“Empty spaces, what are we living for? Abandoned places, I guess we know the score ….”
Followers of the legendary rock band Queen will no doubt recognise these opening lines from the lyrics of their song “The Show must go on.” It is with this old cliché in mind that Council held, on Saturday 28th March, what we believe to be the Society’s first ever foray into video conferencing. Council is determined to keep members abreast of developments and to assure everyone that the present restrictions will not get in the way of planning for the future.
This time of year we're usually happily informing members of the imminent outdoor meetings programme, but we will have to be content with armchair geology or examining more closely what lies on, or close to, our doorsteps. Like many of you I too have a diary full of crossed-out commitments many of them connected to Yorkshire Geology Month. Of the events I was scheduled to lead, participate in, or address nine were planning meetings, eight were talks and five were field trip days – and this only up to the end of May.
So, what to do in this unprecedented period of geological "inactivity"? How can we keep our interest going? Our Meetings & Field Trips page has some links to freely available online geological resources to help give you your geological "fix" whilst the lockdown is ongoing without breaking any of the Government's recommended "social distancing" protocols. The newly released “John Phillips – Yorkshire’s traveller through time” is a great read that will give some insight into an iconic character in the history & development of geology.
Of course we are all at liberty to exercise and it is surprising what you may find close to home. Take a look at the building materials, not only in the houses and shops but also in the construction of pavements, monuments, kerbs, walls, gravestones and particularly in churches and their environs. Whether you live in a rural or an urban area there will be some interesting rocks to examine and ones you may never have noticed before. My own “exercise route” in Brigg takes me past examples of Portland Stone, larvikite, early Jurassic limestone (with small Pentacrinites), Lincolnshire Limestone (including “streaky bacon rock” from Ancaster) and lots of flaggy Coal Measures sandstones. If I decide to change my route I will probably come across more rock types.
For some of us this provides a good opportunity to dig out those old field notebooks and unfinished projects and set about the completion of papers, information sheets or teaching resources. Perhaps the Principal Editor will soon be inundated with manuscripts from past YGS presidents as they put the final touches to the written versions of Presidental Addresses.
Perhaps a rendition of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” would be appropriate at this point! Stay safe.
Paul Hildreth, YGS President