Available Now: Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman

The Latest News From the Yorkshire Geological Society

IMPORTANT - Update on YGS Events and Covid-19

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 16 March of social distancing measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, all YGS events have been POSTPONED. until further notice.

Please continue to visit this page for News about our events. We may consider re-scheduling postponed events later in 2020, though we are not able to advise on likely dates at the present time.

NEW! Circular 628 now available to download

Hot from the press, the our latest Circular is now available to download from our Circular archive.

Featuring information on the upcoming meeting on Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste on Monday 30th March 2020 at University of Leeds, and other information from the YGS and Corresponding Societies.

We hope to see you at the meeting.

President's Word

The preparation of my President’s Address, which was presented after the AGM at Weetwood Hall in December 2019, involved a lot of reading of past papers and articles together with searching for photographs and further information on several of the characters that stood out as “special” or of particular interest either through a common interest or because of their persona. In past conversations with fellow geologists I have noticed that many have adopted “heroes”, usually through a common focus of interest or admiration of their work.

In preparing this article I recalled a talk I presented some years ago to the Hull Geological Society on Herbert Wroot (1868-1939), former Secretary and Editor (1917-27), Secretary (1927-29) and Vice-President (1929-34) of the Yorkshire Geological Society. He is however probably better known as co-author of the classic “Geology of Yorkshire” with Percy Fry Kendall which was published in 1924.

I was able to put together a brief outline of Wroot’s career after receiving a collection of scanned documents and photographs from Jancis Ford, a palynologist from Calgary in Canada and as a result he became something of a hero in my eyes. Jancis had read an article that I wrote (Hildreth 2000) which reclassified, using updated stratigraphic and palaeontological terminology, the sections in East Yorkshire documented by Kendall and Wroot on their excursions. Jancis’ grandfather, Ralph Ford, was the adopted nephew of Wroot and his wife, Alice (née Mercer) and moved from Bedford to live with them in Bradford where Wroot was employed as a journalist on the Bradford, later Yorkshire, Observer.

Some members may recall my short article that appeared in Circular 553 (May 2009) centred on a microscope that had belonged to Wroot and passed down to Jancis through her father. It was made in Italy (Milano) in about 1921 by F. Koristka and is a compound monocular transmitted light microscope with three folding legs which, when opened up, form a tripod that fitted onto a separate metal plate stored inside the leather case. The leather case is very badly worn with a broken leather handle and its condition suggests that it was heavily used in its earlier years and possibly spent much time on trips into the field.

In 1920 Wroot made his home in Leeds and joined the staff of "The Yorkshire Post" in which he contributed a weekly column called "Nature Lover's Diary" written with a charm and exactness that was so characteristic of all his writings. There can be little doubt that Wroot was in charge of the writing of “Geology of Yorkshire”; as Secretary of the YGS he was continually on the side of the amateur geologist and he forever hoped that the various papers read at meetings might be intelligible to the layman.

Paul Hildreth, YGS President

2020 Membership Fees Now Due

A very happy New Year to you all. Please note that Membership fees are now due for 2020; many thanks to those members that have paid their fees already (members who pay by Direct Debit will have paid their subscription automatically).

Memberships that have not been paid in full by the end of February 2020 will have a small surcharge of £2 surcharge levied against the current membership rate.

If anyone has any queries regarding their membership fees please contact membership@yorksgeolsoc.org.uk for further information.

Vacancy for Chief Editor,

Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society

Are you looking to broaden your knowledge, expertise and profile as the lead editor of a highly regarded geoscience journal? If so, the Yorkshire Geological Society (YGS) is offering an exciting opportunity to develop your skills and experience.

The Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society (PYGS) is a leading UK geoscience journal, published by the Geological Society of London (GSL) and included in the world-renowned Lyell Collection and GeoScienceWorld. Recent PYGS highlights include new research on the sedimentology and palaeoecology of brachiopod shell beds in Mississippian limestones of the Derbyshire carbonate platform, and a new record of ichthyosaur embryos preserved in utero in the Early Jurassic of Yorkshire. A thematic set of papers on the Chalk of the Northern UK Province was published in the November 2018 issue.

