Humberside Geologist no.7
The History of the Hull Geological Society 1888 - 1988
by Mike Horne.
[First published in 1989 - this is a slightly amended and updated illusrated version produced in 2004]
This history has been compiled from the archive material longing to the Hull Geological Society mainly the minute books and correspondence. Other archives relating to the Society have been consulted and their present locations are listed in the appendix. This article is not exhaustive, but is an attempt to highlight some of the events that took place and remember some of the leading figures in the Society and their local research interests. It is intended to compliment the Society's previous publications:-
Transactions of the Hull Geological Society. Volumes 1 to 7 published 1894 to 1936.
East Yorkshire Field Studies. Numbers 1 to 4 published 1968 to 1973.
Humberside Geologist. Numbers 1 to 6 published 1975 to 1988 [continuing].
Some papers about the history of the Society have already been published in Humberside Geologist, including members' reminiscences.
I think I should start by saying something about the geographical area covered by the Society. The Society has never had a strict area for its work but most of the field meetings have been in the East Riding of Yorkshire [known as North Humberside in the 1970s, 1980s and early 90s], on the Yorkshire coast as far north as Redcar and in the northern part of Lincolnshire. Most of the papers in its publications have been about this area. This is not exclusively the territory of the Hull Geological Society; other Societies have worked in the area and the Hull G. S. has been known to stray outside these boundaries on occasions!
This area gives the Society quite a variety of rock types to work on. Though there are no rocks older than Triassic in situ, the Boulder Clays of the area do contain a large variety of erratics so one could say that almost all ages and rock types are represented if these are taken into account!
These Boulder Clays have been a research interest of members along with the Quaternary gravels of Brandesburton, Kelsey Hill and Kirmington. The old Chalk buried cliff has been studied at Sewerby, Cottingham and Hessle. The Chalk which forms the Wolds is the most noticeable feature of the Society's 'area', but is not immediately rewarding to work with. We also have the unique Lower Cretaceous Speeton Clay in our area the upper parts of which still have not revealed all its secrets.
On the western edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, the Kellaways Beds and Cave Oolite are very fossiliferous and are always worth a visit. The Market Weighton 'Structure' has a profound effect on the geology of the area; the exposure at Rifle Butts being of great significance to local geologists. The Middle Jurassic of the Scarborough area has also been a source of interest particularly the plant beds at Gristhorpe. The Lias of the North Yorkshire coast and around Scunthorpe has always proved to be fossiliferous. And of course, the rate at which the coast of Holderness is being eroded away is of interest to geologists and worrying to residents!
From its beginning, the Hull Geological Society has done its best to maintain a Winter Programme of monthly lecture meetings. Members used to bring specimens from their collections to these meetings for exhibition before the lecture. Later special Members' Evenings were started for these exhibitions and less formal talks by members on their research interests. For a long while the first meeting of the Winter Programme consisted of reports on the Summer Field Excursions illustrated with lantern slides prepared by the indefatigable Mr. C W Mason.
The Summer Programme of field excursions used to begin on Easter Monday, originally travelling by train and wagonette and probably involving a lot of walking. Tea was often provided in a local village hall. These meetings were held fortnightly at one time, sometimes jointly with the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, the Yorkshire Geological Society or the Hull Field Naturalists Club. This meant that there were sometimes as many as fifteen meetings in the Summer Programme and they were all well attended. Now the number of meetings in the summer has been reduced to six or seven leaving August free completely. However, some keener members get into the field more often working on research projects on an ad hoc basis.
A hundred years ago, geology was not such a separate science as it is now. It was part of a group of field sciences that went together nicely. People and Societies did not specialise as much as they do now. Botany, zoology, archaeology, geology, astronomy and meteorology went hand in hand. They all involved the observation of natural phenomena; so why shouldn't a naturalist collect fossils or speculate how granite forms? But as you know, things have changed since then.
A hundred years ago most geologists were amateurs. There were few University lecturers, only a small number of geologists worked for the Geological Survey and presumably some civil engineers and quarry and mine owners had some geological knowledge. To take a keen interest in Geology in those days you would have needed to have a good income and plenty of time for travelling. Many famous early geologists were clergymen or physicians. Some Philosophical and other Societies had established Museums, which had geologically-minded curators.
Things really started to change at the turn of the century. Societies became more specialised. The First World War made people realise how dependent we were on our natural resources. During both World Wars, there was a big expansion in the number of professional geologists because mineral resources needed to be surveyed fast. Between the Wars the Naturalist (the journal of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union) still included many geological papers probably due to the editorial influence of Thomas Sheppard, but this soon stopped after the Second World War.
After the War, Geology's split from the rest of the Natural Sciences was almost complete. Geology had become a proper "science" and there was s great expansion of teaching geology in universities and schools. Specialisation was the order of the day and since then Geology has become more professional and publications by amateurs in journals have become increasingly rare. Many Geological Societies have become increasingly dominated by academics and professionals there are now plans for the Geological Society of London to become a professional body with entry into membership by examination.
Yet as you will read, the Hull Geological Society has maintained its amateur status. It has been helped and advised in recent years by the specialised academics at Hull University who have generously given their free time in support of the Society without trying to 'take it over'.
To give the impression that nobody was interested in the geology of our area before the formation of the Hull Geological Society would be wrong. The Yorkshire Geological and Polytechnic Society was formed in 1837, though it was originally restricted to the West Riding. Sheppard (1934) records that John Phillips, the nephew of William Smith and Curator of the Yorkshire Museum at York, travelled to Hull to give lecture courses in Geology in 1843, one year after the opening of a museum in Lowgate by the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society. The British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Hull in 1853. The Leeds Geological Association was formed in 1873 and East Yorkshire geologists sometimes joined them on their field meeting.
The 1880s saw a large number of papers being published on local geology. In 1883 the Reverend E Maule Cole (the Vicar of Wetwang) published his 'Geological Rambles in Yorkshire', which was followed by his 'Notes on the Geology of the Hull, Barnsley and West Riding Junction Railway and Dock' in 1886. J R Mortimer who had a museum a Driffield was publishing papers about the Yorkshire Chalk. C Fox-Strangways and the Geological Survey published memoirs on the Scarborough area and later 'The Geology of the country between York and Hull'. Dr. F F Walton of Hull published in 1886 his 'Geology of the District between Market Weighton and the Humber'. Clement Reid published the Survey's memoir on the geology of Holderness in 1885, which aroused great interest amongst the geologists in Hull (Walton ms 1888, published 1984). And in the Bridlington area G W Lamplugh, then a local businessman, was studying and writing about the Speeton Clays and the Buried Cliff at Sewerby, which he excavated with the help of grants from the British Association and the Yorkshire Geological Society. In 1888 the Congress Geologique International came to the area and Lamplugh was their guide on the visit to the Speeton Clay. His measuring of the clays and bed-by-bed study of the fossils led to his introduction of an accurate zonation that is still used today.
G W Lamplugh
In fact in those days there were greater opportunities to study geology in the field if you could afford the travel. New gravel pits were being dug, new docks were being excavated, the railways were blasting cuttings through the Wolds and small quarries were far more numerous than they are today.
The Field Naturalists included some geological excursions in their programmes but probably not enough to satisfy the geologists. The Museum of the Hull Lit. and Phil. Soc. which included some geological material had moved in the Royal Institution, in Albion Street. Prominent East Yorkshire geologists like Cole, Lamplugh and Mortimer were members of the Yorkshire Geological Society but only one person from Hull was a member (Mr. G J Wilson who acted as a local secretary).
That was the situation in 1888:- a lot of new publications to read, lot of new exposures to visit but no Society offering enough geology to satisfy the increasing interest in the subject.
This is where the history of the Society begins (as the first minute book records) :- "At a meeting at the Caxton Institute Hull, Friday June 1 1888, called with a view to the formation of a Geological Society for Hull" . The meeting was attended by Dr. F F Walton J Stears (who according to Thomas Sheppard was a water diviner), W Dixon, E Peake, G Silabon, W N Thompson, J F Robinson, D M Mackay, M Carmichael, Chas. E Mason, T Thelwell, G N Hill, J W Stather (who ran a family company of wallpaper manufacturers in Hull), G White and J Carter. Letters were read from the Rev. E Maule Cole, Dr. Lambert and Mr. Darnley approving the object of the meeting.
A resolution was passed unanimously forming the Hull Geological Society though there was a little confusion in the minutes of this first meeting as to whether it was called a Society or an Association. The first Officers and Committee were elected. The Committee was left to decide upon the rules of the new Society at a later date. It was also agreed that the Committee should meet the Council of the Field Nats. Club to arrange terms of affiliation with them and report back a week later.
The Committee met immediately after this first General Meeting and agreed "that the Hull Geological Society could join the Field Naturalist Society on these terms only -
1st That the Society retain its distinctive name of ‘Hull Geological Society’
2nd That it have a entirely distinct executive
3rd That half of the meetings of the affiliated Societies be distinctly Geological in character."
The Society met again on June 8th. and adopted the Rules of the Society with the object being "to promote the study of Geology by means of field excursions, exhibition of specimens, reading of papers and discussions". The meeting also agreed to affiliate to the Field Nats. and the membership subscription was set at 4 shillings [20p] with a special joint subscription for both Societies of 6 shillings [30p].
A joint summer programme was drawn up with the Field Nats. which included visits to Kelsey Hill (June 16th), Brough, Hornsea, Bridlington, Market Weighton, Barton and South Ferriby. Reports of these field meetings were copied into the "Society's Book" a manuscript transactions of its activities. This book has sadly been lost but rough drafts of me first two year's field meetings have survived [and some have been published occasionally in Humberside Geologist]
In October the Committee decided to hire a room from the Hull Lit. and Phil. Soc. for the winter meetings for a fee of 2 guineas [£2-10] which was to cover the use of a gas fire as well. Also, the fee included free admission for members to the Museum on production of their membership ticket. The first lecture to the Society was a Presidential Address by Dr. Walton giving a summary of local geology and a report of the summer excursions.
