Temporary closure of NHM Minerals Gallery

The Natural History Museum, London has announced that the Minerals Gallery will be closed from April 2016 as part of its Hintze Hall redevelopment works. The museum is aiming to reopen access from July 2016.

Members might like to check the NHM’s website for any updates on the reopening of the Minerals Gallery before planning a visit in the summer. A link to the website is here.

ASM 2017

The Russell Society ASM 2017 will be held from Friday 21st April to Sunday 23rd April at the Lodge Hotel, Tal-y-Bont, Conwy, Wales. Further details about the event will be published when they are available. Members may like to take advantage of ‘early bird’ accommodation deals at the Lodge Hotel.

Further details can be found in a pdf document which can be downloaded here.

NAHMO Newsletter

Russell Society members may find the latest NAMHO Newsletter of interest; including a listing of mining-related events.

The newsletter is available as a PDF download from the NAMHO website here.


Update on The Russell Society Library

We have further news for members from Frank Ince concerning the disposal of material in The Russell Society Library:

You may recall that a note was circulated with JRS 18 inviting you to acquire items from the Russell Society Library. Over the last month-or-so I have been contacted by a number of members (thank you one and all) and they have reserved (and in some cases paid for and received) a variety of the lots that were noted on the ‘For Sale’ and ‘Give Away’ spreadsheets. I have produced a new spreadsheet that contains the residue of the Library with the ‘For Sale’ lots at 50% of their original price and some of the lower-priced lots as freebies (0 in the ‘Price’ column). The spreadsheet can be downloaded as an Excel file here.

Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like to acquire any of the remaining lots. Your enquiries will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis and I will use the time/date of your e-mail to make a decision about the priority of ‘bids’ for the same lot (my judgement is final).

We will try to ensure that the transport/delivery logistics are as efficient as possible and there are a number of alternatives:
· “Free delivery” of multiple items at the AGM in 2016 and other gatherings of RS Members.
· Collection in person from Jo and Bracken.
· Small packages could be posted (provided that the purchaser pays for the postage); although the cost could outweigh the value of the items.

NAMHO newsletter

Members may be interested by the latest newsletter from the National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO). It includes updates on news concerning Nenthead and other well-known mining sites. The newsletter can be downloaded as a PDF document through this link to the NAMHO website:

Also, please be aware of these changes regarding the newsletter:

Page 6 – Public Consultation Thursday 21st January about Nenthead and Nentsberry
This event has been postponed. The revised date is not yet known. the Nenthead Mines website and Facebook pages, and the NAMHO website will have information when the new date has been notified.

Page 15 – NAMHO AGM and Spring Meeting 2016
The date and venue for this meeting has changed. The new date is Saturday 19th March 2016. The venue will be the Dean Field Studies Centre, Parkend, Lydney, Gloucester GL15 4JA.


Mining in Devon

Many members have enjoyed Russell Society field trips to the ‘Hemerdon Bal’ mine in Devon, or Drakelands Mine as it is now called. The mine has been through significant change in recent years with Wolf Minerals investing in tungsten extraction at the site. The mine was referenced in a recent article in The Economist, which can be found through this link to The Economist website:


The Oxford Colloquium 2016

We just been informed about an event – The Oxford Colloquium – that members may find of interest.

The Oxford Colloquium 2016 will be held on 5 March 2016 10:00-17:00 (doors open 09:30) at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford. Speakers will address topical and key issues in the world of geology and the Earth sciences. This year’s speakers – including scientist and author, Professor Chris Stringer – will cover a range of subjects from volcanology to human evolution, and from hydrocarbons to the interpretation of buried landscapes.

Tickets for The Oxford Colloquium 2016 are the same price as last year (£20) and must be purchased in advance. See the OGG website for full details of the speakers and abstracts of their talks – http://www.ogg.uk.com/#!the-oxford-colloquium-2016/c8qx.

The Oxford Geology Group will also be organising a 1-day Geo-ramble on the day (Sunday 6 March 2016) after the Colloquium.

Mindat events

Mindat.org is organising two events in November 2015 that may be of interest to members.

On Friday 13th November there is a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the mineral department at the National History Museum, London.

On Sunday 15th November, Mindat’s 2nd annual mineral symposium will be held at Haywards Heath, West Sussex. Speakers at the event include:

Jolyon Ralph – brief mindat.org update and mineral collecting cataloguing in the 21st century
Chris Mavris – An exceptional find of artinite from Parma, Italy
Luis Martins – The hitchhikers guide to Portuguese pegmatites
Ed Loye – REE minerals
Roy Starkey – Arran in Focus (minerals of the Isle of Arran)


Details of these events can be found through this link to mindat.org: http://www.mindat.org/a/mindat_meetings_2015

Mineral auction

An auction of mineral specimens from the Trevor Bridges collection will be held on Saturday 1st August 2015 at Salwarpe Village hall, Worcestershire, WR9 0AH.

Roy Starkey is managing the sale and Roy has produced a catalogue and supporting information for people wishing to bid for lots. Further information can be obtained from Roy at: roy.starkey@gmail.com

Please note that you must register with Roy in advance of the sale. The deadline for registrations is Friday 24th July. Please do not simply turn up on the day, as you will not be able to bid.

Annual Society Meeting 2016

Each year a Russell Society Branch hosts a weekend for all members that includes social events, presentations, field trips, visits and the AGM.  For 2016 the Annual Society Meeting is being hosted by the Northern Branch at Bowburn Hall Hotel, Bowburn, County Durham on the 22 ,23 and 24 April.

Details of the event will be published on this website and in the Society’s Newsletter as they become available.