Humberside Geologist no.11

Notes and Comments

(from Humberside Geologist no. 11, 1995)

In September 1993 a dinner was held in honour of Dr. Norman Angus and Dr. Arthur Fraser, who retired from the University of Hull that year. The dinner was organised by Dr. Martyn Pedley and many graduates of the old Department of Geology attended.

In the Summer of 1993, Barry Constantine was involved in an archaeological excavation of the old mere at Skipsea Withow. The excavation was funded by English Nature.

Our Treasurer Dr. Felix Whitham had another busy year in 1993. In January members of the Hull Geological Society held a dinner in his honour at the Country Park Inn at Hessle. We were delighted that Felix was accompanied by his family: his wife Doreen, and daughter Margaret and son-in-law Trevor. It was a very pleasant evening for all who attended.

At the Society's A G M in March, Felix was elected as an Honorary Member of the Society in recognition of his many years as an Officer of the Society and of his contributions to local geological knowledge.

In June, part two of his Chalk Stratigraphy paper was published in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. The Yorkshire Geological Society awarded Felix their Sorby Medal in December. The Sorby Medal is awarded "not more frequently than biennially as an acknowledgement of either distinguished contribution to geological knowledge of Yorkshire or distinguished contributions to geological knowledge by a person associated with Yorkshire...". Many members of the Hull Geological Society attended the presentation, and the Annual Dinner which followed, which was organised by Mavis May.

Mick Stanley, who returned to Hull Museums a few years ago, has been promoted to the post of Assistant Director of Leisure Services at Hull City Council.

Eric Chicken has been awarded a Ph.D. degree by the Open University in 1993 for a thesis entitled "Ultramarine a case study in the relationship between Industry, Science and Technology, with particular reference to the firm of Reckitt and Sons, and their successors".

Mike Boyd resigned from Hull Museums in March 1994. Heather Rayfield has joined the Museum staff to continue the work on the permanent environmental displays planned for the East Riding Museum, which are due to open at Easter 1996.

Dr. Judith Bryce, President of the Hull Geological Society for 1993-4, left Hull to take up the post of Professor of Italian at the University of Bristol in September 1994. In spite of a busy work schedule as Head of the Italian Department at the University of Hull, Judith has enthusiastically attended most of the Society's meetings during her term of office.

Peter Rawson has been promoted to become a Professor at University College London. In 1994 he received the Phillips Medal of the Yorkshire Geological Society at their A.G.M. in York, in recognition of his research work, particularly on the Speeton Clay.

The long awaited roof for Rifle Butts Quarry was erected in October 1993 and after a few problems the rock filled gabions were installed in December, to support the bulging face of the original exposure. When the footings for the roof were being dug, samples of the blue Jurassic clay were collected and sent to interested scientists for dating. These results are eagerly awaited, extra material has been deposited at Hull Museum.

The Society would like to thank the Curry Fund of the Geologists' Association, English Nature and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for funding the work. Donald Beveridge and Harry Thompson are to be thanked for all their hard work in the designing, organising and supervision of the work, which was carried out by Chris Marsden Structural and Civil Engineering of Brough on behalf of J.N.T. Engineering of Hull. Donald Beveridge, Lynden Emery and Mike Horne designed the notice board which was typeset by Hull University and made by Shelley Signs of Eaton on Tern in Shropshire. Cyril Dutton and Mike Horne have written a worksheet for use by visiting educational parties. An updated leaflet about the site has been published by the site owners, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, with geological information supplied by Donald Beveridge and Mike Horne.

An official re opening of Rifle Butts was held on 19th March. The reopening was attended by Lesley Blainey of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Eric Robinson of the Geologists' Association and Mike Harley of English Nature. On behalf of the Hull Geological Society, Judith Bryce thanked these representatives of the funding bodies for their help.

As a result of activities at Rifle Butts, recent research has given more detailed information about the geology of the site. It is hoped that this will be incorporated in a re written information leaflet and will be published in a future Humberside Geologist.

There have been some interesting new finds in our area. Derek Glover from Clitheroe has found the first dinosaur bone in the Speeton Clay. It has been identified as a metatarsal of an Iguanodon by Michael Benton of Bristol University. He has also found a new species of lobster, which will be described by Martin Simpson of the Isle of Wight. Martyn Pedley of Hull University has found a lot of jet in a gravel pit at Hotham Carrs, which perhaps indicates that there is jet bearing Lias nearby. On a recent field trip of the Hull Naturalists at Easington to collect erratic boulders for Hull Museums, a number of bones were found in a (?) mere deposit. These included the jaw of a pig, bones of cows and an antler of a Red Deer (forest variety). Because of the large number of bones in close proximity to each other, and the butchery marks on some of them, it is thought that ancient man used the site as a midden.

The Hull Geological Society would like to thank the following members for their kind donations towards the cost of producing Humberside Geologist no. 10: Andrew Brewster, Judith Bryce, Eric Chicken, Chris Cone, Hillary Dixon, Cyril Dutton, Lynden Emery, John Green, Mike Horne, Archie Lee, Stephen Potts, D S Priest, Terry Rockett, Tony Waltham, Felix Whitham, and an anonymous donor.

Written by Mike Horne, 1995.


An Ichthyosaur vertebra from Hotham Carrs, East Yorkshire. (NGR SE875337).

This specimen was recovered in November 1994 during an archaeological survey carried out by students from Leeds University under the direction of Peter Halkon, whilst investigating a crop mark site by gridded fieldwalking. It was picked up by Peter Freeman, and identified by Mick Stanley of Hull Museums.

The fossilised bone was 5 cm in diameter and in good condition, Its likely origin was the Jurassic ridge which gives its name to the villages of North and South Cliffe about 500m to the east.

Peter Halkon.

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