We are seeking a Chief Editor to lead the development of the PYGS from 2019 onwards and oversee publication of new scientific content. You will lead a team of experienced Editors and work in partnership with the Geological Society Publishing House to publish the journal and broaden its reach and impact.

Interested? Please see the job description for more details and information on how to apply.

Token of appreciation on behalf of YGS

John Peate, a member of the Society, and Regional Geologist of Hanson Aggregates, has for many years been an outstanding representative for Hanson in supporting numerous geological activities in Yorkshire and particularly through this Society. These notably included sponsoring the presentation event for the Adam Sedgwick book written by Colin Speakman and co-published by the Society, also arranging survey support and access for a number of research projects in the Yorkshire Dales and most recently allowing field excursion access to Horton Quarry.

John shortly moves on, within the Hanson organisation, to a new posting in the USA, for which we wish him well. In September, John Knight, Vice-President presented John with a framed copy of the 1821 William Smith map of Yorkshire with appropriate engraving to express our thanks and appreciation.

UPDATE: Charles Lyell's notebooks SAVED:

Appeal from the University of Edinburgh

Charles Lyell's 294 notebooks, currently in private ownership, are due to be sold abroad. The University has launched a crowd-funding appeal to seek voluntary contributions towards the £1.5m needed to save this vital historical collection. The appeal for pledges has been extended to 15 October 2019.

GOOD NEWS! This appeal has now raised the required amount and the notebooks have been saved, see the appeal website for further information.

Guide to the Geology of Bempton Cliffs created by YGS for RSPB

It is with great pleasure that we're able to inform you of the creation of a field guide by the YGS, on behalf of RSPB, the geology of Bempton Cliffs outlining the geological setting of the iconic chalk cliffs at RSPB Bempton Nature Reserve.

Hard copies of the flyer will be available in the Seabird Centre at RSPB Bempton Cliffs from Spring 2019.

Further details regarding RSPB Bempton Cliffs can be found on the RSPB website, including information on updated bird sightings throughout the year.

IMPORTANT: Please update your contact details

Thank you to all members you have already updated their contact details using the form included in our May Circular. Council respectfully requests those members who have not yet updated their details, including their email address, to complete and return by post the contact details form enclosed in our next Circular (619).

Alternatively you can download the form here (this downloads the form to your computer's default 'downloads' folder) and return by email to membership@yorksgeolsoc.org.uk.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and kindest regards, YGS Council.

Grants for early career scientists and researchers

Grants of up to £1000 are available, please see our Awards and Grants page for more details and information on how to apply.

Postgraduate Diploma in "The Geology of Northern England"

This unique course uses the geological wealth of northern England to explore the main principles of geology and integrate regional knowledge into the interpretation of larger scale Earth processes and structures. Students also assess the region’s importance in the context of current controversies in the Earth sciences, from fracking to climate change, while reflecting upon northern England’s vital role in the history of geology. The Diploma goes on to examine human interactions with the region's rocks and landscapes, from the Palaeolithic to the present day, to complete a fascinating journey overall.

This two-year part-time programme at The University of York is run entirely online by distance learning, but also includes a residential week in York at the beginning of each of the two years, for field and class-based study.

Applications are currently being considered for the new intake in September 2018. For more details and to apply online, please visit the University of York's dedicated page, or email them.

Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman now on sale!

The Yorkshire Geological Society is pleased to announce the publication of Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman a biuography to Colin Speakman.

Published jointly by YGS and Gritstone Publishing Co-operative Ltd, the book tells the story of the upbringing, professional life and research of Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), one of the great figures of Geology and of Victorian-era British Science. Colin Speakman, already well known for his writings and broadcasts on the Yorkshire Dales, carries the reader from Sedgwick’s humble beginnings in Dent to his academic position of Woodwardian Professor at the University of Cambridge. Because of the detailed research by the author the book will appeal not only to readers with an interest in the history of science but also to those who enjoy a fast-moving and diverse story of success, often against all the odds. Lovers of Yorkshire, and in particular the Dales, will find much to enjoy

Order your copy today through our dedicated sales page.