In March 1889 the Committee proposed that "ladies be admitted to he Society on the same terms as gentlemen", this was agreed by a later General Meeting. This fact was never written into the rules which subsequently caused some confusion on occasions.
By the first Annual General Meeting the Society was thriving. The membership has risen to 52 and the average attendance at the winter meetings was 18. Dr. F F Walton and the Rev. E M Cole had been elected Fellows of the Geological Society of London. Later that year one of the founders W Dixon resigned from the Committee because he was moving to Glasgow. He maintained a close association with the Society, returning occasionally to give lectures to the members.
In 1890 the membership rose slightly to 56 and there were 10 field meetings in the Summer Programme. Rev. E Maule Cole gave a lecture on the "Physical Geography and Geology of N.E. Yorkshire" as part of the winter programme. The Committee approved a scheme of co-operation with the Hull Amateur Photographic Society.
In 1891 G W Lamplugh lectured on fossils and their value and meaning. The following year he started work for the Geological Survey and his first task was to prepare a map of the Isle of Man. The Society agreed that reports of lectures should also be placed in the manuscript transactions book.
A request for help from the Secretary of the Yorkshire Boulder Committee, Mr. T Tate, in December 1892 led the Society as a whole to take up a major research project. Mr. Percy Fry Kendall who was the President of the British Association's Boulder Committee lectured on the topic of Glaciation the following month. He described the "Marine Ice and Land Ice" theories and stated that he personally preferred the "land ice theory". The next month the Society agreed to "undertake a systematic investigation of the glacial phenomenon of the Holderness District with special regard to the recording and classification of boulders on the lines suggested by Messrs P F Kendall and Lamplugh". A special meeting was called for March 9th. at which it was "resolved that this committee be called the 'East Riding Boulder Committee' and it consist of all the members of the Hull Geological Society interested in Glacial Geology". They also agreed that "Map No. 72 of the new Ordnance Survey be divided into squares of 2 miles by 2 miles" and "that each member be responsible for the thorough walking of the square allotted to him". In April the Boulder Committee "heartily thanked" Mr. Kendall for his offer to supply maps on a 6 inch scale for the survey, but thought that they could not accept until they had tried some experimental excursions and found that they had a reasonable chance of obtaining useful results.
At the A.G.M. in April 1893 it was reported that the Society had 62 members including 2 Honorary Members. That session as well as the usual field meetings it had visited three museums: those of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in York, Mr. Mortimer's Museum at Driffield and Mr. Boynton's Collection of relics from the Whome lake dwelling at Bridlington. The lecture programme had included Dr. Walton on the Yorkshire Lias and Jas. Fraser Robinson, who at the time was the President of the Field Naturalists, on fossil shells. The Society decided to constitute a special fund for the publication of its transactions and Percy Fry Kendall became an Honorary Member. Thomas Sheppard joined the Society on 19th. September 1893.
Alfred Harker gave many lectures to the Society in those days on a wide variety of subjects and in 1894 he lectured twice; one lecture was about the Yellowstone National Park and the other on the Lake District. Rev. E Maule Cole gave a talk to the Society on the Geography of Central Africa that year also. The most important event that year was the publication of the first volume of the Transactions which contained a list of officers, a list of members, the report of the East Riding Boulder Committee, reports of the 1893 field meetings and abstracts of the lectures and papers read to the Society.
The Transactions continued to follow that format of reports and abstracts in its early years. Gradually though the reports of field meetings became briefer and the abstracts concentrated on local geology. Original papers on local geology became more common as the years went by and the Society established an impressive exchange list with other Societies and Geological Surveys which led to the creation of a Library which eventually became too big for the Society to look after by itself.
The annual subscription was raised to 5 shillings in 1895 and the membership stood at 64 including 3 Honorary Members. The Society received books from the estate of the late W Topey resident geologist of the Geological Survey, these were added to the Society's Library. That October William Horne lectured on the "Ancient Races of Yorkshire", in which he remembered "...... his more exciting experiences as [an] active geologist and antiquarian during his many years residence in Leyburn ....." The lecturer also related many interesting reminiscences of older geologists - of Dean Buckland and the discovery of the Kirkdale Cave, the Victoria Cave Settle &c. In December Mr. J Boyle spoke about the erosion of the Yorkshire coast and he estimated that about 7 feet were washed away each year; 2½ miles since Roman times.
The Society received its first lecture to be illustrated with photographic slides in February 1896 when 36 members heard Mr. Kendall lecture on the Alps whilst "Mr. Bouville manipulated the lantern". In March "Mr. Thos Sheppard reported that the jaw of a horse had been taken from Cook Pit at Hessle during the week" and the President Dr. Walton "called attention to a short paper on the Hessle Gravels by Prof. J Phillips embracing notes and sketches made 70 years ago". The Boulder Committee recorded 2070 boulders in the Transactions.
The Committee agreed that the meetings for the forthcoming winter programme should start at 7-30 pm and that members should have he opportunity to discuss specimens until 8-15 when the guest speaker would address the Society. The Committee also resolved to accept Mr. Kendall's kind offer of a course of lectures on Petrology. Dr. Walton offered a room in his house for the course. It was agreed that the course should cost 10/6 [52p] for members and 17/6 [87p] for non-members. The lectures would begin a 5-30 pm on Saturdays and "lantern gas collection and arrangement for screen and diagrams would be left to Mr. Crofts and the Secretary".
In 1897 Dr. Walton exhibited a collection of belemnites from the Chalk and described their value as zonal fossils. The Black Band (the top of the Lower Chalk) was recorded from a new quarry near Flixton, but no belemnites had been found in it. Thomas Sheppard was elected to the Committee which planned 13 field meetings for the summer. The Photographic Society suggested a joint tenancy of rooms in Prospect Street but the offer was rejected. Volume 3 of the Transactions was published (price 1 shilling [5p] ) which included a report on a further 2600 boulders by the Boulder Committee. It also included a Bibliography of East Yorkshire Geology by Thomas Sheppard which was the first of many papers he was to write for our Society, the Yorkshire Geological Society and the 'Naturalist'.
By 1898 most of the lectures were illustrated by lantern slides; Mr. J G Bouville acted as a lanternist which was obviously not an easy task in those days. Reports of the lectures were always printed in the local newspapers often in great detail and length. G W Lamplugh had sent a bundle of his duplicate papers for distribution to members. A Photographic Committee was formed to take photographs of local geological phenomena for an album and to send copies to the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union and the British Association. It also produced lantern slides which could be used at meetings to illustrate lectures.
In May the Society went to Lincoln. A press cutting records that " …. following in the wake of their energetic leader the party made again for the City from whence trams were taken to Bracebridge where magnificent sections in both Upper & Middle Lias are exposed. Tea was taken at the Lindum Restaurant by hearty thanks to Mr. Burton for his splendid services ....". In July the Y.G.S. invited members to examine the Wolds scenery under the leadership of the Rev. E M Cole; one day involving a long walk another day "to hammer-work in the Oolite and Chalk quarries", only 2 of our members attended.
Volume 4 of the Transactions was also published in 1898 which included a paper by G W Lamplugh entitled "Some open questions in East Yorkshire Geology" which gives an useful insight to the knowledge of the day and is well worth reading today to see how many of the questions remain unsolved! [This is being republished in Humberside Geologist no. 14]
Thomas Sheppard, then aged 22, was elected as the President of the Hull Literary Club. Mr. W H Crofts recorded pre-glacial valley exposed at Flamborough Railway Station.
The Society had been given a cabinet containing some 2000 geological specimens in 1899 by Ernest Pattison which it received via Mr. Fox-Strangways . This was later given to Hull Museum (Edwards 1984). Dr. Walton who had been President since the Society's formation resigned and was replaced by J W Stather, the Secretary, W S Parrish took over the post of Secretary. The calling notice for the May excursion to Frodingham held jointly with the Hull Field Naturalists included a hand coloured map of the geology of East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
The Museum of the Literary and Philosophical Society in the Royal Institution, Albion Street which had fallen into decline in the late 1800s was presented to the City Council in 1899. The Society was concerned about the future of the Mortimer Museum in Driffield; the Committee wrote to Hull City Council expressing their fears that it "might be removed out of the East Riding and urging that they should endeavour to secure it for the city".
It was decided that short half-hour papers should be read before the main lecture at meetings, these were often on members' research interests and were included in the Transactions. Kendall and Harker both gave lectures to the Society that year and Mr. J Stears showed a set of lantern slides illustrating the geology of Jamaica.
1900 was a busy year for the new President, J W Stather. He and Dr. Walton were invited to address the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the Corporation about the importance of the Mortimer Collection and its price. He was also he delegate to the Annual Meeting of the British Association and he read a paper to the Society on "Some unrecorded fossils of the Yorkshire Chalk" including some species previously unknown in Britain. The Photographic Committee now had 100 slides in its collection.
J W Stather
Thomas Sheppard started 1901 off with a lecture on "some local borings", exhibiting specimens from the cores of boreholes at Dairycotes and Hedon. The Sobriety now had 73 members and it elected Mr. C S Middlemiss as an Honorary Member, he had worked in India as a Survey Geologist and had given the Society lectures about his work there. G. W. Lamplugh was honoured by the Geological Society of London with the presentation of their Bigsby Medal. George Sheppard brother of Thomas joined the Society. Thomas Sheppard was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and was appointed as the first Curator of the Hull Municipal Museum in Albion Street; he had previously worked as a clerk for the North Eastern Railway. Over the next forty years the Museum was to expound greatly under his control and the Hull Geological Society benefited greatly from the close relationship it had with the Museum and the permanent displays of geological specimens generated public interest in the subject.
