Festival of Geology

Saturday 4th November 2023

We had a small table in the cloisters at this event run by the Geologists’ Association (GA), but it was enough, as only minimal equipment can be transported to a central London venue (University College London).

Stephen Parker had a Vickers polarising microscope fitted with a camera and associated small video screen. This provided an interesting novelty for visitors viewing his rock sections. An atlas of thin sections, open at a relevant page, provided information on these.

Stephen ParkerStephen Parker

Pam Hamer had a small Russian microscope with diffuse incident illumination (using part of a table-tennis ball) to show the growing crystal mass in a sample of pyrites. Augmenting this was a laptop display showing the origin of the sample from a beach pebble on the Isle of Wight.

We had a background of images of geological interest from past Barnard displays.

Quekett standQuekett stand

The main exhibitors in the cloisters were local GA groups who had an interesting selection of topics. From local geological walks, to information on cleaning local geological exposures, to preparing detailed descriptions of specimens. Some were keen to dispose of surplus books and specimens. The Reading Geological Society had received Kit Brownlee’s micromount collection and, having sorted it, were selling some for a very modest cost. There were also some commercial companies selling minerals.

Kit Brownlee’s micromountsKit Brownlee’s micromounts

Overall, there was a steady throng of people throughout the day and we had a lot of interest in the specimens, microscopes and Club. There were many inquiries about how to make or obtain thin sections, and how to mount cameras on microscopes. We ran out of membership brochures!

General viewGeneral view

The Rockwatch section had some specific exhibits for children to explore but sadly there were no microscopes for children to use. In the past Dennis Fullwood had provided these.

Report and photographs by Pam Hamer

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