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 –!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 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 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

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:

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.

Trevor Bridges (1935 – 2015)


Trevor Bridges will undoubtedly have been known to many Society members, but for those who were not privileged to have met Trevor the following notes are intended as a brief tribute.

Trevor was born in London and grew up in Yorkshire. He trained as a Chemist and Chemical Engineer, gaining his degree from the University of Birmingham, a specialism of which he was justly proud, and a subject for which he had a great affection. He met his future wife Shelagh through the Coventry Mountaineering Club, and they were married in 1963.

As an ambassador of “science for the citizen” there are few who could surpass Trevor’s tenacity and enthusiasm, and he relished the prospect of educating non-chemists in the ways of the elements. A long-term employee of the Courtaulds Group, Trevor worked initially in the Midlands, but in 1981 moved north to take up an opportunity on Tyneside at International Paint, a member of the Group. Here, Trevor was in his element. He took a special interest in the mineralisation of the Northern Pennine Orefield, and together with others was instrumental in the establishment of the Russell Society’s Northern Branch in 1984, the first beyond the confines of Leicestershire.

Trevor’s professional life saw him grappling with improving the production efficiency of a complex paint polymer manufacturing plant at Felling, near Gateshead, and latterly in a key role as the site’s Health and Safety Consultant, making a real impact on people’s lives and well-being, something which gave him immense personal satisfaction.

Minerals, and the chemistry of minerals, occupied a huge part of Trevor’s life, and his family shared in this interest as a matter of course. There was, however, much more to Trevor than simply collecting minerals, he was an accomplished climber and mountaineer, a Munroist (Compleator number 1953) in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Register in 1998, and a passionate and knowledgeable birdwatcher.

Never seeking the limelight, Trevor worked quietly on the subjects that interested him, and was always happy to explain, often complex, chemical matters to those less informed than himself, and using terminology that helped the listener to grasp the fundamentals of what was being discussed. He published a considerable number of scientific papers, and often commented to me that he had not had time to write up as much as he would have liked. Many of his publications focused on supergene mineralogy, particularly in relation to northern England, the field in which Trevor carved a niche for himself. He had a particular fascination with barium mineralisation, and also brought his expertise in stability field diagrams to bear on helping to interpret the complex geochemistry of the lead oxychloride assemblages in the Mendips. A recurring theme in Trevor’s collection is “specimens with stories about their formation” – look out for these amongst the various lots.

Trevor will be remembered by many as an educator and teacher. He was a popular speaker to various mineral and geological groups, and in 1993 Trevor was only the second recipient of the Russell Medal, something which pleased him greatly. Trevor’s mineral collection numbering some 6000 specimens has been dispersed in a number of different directions – to the Hunterian Museum, the Oxford Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Wales, the Hancock Museum (Newcastle Upon Tyne) and the Natural History Museum. The auction lots comprise the bulk of his more aesthetic display specimens.

He has truly left a significant mark on the world in the field of mineralogy and he will long be remembered for his generosity, his enthusiasm and fair minded approach to life.

Roy Starkey – June 2015