The Society asked the Literary and Philosophical Society to "affix a small gas tap in the Council Room so as to enable this Society to obtain a supply of coal gas for the lantern" for our meetings there. This was fitted the following year.
The new Municipal Museum was opened in 1902. Thomas Sheppard started to publish the Hull Museums Publications and continued to produce them at a rapid rate for nearly 40 years; over 200 editions were produced. The Hull Geological Society offered to help the new museum by collecting a series of local fossils. The remains of an Icthyosaur were found at Speeton and donated to the Museum. Over the years members donated many specimens to the Museum and some donated their whole collections, including J W Stather and F F Walton.
Mr. W H Thompson read a paper on "John Phillips and his work in Yorkshire" and noted that no biography had been written about Phillip's work; Thomas Sheppard later wrote one. In July "a party of about 30 journeyed by wagonette to Aldborough where attention was paid to the glacial beds exposed on the sea shore. Ladies attended this outing which was a most enjoyable one". Dr. Arthur Rowe lectured to the Society in October, the press report described him as "the greatest living authority on the zonal fossils of the Chalk". He said that the use of flint as a characteristic of different parts of the chalk was of small importance when compared with the fossils especially the echinoids. The Society hosted the A.G.M. of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union jointly with the Hull Field Nats. but made a loss and members were asked to make donations to help cover the cost. The President, J W Stather, was the Society's delegate to the British Association Annual Meeting in Belfast.
The first field meeting of the 1903 season was on Easter Monday, April 13th. According to the minutes the "N.E.R. granted two ‘engaged’ compartments to Bridlington a reduced fare 2/7. (8-15 am). Break belonging to A Knaggs, Promenade Mews, Bridlington met train and charge for the round 2/6 each - Route - Old Bridlington up to Quarry (Stop), Argam (stop), Rudston (stop) Bridlington about 4-30 pm. .... Bessingby Quarry - visited in the evening". It was obviously a long and busy day!
At Speeton that June, the Red Chalk was well exposed "from it the characteristic fossils were secured in plenty by the hammer-men", the local press reported.
That year W H Crofts became the President of the Society and J W Stather returned to the post of Secretary. Clement Reid who had written the Holderness Memoir, was elected as an Honorary Member. Mr. Macturk reported on the excavation of a new reservoir at Raywell. The Yorkshire Geological Society held its A.G.M. in Hull at the Grosvenor Hotel in October they included a visit to the Museum as part of the meeting and were particularly interested in the specimens from the Kirkdale Cave (Frank Buckland's famous hyena den) and the "Hornsea Lion" (which really came from Bielsbeck).
Dr. Rowe published his paper on the White Chalk of the Yorkshire Coast in 1904 as part of a series in the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. In the February of that year he lectured to the Society. "In general Dr. Rowe said the Yorkshire chalk was quite remarkable for what it did not contain as what it did".
It was about this time that Thomas Sheppard published his Geological Rambles in East Yorkshire which his sister Mary Sheppard (1986) says had been written in 1894. The book was undated, which has led to some confusion about its true publication date: something that Sheppard himself often complained about when he was compiling his bibliographies. It included photographs taken from the Society's Transactions including those of the Alexandra Dock Extension and had at the front the geological map previously used by J F Robinson in his Flora of East Yorkshire. Sheppard was a prolific writer on many subjects and the editor of several journals, including our own Transactions (Horne 1986).
Sheppard read a paper on the new exposure of the Bridlington Crag which had been brought to his attention by the Borough Surveyor, Mr. Matthews. In April the Society visited Bridlington on the Easter Monday and Mr. Matthews took them to look at the excavations for the new sea walls where the Crag was exposed. He showed them hand specimens of the green sand which contained Artic shells, which Dr. Walton later secured for his collection.
It was proposed that a catalogue of the Society's Library be prepared and that as the Transactions were getting behind, two years were to be included in the next part to bring them up to date. The Society agreed to assist the Geographical Society in their research into the changes in the land and water of the Humber Basin and adjacent parts of the North Sea. The Society visited Pocklington by train on August Bank Holiday "and Parrish came on his cycle in the afternoon" (he was then the Treasurer). Prof. Kendall lectured on the Market Weighton Unconformity that year and Godfrey Bingly spoke about Geological Photography.
In March 1905 G W Lamplugh received another honour: he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. That year Mr. C G Danford of Reighton Hall was carrying out research on the Speeton Clay, which Lamplugh had studied earlier. He sent a paper to the Society describing the belemnites including specimens which "were said by Mr. Crick of the British Museum to be yet undescribed". This paper was later published in the Transactions and is still cited in publications these days. Later that year he led the Society on a field meeting to examine the Speeton Clay after which "the geologists were refreshed by an excellent tea at he hands of Mrs. Danford" at the Hall.
The Society was also involved in fieldwork at Kirmington and Bielsbeck in connection with the British Association who had formed a special investigative committee . In May the press reported that "in Swanland Dale Dr. Walton secured a complete specimen of Actinocamx plenus, an incomplete specimen having been found a short time before by Mr. C Thompson, these being the first of these belemnites to be discovered in Yorkshire". Dr. Rowe confirmed the identification. And on Whit Monday June 12th. 1905 the Rev. E Maule Cole led a field meeting and it is recorded in the Transactions that "after an excellent tea kindly arranged by Mr. Cole in the School at Wetwang he conducted the party over he beautiful Church of St. Michael". The Committee was considering moving the Society’s Library into the Municipal Library.
There was a lot of local research being carried out by members in 1906. In January Dr. Walton exhibited a collection of Yorkshire Chalk belemnites at a meeting showing their faunal succession and Mr. Crofts showed a large map of Holderness showing the contours of the Chalk beneath the Boulder Clay based on borehole data. In February Mr. C Thompson lectured on the belemnites of the Yorkshire Lias. In December J W Starter reported on the excavations at Bielsbeck near Market Weighton saying that they were well in progress and that members could visit the site; but he could not give scientific details until the British Association had made them public.
Volume 6 part I of the Transactions was published (Volume 5 had been published in three parts) containing many papers on local geology covering the years 1901 to 1905. The new part cost more than expected and members were asked for special donations.
The close connections with the British Association continued: as well as helping with the Bielsbeck excavations members contributed to the Annual Meeting at York. Lamplugh was the President of the Geological Section and papers were read by Stather, Danford, Crofts, Kendall and Sheppard. Earlier that year Lamplugh had visited South Africa for the B. A.
In December the Society leapt to the defense of Thomas Sheppard and the Museum. At a meeting of he City Council Alderman Massey and Mr. Pybus had said. that the "Museum was a receptacle for rubbish and a playground for ragamuffins". The Society unanimously passed a resolution declaring "its very high appreciation of the splendid service rendered to the cause of geology by Mr. Sheppard .... and would particularly commend the lectures to the schoolchildren".
The Geological Society of London celebrated its centenary in 1907; the Hull G.S. sent a congratulatory message and W. H. Crofts (then one of the Vice Presidents) represented the Society at the Celebrations. Alfred Harker received their Murchison Medal that year and Thomas Sheppard received an award from the Lyell bequest.
Shells found during the excavation of the new Joint Dock were exhibited at the March meeting and Tomas Sheppard became President at the A.G.M. in April. The Society applied to the Royal Society for help with the cost of publishing the Transactions.
In October, W S Parrish a former Treasurer of the Society died aged 42. That month Sather gave a resume of the work and results of the Bielsbeck excavation as reported to the meeting of the B.A. in Leicester. Mr. Macturk and Tomas Sheppard reported on the rest of the B.A. meeting, "Mr. Sheppard referred to the flattering reception accorded to the Kelsey Hill paper".
By 1908, the membership had begun to drop in number; it stood at 68 at the A.G.M. The Committee was concerned about this and agreed to print a "circular of invitation" for distribution to prospective members. The A.G.M. agreed to the moving of the Society's Library and the books had been transferred to Albion Street Library by May 28th. The Society was concerned that some of the bones found in the original Bielsbeck excavation had bee purchased by a German dealer. The Society hoped that they would eventually be returned to East Yorkshire.
Professor Kendall was awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society in 1909. The Hull Geological Society though was going through a quiet spell. They visited the new Marfleet Dock which was under construction and Mr. C Thompson displayed two new species of Lias ammonites which he has found in the Drifts of Holderness. It would seem that members were not bringing much new material to meetings as it was resolved "to get through preliminary business as quickly as possible" so that the lecturer of the evening can commence as soon as possible or perhaps the lecturers just wanted to leave earlier. It was resolved that the next part of the Transactions should be printed and that they should not cost more than £5/5/0 [£5.25] for 180 copies.
In 1910, Mr. Thompson found a trilobite at Easington in Holderness, presumably it was an erratic! That year two good friends of the Society died - C Fox-Strangways and J R Dakyns both of whom worked for the Geological Survey. Fox-Strangways left some of his books to Lamplugh and the Society. J W Stather was awarded the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society of London. New members to our Society included Thomas Stainforth B.A. and J Wilson. The Transactions were published covering the years 1905 to 1910 including original papers on local geology and many extracts from the Naturalist.
Professor Seward in a lecture described the "new flora of the volcanic island of Krakatoa". He explained that the 1883 eruption had destroyed all traces of life and described the vegetation that had recolonised the island.
In July members visited quarries in the Bridlington area. When they got to White Hill Quarry one of the pits high in the Chalk succession of Yorkshire described by Rowe in 1904 they found that hundreds of tons of night soil had been dumped in it. That evening they resolved to complain to the Town Clerk of Bridlington, because they had been unable to examine the exposure. Professor Kendall represented the Society at the Jubilee celebrations of the Liverpool Geological Society. Thomas Sheppard found some belemnites at South Ferriby which appeared to be of Neocomian age. Similar finds led to research into this and other exposures in later years.
