological society
Ring contact for details

Westmorland Geological Society
Ring contact for details

Contacts for the above events:-
Cumberland GS --- Dennis Dickens 01697 321375
Gogledd Cymru (OUGS) --- Rachel Atherton 01942 270152
Lancashire GA --- Jennifer Rhodes 0124 811 203
Leeds GS --- Howard Dunhill 01423 868643
Liverpool GS ---Tom Metcalf 0151 286 9975
North Staffs GA --- Gerald Ford 01630 673409
North Wales GA --- Fred Owen 01565 651004
Shropshire GS --- David Pannett 01743 850773
Oldham GS --- Andrew Tenny 01706 372450
OUGS NW --- Ian Barrow 0161 969 6229
Westmorland GS --- Pam Wilson 015395 33198


See your name in print... Share your experiences… Send me your photos
The next newsletter will be in December. Send any copy to me by November 20th at the latest please.
Mary Howie - newsletter@mangeolassoc.org.uk
or Snail Mail to Kinder View, 118 Glossop Road, Marple Bridge, Stockport SK6 5EL.
Tel: 0161 427 2965
Views expressed in the Newsletter are not necessarily those of the Association
or its Council.