Sale of the Norman Cogger Mineral Collection

Norman lived in Tonbridge, Kent and was a member of The Russell Society for many years. Following his passing away in January 2017, and in line with his wishes, his mineral collection is now being sold to raise funds for his chosen good cause, the Kent and Sussex Hospital League of Friends.

Norman’s collection contains a wide range of foreign and British species, with an emphasis on the chemistry of minerals rather than aesthetics. The collection is well curated, with specimens in a clean condition and supported by labels, a card index system and catalogues. The collection is being sold as a whole, by competitive tender.

Viewing will be on the Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November 2017 and tenders are to be returned by 12 noon on Friday 1st December 2017.

Full details of the sale process can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

cogger_web photo 2

cogger_web photo 1

Free mineral trays

Chris Finch of the Southern Branch recently received an offer from Monica Price at Oxford University Museum of Natural History of some surplus card trays. Monica describes them as:

” We have several boxes of trays that came with the Reading University and other specimens, variable condition but not conservation standard, various sizes in a box. There are three styles, brown thick trays, white covered ones and a bin liner full of the flatpack ones”

The boxes will be available in November and members interested in receiving any of the boxes should contact Chris directly.

box 1

box 4

box 3

box 2

Russell Society at the Yorkshire Mineral and Fossil Fair

The Russell Society had a presence at the recent Yorkshire Mineral and Fossil Fair in Leyburn to promte our activities and encourage new members to join.

Our General Secretary Steve Warren organised the Society’s table, putting on a display of minerals from Leadhills and Wanlockhead (see a selection below). This created a good talking point and visitors were keen to see the minerals from these areas and hear about the Society. Perhaps other members would like to put on a display of British Isles specimens at forthcoming shows?

The Lucky Dip, a box with specimens hidden in aggregate so youngsters had to dig for them, was also very popular. They loved rooting around and seemed really pleased with what they got. Any spare specimens members have, suitable for the lucky dip, are always welcome. Please include a label, mentioning The Russell Society, the site and the species where possible.

For your diary, next year’s fair will be on 18th and 19th May, with further information from Don Edwards 01433-620304 or

Leyburn 2017 IMG_2279 a

Leyburn 2017 IMG_2278 b (1)

Get ready for the ASM 2018

The next Russell Society Annual Society Meeting is being organised by the Central Branch and will take place from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th April 2018.

The location of the ASM will be College Court Conference Centre Hotel, Knighton Road, Leicester, LE2 3UF.

Further details and a booking form will be circulated to members with JRS 20 towards the end of 2017.

Please support The Lapworth Museum, now!

Members will be familiar with the support and hard work Roy Starkey has contributed to the transformation of The Lapworth Museum at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Roy would also like to share this great news about the museum and seek your support following the museum’s shortlisting for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017, along with Tate Modern, The Hepworth Wakefield, Sir John Soane’s Museum, and The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art.

Representatives from the Museum attended the event at the British Museum last night, when the shortlist was announced live on the BBC Radio4 Front Row programme. There was immediate press coverage and lots of mentions of David vs Goliath particularly in connection with Lapworth – Tate Modern. Several of the broadsheets and the BBC already have write-ups of the shortlist. The Telegraph and the FT and particularly The Guardian and BBC all have good coverage. There will be more coverage over the weekend, including on BBC Breakfast this morning and then a double-page feature on the shortlist in The Guardian on Saturday. In addition to the press release and social media activity, the clock tower was lit up with the Lapworth and Art Fund logos between 9pm and 10pm last night.

You can see a short video from YouTube featuring the finalists here.

You can also help to promote the museum on social media in the run-up to the final decision through the Art Fund website here. If you do so, please tag both Art Fund (@artfund) and Lapworth Museum (@LapworthMuseum) and use the hashtags #museumoftheyear and #lapworthrocks.

The Art Fund will be offering a weekly prize of a National Art Pass and a museum goody bag for their favourite post (across all five museums). The Lapworth will also award a prize to a favourite post each week. Even if you are not personally active on social media, please spread the word to your friends and contacts / Societies, and ask them to get involved.

Thanks for your support – fingers crossed for a good result!

The Lapworth Museum website can be found though this link here.


Latest NAMHO newsletter

Russell Society members with an interest in mining might like to read the latest newsletter from the National Association of Mining History Organisations (NAMHO).

The newsletter can be downloaded as a pdf document here.

North Pennines Mineral Expo – July 2017

Following the recent resurgence of interest in specimen mining in Weardale a new event, the North Pennines Mineral Expo, has been organised for the weekend of 29th and 30th July 2017 in the heart of the Dale at St John’s Chapel, County Durham.

Entry is free and The Russell Society will have a stall there. Please try and get along to the Expo, it promises to be a fun day out and a good opportunity to meet people.

flyers NPME jpeg

flyers NPME jpeg2 (1)

Charnwood anniversary exhibition

The Society’s Central branch has organised an exhibition during April and May of rocks, fossils and minerals from the Charnwood area.

The exhibition is at the Charnwood Museum and marks 60 years since the first academically-verified report of a Late Precambrian fossil in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire.

A download of a pdf giving further information about the exhibition can be downloaded here

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.