In 1911 two famous local geologists died - Rev. E Maule Cole and J R Mortimer. Alfred Harker was the President of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union that year. On Whit Monday the Society obtained permission to walk the railway track between Kiplingcotes and Market Weighton. They examined the new cutting at Kiplingcotes Station which was several hundred yards long.
J W Stather exhibited a specimen of Actinocamax quadrata from White Hill, Bridlington, along with other Chalk belemnites which he had collected. He had arranged them in stratigraphical order demonstrating how the alveolus of the fossils deepens as the zones are ascended.
Some erratic boulders were sent to Denmark for identification. The Society agreed that a 'collector' should be elected to help the Treasurer collect the annual subscriptions which were getting into arrears.
In January 1912, Thomas Sheppard invited the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union to hold its A.G.M. in Hull, on behalf of the Society and the Hull Naturalists. In a letter he explained that as he was he only person from Hull at their December meeting in Hecnomdwike "I had no alternative, therefore but to take it upon myself ... to invite the Union to Hull in 1912 and I shall be glad to hear that the members approve of my action". Luckily they did! Though apparently the Field Naturalists were not so pleased, perhaps remembering the loss incurred in 1902!
In February Mr. Demham lectured on the subject of radioactive minerals suggesting that as a result of their study Lord Kelvin's estimate of the age of the earth may need revision.
In 1913 the Society asked the Library in Albion Street to prepare a catalogue of the Society's books and this was published as a part of he Transactions. At the Whit Monday field meeting there was vigorous discussion about the proposed Humber Tunnel.
Thomas Stainforth and George Sheppard received B.Sc. degrees from the University of London in 1914. In the January of that year Thomas Sheppard exhibited chalk gastropods from the collection of J R Mortimer which had been found beneath a large ammonite.
The War meant that the last two field meetings of the summer had to be cancelled. Also it was decided that the reports of the Boulder Committee and the Coast Erosion Committee could not be published in detail, presumably in case they fell into enemy hands and helped their invasion plans. Though the following year the publication of the Transactions was postponed anyway.
Thomas Sheppard was the President of the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union in 1915 and along with other leading naturalists from the Union, he received an honorary M. Sc. Degree from the University of Leeds. He also published his 629 page Bibliography of Yorkshire Geology and later in the year he lectured to the Society on the "lost towns of the Yorkshire Coast". Some of the summer field meetings had to be cancelled because of the War.
The publication of the Transactions was gain postponed in 1916 A the A.G.M. the Secretary J W Stather, reported that "the work the Society had been carried on fairly well considering the abnormal conditions caused by the War - Our President and many of our members were settling in H M.Forces". But the Winter Programme continued, even though it meant that most of the speakers were local ones. The February meeting had to be postponed because an air raid alarm was sounded warning of the "possible approach of Zeps". The winter meetings were held on Saturday afternoons and the December meeting was in the Secretary's house in Newland Park.
Clement Reid an honorary member of the Society died in January 1917. In March Professor Kendall travelled from Leeds to give a lecture about "Geology and the War", in which he said that the War had made the public aware of our need for minerals and raw materials. At the A.G.M. in May the Secretary could not give membership numbers as so many members were in the armed forces, both in Britain and abroad. In spite of the War the 1916-1917 Programme had gone as planned and the meetings were relatively well attended. In July the Society sent a message of sympathy to George Sheppard who was in Hospital suffering from shell shock. The Summer Programme had to be reduced to four meetings and the October meeting was held at 19 Charlotte Street the home of Dr. Walton and was spent looking at fossils, the Chalk specimens from Ruston Parva being of particular interest. The next year W C Ennis and Dr. Walton both gave lectures on the zoning of the Chalk.
The War over, the Society was getting back to normal in 1919. In March they visited the Mortimer Collection in its temporary store in no. 10 Albion Street; it had been moved there just after the War. At the A.G.M. it was announced that the membership had dropped to 47, plus Honorary Members. That meeting agreed to restart the publication of the Transactions. The Society sent congratulations to George Sheppard on his appointment to a geological post in Canada.
In August the Society visited Dunswell to inspect the new waterworks site and borings, at the invitation of Mr. Newton the waterworks engineer and President of the Society. Fifty members of the Hull G.S. and the Hull Field Naturalists Club attended the meeting. Mr. Newton provided afternoon tea and "a wagonette was at the disposal of members who did not cycle".
The Society urged the City Council to invite the British Association to hold its Annual Meeting in Hull in 1922. Mr. Macturk was elected a life member of the Society; he "was now in a hospital for incurables".
Concerned about falling membership the Society invited the school teachers of Hull, the Hull Scientific Club, the Co-operative Society and the students of the training college on Cottingham Road to attend the February 1920 meeting. This was a lecture by William Whitaker entitled "With Hammer and Camera".
At the 1920 A.G.M. it was decided to charge members 2/6 [12p] per copy for the next part of the Transactions which as not ready until 1921 and covered eleven years work. Professor Kendall gave a lecture about the Channel Tunnel Scheme, to which he was a geological adviser. The Society visited a new Chalk quarry at Melton Bottoms in which the Black Band was exposed. Mr. W S Bisat described a new section at North Ferriby laid bare in the excavations for a new cement works. The membership had increased slightly in number; new members included A J Stather and A Charlesworth.
Thomas Sheppard invited the Y.N.U. to hold its A.G.M. in Hull again in 1921, at the Museum; the Society thanked him for this. He was also canvassing support for the invitation to the B.A. to hold their Annual Meeting in Hull. He reported to the Society that the cost of printing had greatly increased since the War, but that there was plenty of good material awaiting publication in the Transactions. It was agreed that he should proceed as long as the cost did not exceed £30; a special publication fund and sub-committee were established.
Mr. Bisat reported on the new exposures at Melton, Red Cliff, Ferriby Works and Ferriby Chalk Quarries in January 1921 and led the Geological Section of the Y.N.U. to these exposures in March. Because of the miners' strike trains and ferries were not available for the Society's field excursions; the Society hired a motor boat to travel to South Ferriby in May.
Part 4, of volume 6 of the Transactions was published in 1922, costing £ 36/6/0 [£36.30], and this cost was only partly met by the special publications fund. It included a well section at the N.E.R. station at Hessle and Bisat's new exposures.
Professor Kendall was the President of the Society that year. He also retired from the Chair of Geology at Leeds University and members of the Society were invited to contribute to a testimonial in July. In addition, he was the President of the Geological Section of the B.A. when it held its Annual Meeting in Hull, in September. Other members of the Society helped prepare and took part in the field excursions of the B.A., to South Cave, Market Weighton, Dimlington, Kirmington and Caistor. Mr. A Charlesworth acted as the Local Secretary for the meeting and members reading papers included J W Stather, C Thompson and W S Bisat.
That year the membership of the Society had increased to 70. W C Ennis read a paper on the distribution of Micraster in the Yorkshire Chalk and demonstrated their succession with the specimens he had collected. G W Macturk was still in the Yorkshire Home at Harrogate and sent his regards to the members in December.
A committee of the Society had examined belemnites found on the foreshore at South Ferriby and had agreed that they included eight Speeton Clay species. In February 1923 Dr. Woods of Cambridge reported that the large belemnite from South Ferriby was B. abbrevitus, which could be found in the Ampthill Clay. When the Society visited South Ferriby in April the beach was covered in mud and only two fragments of belemnites could be found.
Earlier that year Thomas Sheppard gave a report on the successful British Association meeting. In February the Society received its first lecture from a lady, when Miss E Whitaker spoke on the subject of Peat; Mr. C W Mason was the lanternist for this lecture. The A.G.M. raised the annual subscription from 5/- to 7/6 [37p]. Mr. C B Newton, read a paper about a series of 24 borings, each 2½ inches in diameter in a 6 mile line from Cottingham to Holderness Drain, which had revealed the location of the Buried Cliff in that area. Later in the year it was decided to offer back numbers of the Transactions for sale in the Naturalist, and members took part in the Y.N.U. field meeting at Bridlington. They visited the Sewerby Buried Cliff where a mammoth’s tooth had been found just previously.
P F Kendall was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924. At that year's A.G.M. Thomas Sheppard was asked to prepare the next part of the Transactions for publication "at a cost of not more than £12". Also at that meeting W S Bisat proposed that the Geological Society of London be asked for a grant of £15 from the Gloyne Fund, for excavations on the foreshore of South Ferriby to investigate the belemnite bearing clays. The Geological Society agreed and a subcommittee was formed in June with Bisat as the Secretary. They obtained permission to dig trial trenches on the beach and at the base of a spring below the Red Chalk.
Part 5, the last part of volume 6 of the Transactions was published in 1925. It was printed by Sherratt and Hughes of Manchester, and not Browns of Hull as usual and cost £18/7/7 [£18.38] for 150 copies. It included Sheppard's article on the South Ferriby belemnites and a report by Lamplugh of a well section at the new Hornsea Waterworks. That year Lamplugh received the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society of London and the Geological Survey opened a regional office in York.
Mr. Macturk died in the Yorkshire Home Harrogate on February 28th. and W Whitaker, who had given lectures to the Society in the past also died that month. Dr. F F Walton, founder member and past President died on 22nd May.
In March Mr. Bisat gave a report on the South Ferriby excavations. Even though the investigations continued throughout the year the problem was still unsolved : they could not find the bed containing the Speeton Clay belemnites, in spite of many trenches being dug. W C Ennis read a paper to the Society about Flamborough chalk sponges. Mr. J H Sleight who had compiled the catalogue of the Society's Library and who was responsible for our books at the Central Library in Albion Street, was elected as an Honorary Member and C Thompson, who as leaving his post at Hymers College to move to Tunbridge Wells, was elected Vice-President.
