Mineral collection for sale

Society member David Briggs wishes to let other members know that he is selling his collection at auction at Tennants of Leyburn on Friday 26th/Saturday 27th May 2017 – to coincide with the Leyburn Mineral and Fossil Fair that weekend.

The collection comprises mainly UK minerals with an emphasis on the North of England including Yorkshire and Weardale fluorites. There are also specimens from noted Cumbrian sites including Hodbarrow when it was working, and from Dulcote and Yate in the southwest, collected when they were working quarries.








Details of the Leyburn Fair can be found here.


ASM 2017 Booking & Update

Following the unexpected need to move the location of the ASM 2017, the North West Branch has acted swiftly. Llandudno is now the location for the ASM for 21st – 23rd April 2017.

Conference activities will be held at the St George’s Hotel. A group booking for accommodation has been made at The County Hotel, and members can take advantage of preferential rates using the accommodation booking form that can be downloaded from this page.

More detail about the ASM and accommodation is in these documents:

An updated version of ASM activities can be downloaded as a pdf document here.

An ASM booking form can be downloaded as a pdf document here.

An accommodation booking form can be downloaded as a pdf document here.

ASM 2017 – Important update

Important information from the NWRS Committee about the ASM 2017

We have just received very unfortunate news from The Lodge Hotel – the planned location for the ASM 2017 – which means we must find a new location for the ASM:

“It is with deep regret that I wish to inform you that due to a change in our personal circumstances (regarding my health) we are unable to fulfil your booking for April. I completely understand your disappointment, but we feel we have no option, as myself and wife are the main hosts and organisers for the hotel. We will reimburse your deposit. Please again accept our deepest apologies. Regards, Neil.”

We obviously hope Neil’s health improves very soon.

So where do we go from here? Well we get on with life and sort things out differently. So…

No-one had actually paid any money to ‘The Lodge’ for accommodation and they are returning the deposit paid by the Society so there is no financial loss, as it were.

The venue will obviously have to change and the price at a new venue may be higher (probably will be if we are realistic). We have been looking at places in Llandudno, but many are already booked. We have found one venue for the conference which is available and one hotel which is available so ‘watch this space’.

Sorry this is so ‘sketchy’ but we felt we needed to inform as many members as possible as soon as possible. As soon as new arrangements are sorted we will let you know.

Book now for the 2017 ASM

The Russell Society’s Annual Society Meeting (ASM) 2017 is being held in North Wales from April 21 – 23. This entertaining weekend includes field trips, dinners and other social activities, as well as a day of presentations.

Full details about the ASM and a booking form can be downloaded as a pdf file here.


Robert Symes conference booking

A Commemorative Meeting to celebrate the life and work of Robert Symes is being held on Thursday 8 December in London.

More details about the event and a booking form are found by downloading this pdf file here.

This one-day meeting has been convened under the auspices of Geological Society and History of Geology Group (HOGG) in association with the Geologists’ Association, The Ussher Society, The Russell Society and The Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society.

Call for papers

A conference is to be held in December 2016 in London to celebrate the life and work of the late Dr Robert (Bob) Symes OBE, who died earlier this year. Dr Symes was formerly Keeper of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum,

The conference will be concerned with Bob’s mineralogical research, museum activities. There are currently opportunities for contributors to present at the conference, and further details are given in this downloadable pdf here.

Lapworth Museum of Geology reopens

After several years of sustained effort, and a lot of hard work by many, many people, the Lapworth Museum of Geology (University of Birmingham) finally welcomed its first visitors on 10 June. The end result looks superb – smart modern lines blending with the stylish Edwardian interior, all brought bang up to date by top class display cases, great graphics and a diverse range of excellent displays. Visitors can explore life over the past 3.5 billion years, whilst enjoying displays of exceptional objects from one of the UK’s most outstanding geological collections, with state-of-the-art galleries and a range of innovative and interactive exhibits – all completely free of charge.

From rocks and fossils to volcanoes, earthquakes, and even dinosaurs, the Museum will capture the imagination of all ages.

You can read a report, with pictures here.

And for more details about opening times, directions, access etc. on the Museum website here.

Important news for field trips

Members need to be aware of a change to requirements for footwear used on field trips at quarries:

Rigger boots wellies are no longer allowed in quarries.

The new safety requirement for lace up boots in quarries is:
1. High ankle support with the laces set above ankle height
2. Steel toe caps not permitted, we now have to use composite toe caps (if the steel gets crushed it stays crushed on the foot, the Kevlar doesn’t, apparently).

All members are strongly suggested to get a pair of boots that meet this requirement, for example:



The Blue Mine in Chessy

Members who are visiting Chamonix in the French Alps this year might like to take time out to see some fabulous minerals from the Blue Mine in Chessy – which is particularly famous for azurite specimens.

A temporary exhibition is at the Musée des Cristaux in Chamonix, and is referred to by the museum in this way:

Denis Boël has obtained the authorization from the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, to select in the Museum’s reserves, Mineralogical Specimens issued from the Blue Mine in Chessy. These pieces were extracted within the period 1811-1835. As soon as they came to light, they were carefully preserved, and most of them were never presented to the public. More than 60 specimens with sizable crystals, very fresh and of the best quality will surprise the connoisseurs and the public about the richness from this mine located in the Beaujolais area. Come and enjoy the symphony of blues and greens in every kind of nuance. That’s an outstanding opportunity to discover azurite, malachite and cuprite.

More details about the museum can be found through this link here

New NAMHO research

The National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO) has published a document titled The Archaeology of Mining and Quarrying in England, A Research Framework – which members may find very interesting.

It is described by NAMHO as follows: “This presents the results of an in-depth assessment of available historical and archaeological resources for all minerals, from copper through to building stone, drawing primarily on expertise within the voluntary sector. It provides background information on the geology, applied technology and the historic impact on infrastructure such as transport and settlement.”

Further details about the document (including two pdf downloads) to can be found at this link here.