In February 1926, Cecil Mason lectured on "Photography and Geology" which he illustrated with numerous lantern slides of local geological features. Over the years Mr. Mason must have taken many hundreds of slides of the Society's work and for many years the first meeting of the Winter Programme was a report of the summer's excursions illustrated by his slides. George de Boer (1988) recalls how Mason still used his heavy plate camera in the 1950's. Many of the glass lantern slides were donated to the Museum after his death in 1964 (Edwards 1984).
At the A.G.M. Mr. C E N Bromehead of the Geological Survey joined the Society and Sir John S Flett, the Director of the Survey was elected as an Honorary Member. W S Bisat reported that Dr. Spath had identified some ammonites found in the clays at South Ferriby as Rasenia , which left no doubt that the clays were of Kimmeridgian age; but this did not explain the presence of the belemnites on the foreshore. A field meeting to South Ferriby that summer had to be cancelled due to the General Strike. In November W C Ennis read a paper on the Cretaceous sea urchin Echinocorys and its variation in shape. He said that it was of value for the zonation of the Yorkshire Chalk. Another founder member, Walter Dixon, died in Glasgow.
In a lecture to the Society in February 1927, Dr. W B Wright of the Geological Survey, explained how the continents are enormous islands floating in seas of basalt. In March the Society asked Thomas Sheppard to proceed with the production of the first part of volume 7 of the Transactions but he should get competitive quotes and should not exceed a £10 limit. The Society was told at the same meeting that the balance of the grant from the Gloyne Fund, some £ 11, had been spent on an excavation of the Lower Cretaceous deposits at Knapton. J F Robinson, botanist, leading member of the Field Naturalists and founder member of the Hull Geol. Soc., died on March 11th.
The Society examined new exposures of the Black Band at Burdale and Wharram Stations , and W C Ennis began working on the upper beds of the Speeton Clay at West Heslerton and Speeton. Sidney Melmore of Acomb, York, joined the Society. Thomas Sheppard sold some of his bound periodicals to the newly established University College [these can still be seen in the Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull with the initials T.S. on the spine].
Mr. C G Danford, who had carried out research on the belemnites of the Speeton Clay, died in 1928, aged 85. Mr. Ennis reported that the beach at Speeton was well exposed that year and he was elected as the Secretary of the sub-committee investigating the upper beds of the Clays, which had received a further grant of £20 from the Gloyne Fund. He also lectured on the Chalk fossils of the Yorkshire coast.
Dr. A Jowett formerly of the Indian Geological Survey was elected as an Honorary Member. The Society received some books from Lamplugh's estate for the Library. Members had the chance to examine some Chalk cores from a borehole at Dunswell Waterworks.
In 1929 Mr. Bromehead of the Geological Survey, told members in a lecture that "there was evidence of the presence of oil in England, but not in sufficient volume to make it of commercial value". In March Thomas Sheppard welcomed members to the new Mortimer Museum, which was in the old Art Gallery in the City Hall. Sheppard was asked to produce the next part of the Transactions for less than £10, it was printed by Browns and cost £19/18/6 [£19.92] for 150 copies. New members that year included D W Toyne, C Green and R M Stainforth.
By 1930 the membership had slipped back to 62 in number and the Society decided to encourage junior members to join at a reduced subscription of 2/6 [12p], but for that they would not receive copies of the Transactions. Later that year on October 30th., C W and E V [Willy and Ted] Wright, of Tower House, North Ferriby, joined the Society as junior members. Dr. George Sheppard, by then State Geologist of the Republic of Equador, lectured to the Society during a visit to Hull, in July.
In 1931 the Y.N.U. held its A.G.M. at the University College and the Society displayed specimens at the meeting, Thomas Sheppard was unable to attend due to ill health. It was decided that junior members could purchase copies of the Transactions at half price. 150 copies of the Winter Programme cost 17/6 [88p] to print that year. The Society's books were moved to a new room at the Central Library, to the Committee's satisfaction.
After lecturing to the Society in 1932, on the History of the North Sea, Sir John Flett, Director of the Geological Survey, arranged to donate duplicate publications from the Survey to the Society's Library. Part 3 of volume 7 of the Transactions was published costing £11/17/8 [£11.68] . It included Ennis's paper on the A beds of the Speeton Clay and an article about a chalk starfish found by the young Wright brothers. R M Stainforth read a paper about exposures of Cave Oolite on the Boothferry Road, between Ellerker and South Cave. Mr. C Green gave details of a local earthquake recorded by the Hull Waterworks. Dr. Versey of Leeds University joined the Society.
C F B Shillito joined the Society in January 1933, his close friend T B Parks joined in October. That year Thomas Sheppard lectured on the geology of the West Indies and Bisat told the Society about his visit to the International Geological Congress held in Washington U.S.A. The Wright brothers displayed local fossils at meetings and the Society bought a new 100 W projector lamp for 10/9 [54p].
In February 1934 Sheppard lectured about the geological collections of the Malton Museum which had just been purchased by Hull Museum . The next part of the Transactions cost £11/10/0 [£11-50] to print and included a report on the excavations funded by the Gloyne Fund apparently the British Museum had thrown some doubt on the original identifications of the South Ferriby belemnites made by the Geological Survey.
Mr. W F Morton a member since 1897 asked to resign. When the Secretary J H Wilson suggested that his name be entered on the "scroll of fame'" Mr. Norton replied that he would prefer to remain a member. W S Bisat was the President of the Y.N.U. that year.
In January 1935, C W and E V Wright exhibited and spoke about Chalk Inocerams and arranged them on a table to show their phylogeny, They also published a long list of Chalk fossils which they had found beneath a large Chalk ammonite at Kiplingcotes, the ammonite had protected the aragonite shells from being dissolved.
Prof. H C Versey, then Secretary of the Y.G.S. lectured about the structure of East Yorkshire in February, suggesting that there had been Tertiary reactivation of earlier faults and that there were Tertiary sand deposits on the Wolds; an idea previously supported by Stather and Mortimer. In April the Glacial Committee, formerly known as the Boulder Committee, was discontinued. Alfred Harker was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Society that year and in November Shillito lectured about the glacial drift deposits of Kirmington. D W Toyne was killed in a motor cycle accident [or was hit by a car when cycling]; the Wright brothers later continued his work on the zonation of the Yorkshire Wolds Chalk pits and were given his collection of fossils. W H Crofts died on December 19th. 1935, aged 74.
The Wright brothers exhibited over 200 specimens in January 1936 for a talk entitled "recent collecting in the Chalk". A newspaper cutting records that in a vote of thanks "Mr. Sheppard stated that what seemed to be only a few years ago he had the pleasure of taking two very small boys round the quarries in the neighbourhood and gave them an introduction to the principal geological features and commoner fossils. But the tide had turned and these two young men were now able to give him much information about the fossils of the district, which hitherto had been unknown".
What was to be the last part of the Transactions was published in 1936, costing £20/19/4 [£20.96] , printed by Browns. Previously Thomas Sheppard had inserted reprints of his papers on "Fact and Fiction in Geology" and "John Phillips" into the Transactions, without renumbering the pages giving you the impression when you read a bound copy that the binder had included them in error. This last part contained a detailed description of the uppermost part of the Speeton Clay, from bed A1 to bed B2, by W C Ennis with photographs of belemnites from these beds. There were also four papers by C W and E V Wright.
Percy Fry Kendall, a good friend of the Society over the years and a past President died that year. The friends of the late W H Crofts donated a large number of books to the Society's Library as a memorial. Thomas Sheppard was elected to serve as President for a second time.
In January 1937 the Wright brothers presented a paper entitled "New finds in Yorkshire Cretaceous Rocks" illustrated with slides and specimens including a Pterodactyl. Later that year they were to find the first of the Ferriby Boats, but they were unable to work on the boats properly until after the War. That year the membership stood at 55 and W C Ennis died in September aged 61 having retired from teaching at the Boulevard Senior School.
1938 was the 50th. Anniversary of the Society and it was also the Centenary of the Yorkshire Geological Society. Thomas Sheppard, our President, was the delegate to the Y.G.S. Centenary Meeting and Dinner. George Sheppard resigned from the Society in March.
Sadly John Walker Stather F.G.S. died in April. He was one of the founder members and had been the Secretary or joint Secretary of the Society for nearly the whole fifty years (and it was only because he had been the President for three years that he hadn't!).
At the November meeting Mr. Mason "entertained the members with a magnificent series of photographs ... taken ... during the society's excursions in the summer", reported the newspaper. The report went on to say that the President Thomas Sheppard "suggested that the time had come when following the example of similar societies an annual medal should be awarded for exceptional work in the interests of geology. He thought that the first of these should certainly be given to Mr. Mason".
The Society celebrated its jubilee with a dinner held at the Broadway Hotel on December 2nd. 1938. About 60 members and guests attended and Thomas Sheppard was in the Presidential Chair. Sir Albert Seward the President of the British Association was the 'chief guest' and gave a speech about the value of amateur geologists and Societies. Toasts were proposed by Mr. Charlesworth, Dr. H Thomas (President of the Y.N.U.), Mr. Bisat (President of the Y.G.S.), Dr. Versey and Thomas Sheppard. There was a souvenir menu on the front of which there were photographs of a Jubilee medal featuring a map of East Yorkshire with crossed geological hammers on one side and the head of the President on the other. There is no mention of this medal in the minute book! The medal was offered to members and friends by Sheppard for a subscription of ten shillings [50p] or over (Berry 1986). Messages of congratulations were received by the Society from the Geological Society, the Geological Survey and Museum, the Leeds Geological Association, the Yorkshire Geological Society and the Leeds University Geology Department. The Dinner cost five shillings [25p] per head and the menu cost £4/18/6 [£4.82] to print. The event was greatly enjoyed. Sheppard wrote to Wilson the Treasurer after saying that the drinks for the top table cost £1 and of that "14/- went to one guest!" [but we do not know which one].
On January 5th. 1939 C W Wright lectured to the Society on "Ammonites as time indicators" during his vacation from Chritchurch College Oxford. Mr. C F B Shillito was elected as President at the A.G.M.
There are no minutes of meetings between April 1939 and May 1940.
Alfred Harker died in 1939; he had lectured to the Society almost annually for many years and was an acknowledged expert on Igneous and Metamorphic rocks. He had been the Society's President in 1925 and 1927 and a Vice-President since 1893.
During the War indoor meetings were held on Saturday afternoons. The Society's debts were great mainly due to the Jubilee Dinner, but also because of the difficulty in collecting subscriptions due to the War. Attendance at the meetings obviously declined and the number of meetings particularly field meetings was reduced. It was impossible to print the Transactions as paper was scarce though articles were accumulating awaiting publication. But because the Society's expenditure was reduced, by the end of the War the funds were out of the red.
In 1941 the Society was unable to use their usual meeting room so meetings were held at Wilberforce House; the average attendance was seven. Thomas Sheppard had retired from the Museum and was finding it difficult to live on his pension. He offered to resign from the Society but was made an Honorary Member. He sold his private collection of books. C W Wright was unable to attend meetings due to military service so he sent papers to the Society which were read at meetings by Sheppard.
Mr. Mason reported on the summer field meetings as usual but "owing to the shortage of photographic materials only new exposures had been photographed". The Wright brothers worried that they might not survive the War published their notes on "The Chalk of the Yorkshire Wolds" in the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association in 1942.
The department store Thornton Varleys had been bombed and they were allowed to use the Museum for storage and as a shop. Kenneth Fenton remembered visiting the Museum in those days when ladies underwear was on sale amongst the Egyptian mummies! Mary Sheppard (1986) records how her brother Thomas Sheppard was worried about all this inflammable clothing being stored in the Museum. In 1943 the Museum was hit by incendiary bombs, the fire station was hit in the same raid. The Museum burnt down and the majority of the geological collection was lost all except some 800 fossils from the Mortimer Collection and some of the material from the Malton Museum. Some of the surviving Mortimer fossils are covered with lead which must have melted off the roof of the Museum as it burned. The site of the Museum was flattened a few days afterwards because the building was unsafe to stop looting and children playing in it [Mavis May told me about this]. The site has been used as a car park for many years although there was an archaeological excavation called the Pheonix Project in 1989.
Thomas Sheppard took the destruction of the Museum very badly. So did the Society - all the specimens which members had donated had been lost. The Society's back numbers of the Transactions were also destroyed. The Society immediately wrote to the Council offering to help to rebuild the collections.
Mr. J H Wilson resigned as Treasurer a post he had held since 1911 and his place was taken by his son D Wilson then known to members as 'Wilson Junior'. In October 1943 Mr. Shillito exhibited microfossils from a marl band in the Chalk which he had collected that summer on a Society field excursion to Beverley. In 1944 Sheppard was still selling some of his book collection offering them to members, but he also asked for the Society's help in obtaining some copies of his own publications and a Society medal to donate to the Museum when the War was over.
Thomas Stainforth died in 1944 and the Society helped to raise £150 as a memorial that has been used ever since to provide a prize for the best Biology student at the Technical College.
By 1945 Thomas Sheppard was very ill and almost confined to his bed. He was unable to read a paper sent to the Society by C W Wright. Willy Wright wrote a letter saying that his brother Ted had been on the continent since D-Day but that "in spite of the fighting he managed to do some collecting in Normandy". Mr. Green, the Secretary, replied that he was pleased that Ted was able to "continue his geological activities in spite of the present distractions".
Thomas Sheppard died in February 1945. At the March meeting "the members moved a resolution of sympathy on the death of Mr. Sheppard and appreciation of the great services rendered by him to the Society during his long association therewith". It was perhaps fitting that the lecture at that meeting was from Mr. J B Fry the new Museums Director who spoke on the topic of "How members can help the new museum" in which he outlined plans for a new Museum. In a lively discussion members suggested "that a comprehensive collection of specimens illustrating Yorkshire Geology was necessary in the formation of the new museum" and offered to help by collecting specimens. The Treasurer's report for that year showed that the financial problems were over. The Society was keen to encourage junior members and decided that the Junior Members' subscription should be 4 shillings.
George de Boer joined the Society in August 1945. In September Willy Wright informed the Secretary that his brother had "been having some grand collecting in Germany in the Hannover district" In December George de Boer gave his first lecture to the Society on "Glacial Overflow Channels in East Yorkshire". The Society was having problems with the library - members were not being allowed to borrow books belonging to the Society. Later it was agreed that the Secretary should keep all new publications received by the Society until the problem could be resolved.
In 1946 the Society was given a manuscript book on the Geology of Kelsey Hill written by Thomas Stainforth. The Society planned to publish it when the Transactions were restarted and the book was handed to the Secretary for safe keeping. This book is now in the archive collection of Hull Museum's Natural History section.
Mr. A Jordan left a sum of money in excess of £50 to the Society in his will. Ted Wright gave a lecture to the Society about the North Ferriby Boats. Mr W S Bisat was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1947 and was congratulated by the Society.
In 1948 George de Boer gave an account of his visit to Norway with a party from Cambridge University to study Glacial Geology. Ted Wright spoke on "Collecting in the Cretaceous of N. Germany". In March Mr. Shillito presented his Presidential Address on the "Cretaceous beds of North Lincolnshire" illustrated with carefully drawn cross sections based on wells and boreholes. He resigned as President and was succeeded by George de Boer. Exchange publications were still arriving at the Central Library but the Society was no being informed. It was decided that the publications should be sent direct to the Secretary in future. Later that year Shillito became ill and was taken into hospital.
The Society had continued to meet in Wilberforce House and attendance at meetings had not improved much since the War. In September 1948 the Society was considering its future and looking for a new meeting room. The University offered to let the Society meet there but the older members of the Society were concerned that the University would want delegate status on the Committee and eventually "press for control of our activities". Mr. de Boer the President assured the Committee that "there is no question of the Society losing its identity or autonomy nor of it changing is character as an amateur Society". Even so, the Society rejected the offer and decided to meet at the Church Institute. In fact the Society continued to refuse offers of the use of a room at the University throughout the 1950s.
In 1949 Professor Bond of Hull University lectured to the Society on the geology of Southern Rhodesia. Meetings changed from Saturday afternoons to Thursday evenings. In November Mr. C Green, the Secretary, lectured on the "Water Resources of the Yorkshire Chalk". A Hull Geol. Soc. Jubilee Medal was found in Khartoum and was sent to the Society [and has since been lost].
Charles Frederick Brightman Shillito died at 1-30 am. on Sunday 10th. December 1950. The Society sent a wreath to the funeral and was represented by Mr. Parks, Mr. Mason and Mr. Pettifer. The following year the Society received the Shillito bequest of just over £650 The Society decided to commence publishing the Transactions again starting with a memorial to Mr. Shillito and including an obituary by Mr. Parks his close friend.
John Neale gave his first lecture to the Society in 1950 on the subject of the "Permo-Carboniferous Ice Age"; this was o be he start of a long and close association with the Society.
In 1953 it was again agreed to publish the Transactions and Mr. W S Bisat was asked to act as referee. The Society obtained a quotation for the cost of printing the Transactions: £ 150/8/6 [ £150.22] for 150 copies, plus £ 67 for blocks. Presumably the cost was considered to be too great or perhaps it was thought that the quality of the articles did not merit the expense, as the matter was dropped. In June the Secretary Mr. Green, died and the Society's effects were moved from the Waterworks to Mr. de Boer's office at the University. In November the Society agreed to donate its Library to the University, in return members could have access and borrowing rights to all sections of the University Library. The books were all moved into the University Library, including the publications which the Secretary had been storing since the War. Duplicate copies of the books and periodicals were given to the Geology Department for its Library in 1954. At the end of 1953 and in early 1954 the Society was beginning to have problems with "the tax people" over the Shillito bequest. In 1954 the Society received two lectures on the structural geology of the area one from John Neale, about the Market Weighton 'Structure' and one from Lewis Penny on the faulting in the Wolds where lines of disturbance could be identified. Mr. D Wilson, who was the Treasurer and the President, gave a Presidential Address on "The amateur in Geology".
The membership of the Society was in decline throughout the 1950s and by 1956 it stood at 25 and the average attendance at meetings was nine. The President was missing many of the meetings due to ill health. Patrick Boylan and Miss V L Foley joined the Society in 1956. The following year C W Mason resigned as field excursion secretary. Things really began to fall apart after the A.G.M. in 1957. The Committee met in June and arranged a Programme for the winter, but only the December meeting, a lecture by Lewis Penny, and the February 1958 meeting are minuted. George de Boer (1988) records that meetings were cancelled because the Society could not guarantee an audience for the guest speakers.
Effectively the Society ceased to exist.
Meanwhile, when the Society was not having meetings, the University started to offer night classes in Geology to the public. In 1960 John Neale gave the first series of night classes, an in 1961 Mark Piasecki took over and has continued ever since [until the closure of the Geology Department in 1988]. Later Brian Waugh ran a second course. Over the years many people have attended these classes. Dr. Piasecki's classes were so popular that some people become regulars, attending his class every year. Being a "hard rock" specialist he often recommended his evening students interested in fossils to join the Society.
Some of the University lecturers were particularly interested in local geology, and produced guides to the area. De Boer, Neale and Penny published one in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society in 1958 and Neale and Penny, in collaboration with N S Bisat, for the Geologists' Association Centenary Series in 1962. They maintained their interests in local topics: de Boer studying Spurn Point, Penny the Quaternary deposits of the area and Neale the Speeton Clay.
Mr. D Wilson, the Society's President and Treasurer, died in 1960. His son Ian D Wilson wrote to George de Boer about the enquiries that had been received from the "tax people". No tax could be paid out of the Society's funds because the Society effectively only consisted of a Secretary and no members.
An Extraordinary General Meeting was held on 14th. March 1961, at 15 Park Avenue, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mason. A Committee was formed with Kenneth Fenton as Chairman, George de Boer as Secretary and Ian Wilson as Treasurer. This Committee was given powers to co-opt further Committee members and recruit new members to the Society; its main function was to try to keep the Society in being. A second Committee meeting agreed a Winter Programme and details were sent to the press, schools and other Societies. New rules were drawn up in July. At the first winter meeting Lewis Penny lectured on "the Ice Age in East Yorkshire" to 39 members and guests. Mr. T B Parks and Mr. C W Mason were elected as Honorary Members. The rest of the meetings in the programme were equally well attended; the reformed Society had got off to a good start.
Sadly, Thomas Benjamin Parks died in December 1961; his collection was later donated to the Hull Museums.
In January 1962 George de Boer spoke on "Spurn Point its evolution and History". The A.G.M. in March adopted the new rules and by then the membership had increased to 30. The Society gave a donation of £10 to the Rifle Butts Quarry Preservation Fund and Dr. Norman Angus lectured on 'Layered Intrusions'. The Committee discussed the possibility of publishing a geological guide to East Yorkshire. In November the Society held a joint meeting with the Harker Society, the student geological society of Hull University. The Society was asked provide a display for exhibitions arranged by the B.A. and the Council for Nature, and a special sub-committee was formed to prepare these. The taxman was not convinced that the Society was a non-profit-making organisation. The Committee agreed to consult a solicitor to see if further rule changes were required. These changes were proposed in 1963 and allowed the Society to register as an Educational Charity and avoid paying income tax on its funds.
Felix Whitham was the 'new member' elected to the Committee in 1963 . The Society provided geological exhibitions for the Hull Science Fair and Nature Week. George de Boer was elected as an Honorary Member. A 75th. Anniversary Dinner was held at the Queens Hotel and Dr. George Sheppard attended as guest speaker and showed members the jubilee medal. The Society had come a long way since its near demise in 1960 and to add to the feelings of success a new Museum was promised for Queens Gardens, which would house the Natural History and Geological collections.
In 1964 it was discovered that members of the Society only have reading rights at the University Library and can not borrow books. A 'Shillito Memorial Fund' was established to make grants for geological research work. Membership of the Society had reached 50 in number and registration as a Charity had been successful. Sixteen members attended an annual dinner. The Society supported a Private Member's Bill in Parliament calling for greater protection of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The Committee was concerned about insurance problems for members offering or accepting lifts to field meetings. It was agreed to buy a duplicator for the Secretary. The Society decided to affiliate to the Council for Nature and the Yorkshire Naturalists Trust.
The Shillito Memorial Fund, which was the interest accrued by the Shillito Bequest, was first used in 1965 to buy a set of local geological maps regional guides, Geologists' Association Guides, a sledge hammer, a spade, a set of sieves, chisels and a long soil auger, for the use of members. The Regional Guides are still in the Museum, but it is not known what happened to the other items. It was also decided that grants could be made to individuals for research, on the condition that the recipient gave a lecture to the Society afterwards. The first such grant was to Patrick Boylan for the study of Yorkshire Pleistocene Mammalia.
That year Felix Whitham became the Treasurer of the Society a post he has held ever since [until 2002]. Felix remembers arranging for extension pieces to be made for the Satiety’s auger and recalls that it was taken on field meetings and used to sample the Lias Clays of the South Cave area.
Lewis Penny spoke to the Society about the new exposure of Bridlington Crag. George Sheppard died in the Summer of 1965.
In 1966 the Society agreed to produce a new publication, jointly with the Field Studies Association and the Hull Scientific and Field Naturalists' Club. A joint committee was formed to edit and produce the new journal.
Mr. George Shepherd had been given a grant from the Shillito Memorial Fund and presented his lecture on the "Active Volcanoes in Italy" Professor Donnovan the Head of the Department of Geology al Hull University who had given several lectures to the Society left Hull.
Felix Whitham had been visiting Mellon Bottoms Quarry for many years and when the Carstone was exposed he found some brachiopods. Using a homemade wooden rake he recovered more of these. The brachiopods were identified as Burrirhynchia leightonensis and Felix published a paper about them jointly with Peter Rawson and Ellis Owen in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. The Society made a grant to Mr. Whitham from the Shillito Memorial Fund to buy reprints of the paper in 1967. Another grant of £20 was made to Patrick Boylan for his Quaternary research. He was leaving the area to take up a post in Exeter. He was elected as an Honorary Member and later became the Director of the Leicester Museums and Art Galleries. His place at Hull Museums was taken by Brian Latham. Mr. J R Stather agreed to act as Librarian for the Society's small collection of books and guides which could be borrowed by members. Sidney Melmore was also elected as an Honorary Member. A grant of £20 was made to Lewis Penny for a visit to Iceland. New members that year included Ron Harrison, Brian Waugh and Professor Michael House. Eric Chicken joined the Society the following year.
Number One of the new publication East Yorkshire Field Studies was published in 1968 priced 4/6 [22p]. Field Studies contained an equal mix of articles from its three constituent Societies. This first issue contained an article about the Jurassic of the South Cave area written by Patrick Boylan and Felix Whitham illustrated with some fine line drawings of fossils produced by John Neale. Field Studies was printed by the President's (Percy Gravett's) printing company. It seems to have been very successful all copies of No. 1 were sold, but future issues did not sell as well and eventually the societies had to bear financial loss.
Sidney Melmore (born 1894) died in April 1969. Mr. J R Stather resigned from the Committee and was elected as an Honorary Member. The Society bought a typewriter for the Secretary Mrs. Ward. The Society decided to hold special field meetings that summer to collect specimens for the Museum. New members that year included Richard Myerscough and Lynden Emery (one of the joint editors of Field Studies).
In 1970 a grant of £30 was made to Brian Latham for his research into the Middle Chalk. The Society continued add fossils to the Museum's collections, and was concentrating the collecting on the Chalk. It was probably around this time that Percy Gravett reprinted 200 copies of the Wrights' 1942 paper on the Yorkshire Chalk. This reprint was dedicated to a "Revision Project" and stated that "revision of the early work and further progress towards a complete record will now be added to the project of re-establishing the Hull Museum collection of fossils". The membership subscription was raised to 15/- [75p] at the A.G.M. Mr. E V Wright gave a Presidential Address on "Small Fossils" describing the collections of C F B Shillito. The Society requested that South Cave Station Quarry should become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I.), which it eventually did. The Society was worried about the future of Field Studies Number 2 had only sold 140 out of the 500 copies printed and the Field Studies Association had folded. The local Archaeological Society was asked to join the publication group. Even so definite plans were made for the next two issues. Number 3 was published the following year but it then ceased to be a joint publication. Mark Piasecki became the editor for number 4, as John Neale was going to South America for a year.
A grant of £30 was made to Dr. Brian Waugh for his research in 1971 and Richard Myerscough was the 'new member' on the Committee that year. The February meeting in 1972 had to be cancelled due to "the power crisis".
W S Bisat, a long standing member of the Society, died on 14th. May 1973. The Society agreed to print 400 copies of Field Studies No. 4. Also it affiliated to the Yorkshire Geological Society, and Kenneth Fenton became the Secretary. That year there were problems with the Society's exchange with the United States Geological Survey. The Survey had been sending their publications to the Society, which were then donated to the University, but they were no longer receiving Transactions in return. It was decided that the exchange be transferred formally to the University and that the University should send their Occasional Papers in Geography in return. The Society later agreed to add to the exchange by donating copies of its publications for the University Library to send to the U.S.G.S.
The President, Lynden Emery, represented the Society at the Centenary Dinner of the Leeds Geological Association in 1974. The number of members in the Society stood at 65; Doug Bridger was a new member that year. Brian Latham planned to start a quarterly newsletter for the Society. Percy Gravett - agreed to tape record lectures, with the lecturer's permission, and write abstracts for inclusion in the newsletter, which was to be called "Occasional Reports". The Yorkshire Geological Society published a book entitled The Geology and mineral Resources of Yorkshire, which included chapters written by John Neale, Lewis Penny and George de Boer.
The Society was shocked to learn that the site reserved for the new museum in Queens Gardens was going to be offered for private development. The Society protested to the Lord Mayor, the press and other interested parties, The Hull Daily Mail took an interest in the Society’s activities and their photographer was impressed when some members took him to Melton Bottoms Quarry and found a large Chalk ammonite. A large article was printed in the paper bout the Society with a photograph of the ammonite which had "just been dug out" [but in fact had been placed in the quarry the evening before from Felix Whitham’s collection!].
At the A.G.M. in 1975 the subscription was raised to £1.00 and Messrs. C W and E V Wright became Honorary Members. In view of the increasing price of petrol, the use of coaches or minibuses for field meetings was discontinued and members were encouraged to share the petrol costs when they accepted lifts. The first issue of the duplicated newsletter 'Humberside Geologist' was published, but it never became a quarterly journal as originally hoped.
Nearly 120 members and guests attended the October meeting when Professor Vines spoke about Plate Tectonics; 80 attended the next lecture by Dr. Alan Charig about the warm bloodedness of certain reptiles and dinosaurs. Brian Latham left the Museum that year and new members to the Society included Angela Gowland and Harry Thompson.
In 1976 the Society terminated its affiliation to the Y.N.U. and the Hull Museums resigned their membership of the Society.
Attendance at the summer field meetings was declining. In June and July the Society renewed its lobbying for new museum and a permanent. geological display. Mr. C W Wright was awarded the Y.G.S. Phillips Medal and J R Stather died.
In 1977 John Neale and Lewis Penny were elected as honorary and Tony Gear joined the Society. Humberside Geologist number 2 was published. By then worries were increasing about the future of the Museum’s geological collections. There were rumours of cited specimens being loaned to schools there had not been a geological curator for over a year to lock after the collections. The Geological Curators Group carried out a review of the collections and as a result Dr. Pete Rawson recommended that the Museum should either appoint a geological curator to conserve and expand the collection or donate it to another institution able to look after it properly. Once again the Society agreed to lobby interested parties.
In January 1978 the Society sent letters to the Lord Mayor the press Councilors Members of Parliament, the G.C.G., the Museums Association, the Y.N.T., the Y.G.S. and other museums complaining about the state of the collections at Hull Museum and urging immediate action. The G.C.G. planned to hold its A.G.M. at Hull University later that year to discuss the problem.
In July the Museum advertised for an Assistant Keeper in Natural History with specialist knowledge in Geology or Ornithology. Mike Boyd was appointed to the post after postgraduate work at Newcastle University on fossil amphibians, according to the press. Another press cutting informed us that the Museums had announced that they planned to open a new Natural History Gallery in the Castle Warehouse sometime in 1979. The crisis seemed to be over and the G.C.G. discussed future of he collections at their A.G.M. in a more optimistic mood. They visited the collection then still in the Market Place in the afternoon of the meeting.
Lynden Emery submitted a thesis for a M. Sc. degree to the University of Hull after seven years of part-time research of the Speeton Clays making monthly visits to the coast. It was 448 pages long and included descriptions of new species of fossil molluscs.
Sir Kingsley Dunham addressed joint meeting held with the Harker Society on the subject of "Energy for Britain". The Society's membership stood at 73 and the Hull Naturalists celebrated their Centenary, with an exhibition at the Museum and a Dinner. A 90th. anniversary dinner was planned for the Hull Geol. Soc. but had to be cancelled due lack of support.
In 1979 the Society recovered its archives which were stored in the Museum in the Market Place. Mike Boyd and Mick Stanley took up their posts at the Museum but there was still no progress on the new display gallery. Mr. C W Wright retired from his civil service career and Tony Gear was the 'new member' of the Committee that year. The Society opposed plans for tipping in the Railway Cutting at Enthorpe and permission was later refused.
In the Secretary's Report in 1981 Ken Fenton noted that the "officers are not getting any younger" and urged younger members to made effort to get more involved in the Society's activities to ensure its viability in years to come. Sheila Rogers was elected as the 'new member' of the Committee and the annual subscription was increased to £ 1-50. The Society opposed plans to tip in the North Newbald Oolite Quarry but was unsuccessful. Ken Fenton took an interest in the proposed new road into Hull, which would cut through the Buried Cliff at Hessle Station. He began to make arrangements for members to visit the site when the cliff was exposed. Over 80 members and guests attended a controversial lecture by Dr. L B Halstead on "the Politics of Evolution", in 1982.
In My 1983 the Society visited, measured and recorded the temporary exposure of the Hessle buried cliff, before it was removed to make way for he new road. Kenneth Fenton sent a report about Buried cliff on the following year's Members Evening, which was later published in Humberside Geologist. Brian Waugh lectured to the Society, before leaving to work in the United States.
Humberside Geologist Number 4 was published in 1984, this issue was produced from original typescripts using a photocopier by Sheila Rogers and the improvement in quality over the previous duplicated issues was appreciated by members. Dr. Hubert Watson died that year and later his sister donated his collection of geological journals the Society and these were stored by Felix Whitham. A research project started to study the Yorkshire Chalk and exhibit material collected in the Centenary year. Kenneth Fenton was unable to attend most of the winter meetings that year due to evening teaching commitments; he later took early retirement from the Technical College due to heart problems.
The annual subscription was increased in 1985 to £ 2-00, at the A.G.M. and Kenneth Fenton, retired as Secretary. Members had made a collection and presented him with a book token in recognition of his many years of service to the Society. The Committee secretly hoped hat Ken would accept the Presidency in the Centenary year. The Society became interested in the National Scheme for Geological Site Documentation and hoped to persuade the Museum to participate in the scheme with the Society's help. Mr. Tim Schadla-Hall spoke at the Members’ Evening about Thomas Sheppard and the Hull Museums. Kenneth Fenton presided over the meeting and sadly died later that night. After his death, the Committee agreed that there should be a series of memorial lectures. In November C W Wright gave an extra lecture in the Society's programme about the Yorkshire Chalk, which was full of anecdotal references to previous leading members of the Society, especially Thomas Sheppard.
In February 1986 the Committee continued to make plans for the Centenary year; these included a Dinner, an exhibition in the Town Docks Museum and special Winter Programme of lectures by Honorary Members on local topics. The A.G.M. agreed to start memorial fund in memory of Kenneth Fenton for the Museum to use towards the purchase of a filing cabinet for the Site Documentation Scheme. It also agreed that the Society should invest in some shares of the privatised Trustee Savings Bank. The first Fenton Memorial lecture in October was attended by Ken's widow: Dr. Milling told the Society about his research into the geophysics of the Market Weighton Structure, an appropriate memorial to someone so keen on local geology. Professor John Neale was awarded the John Phillips Medal of the Y.G.S.
In 1987 the Society displayed the initial results of the Centenary Chalk Project at the Hull Meeting of the Y.G.S. and later at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers of Geology [later to become the Earth Science Teachers Association] held in Cottingham. This conference had been organised by Sheila Rogers and members of the Society helped with the field excursions. The Society informally revived the East Riding Boulder Committee. in December C W and E W Wright received honorary D.Sc. degrees from Hull University and C W Wright as awarded the Prestwich medal of the Geological Society. The Yorkshire Geological Society celebrated its 150th, anniversary and the Hull Geological Society sent a message of congratulations. Several members attended the Anniversary Dinner in York. After discussions with the Nature Conservancy Council, the Society agreed to 'informally adopt' the Rifle Butts Quarry SSSI near Market Weighton.
Field trip to Rosedale 1987 - Lynden Emery, Tony Benfield, Ron Harrison and Donald Beveridge.
1988 was the Society's Centenary. The Summer Programme included conservation visits to Rifle Butts quarry and special meetings suitable for beginners including a walk around the city centre looking at building stones. The planned exhibition in the Town Docks Museum was cancelled at short notice; a smaller display was hastily arranged in the Central Library; this meant that the Chalk Project material could not be used in the display due to space constraints. In March the University Grants Committee announced plans to close the Geology Department at the University. The Society, along with other societies and local industries, wrote letters of protest but the plan went ahead anyway. Some of the lecturers had left Hull to start new careers in other Universities by October. The Department will run to teach its present students and will finally close in 1990. Some Geology will still be taught in the new School of Earth Resources.
The Centenary Meeting on June 2nd. was a great success. There were displays by members notably Felix Whitham and a video of a recent field meeting. There were lectures from members and Honorary Members of the Society on local geology. This was followed by a Centenary Dinner at Willerby Manor, with a speech by Professor John Neale who recreated the atmosphere of 1888 by singing extracts from Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
(click here for photos of the Centenary meeting)
Dr. Patrick Boylan became the President of the Museums Association. In November a drainage trench being dug on the site of the old Hull Museum in Albion Street brought up material which had been stored in the basement. Archaeologists recovered some of the material from the trench and there is a possibility that they might mount a rescue dig when the site is redeveloped [the Phoenix Project of 1989]. The material recovered included Chalk fossils from the lost Mortimer collection. The year ended with the Society having the largest ever membership and looking forward to the next hundred years with optimism!
I would like to thank the following people for their help and additional information:- I M Mowat, L Emery, M Piasecki, F Whitham, M R D Seward, K Fenton, R Middleton, P L Edwards, M May, M J Boyd and G de Boer. I would like thank Lynden Emery and Anne Horne for reading and correcting the first draft copy of this history and Lynden for reading extracts to the Centenary Meeting. The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the Society as a whole.
References and brief bibliography :-
Barry A, 1986. The Hull Geological Society Medal 1938. Humberside Geologist 5, 7-10.
Boyd M J 1953. Catalogue of type figured and cited fossils in Kingston Upon Hull Museums. Geological Curator 3, 476-485.
de Boer G 1988. The Hull Geological Society 1945-1962. Humberside Geologist 6, 5-6.
Edwards P L, 1984. The Geological Collections of Kingston Upon Hull City Museums. Geological Curator 4, 19-28.
Fenton K, 1980. In the beginnings... Humberside Geologist 3, 2-3 (not numbered).
Horne M, 1986. Past Officers of the Hull Geological Society, 1888 to 1985. Humberside Geologist 5, 29-30.
Home M, 1986. Thomas Sheppard "Hyper-Scientist". Humberside Geologist 5, 5-6.
Horne M, 1988. Kenneth Fenton and the Hull Geological Society. Humberside Geologist 6, 7-8.
Lamplugh G W. 189.Some open questions in East Yorkshire geology. Transactions of the Hull Geological Society 4, 24-36.
Rayner D H & Hemingway J E, 1974. The Geology and Mineral Resources of Yorkshire. 405pp. Yorkshire Geological Society.
Sheppard M, 1986. Extracts from a letter from Mary Sheppard, sister of Thomas Sheppard. October 1984. Humberside Geologist 5, 11.
Sheppard T, 1903. Geological Rambles in East Yorkshire. 235pp. Browns, Hull.
Sheppard T, 1915. Bibliography of Yorkshire Geology. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 18, 629pp.
Sheppard T, 1934. John Phillips. Transactions of the Hull Geological Society 7, 153-87 (inserted).
Stainforth R M. 1980. Recollections. Humberside Geologist 3, 4-6 (not numbered).
Walton F.F, 1984 (MS 1888). Report of excursion to Kelsey Hill. Humberside Geologist 4, 22-3.
Wright C W, 1984. The Society in the 1930's. Humberside Geologist 4, 2-3.
Wright C W & E V, 1942. The Chalk of the Yorkshire Wolds. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 53, 112-127.
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