AGM November 2023

Teme Valley Geological Society 2022-23

We all recognise that this has not been the best of years so far.

But, in some respects, it has. The fact that we are still meeting here today – and regularly, and with visiting groups, and funding outreach to local Primary Schools, and at the GA in London this month, and with upcoming planned meetings, and a flourishing library – would all suggest that we, like Cardinal Richelieu who was asked what part he played in the French Revolution, replied “I survived”.

So have we.

TVGS has been hit hard, but we survive. In some respects the style of management that we came to agree on many years ago has served us well. The ability of any committee member – or just a member – to stand in and take responsibility for any aspect of the Society – was enshrined in that style – and we have certainly needed it this year.

My thanks go to the whole Committee who came together over the Summer to ensure that John’s legacy would continue. We have been able to continue our Meetings, to welcome visiting groups of Geo-friendly U3A’s and others, to continue with the Fossil Box Project, and to continue to have our own Visits.

There is always an evolution; and maybe it was overdue for the TVGS. I think we have re-established ourselves this Autumn. I am confident it will continue and that it will flourish.

I do not want to spend too much time this evening raking over ashes or making divinations for the future. I thank everyone who still commits to our Society in whatever time and place that might be.

Elsewhere I have said that we can and will start again on a very exciting and enjoyable geological road together.

W.B.Yeats said “Things fall apart; the Centre cannot hold” – and I say the Centre has held and we have not fallen apart.

Dave Cropp

November 2023


INCOME                                                                                        EXPENDITURE                       

                                                                                                       GA Affiliation Fees                                    40.00

Membership                                                                                Speakers’ Costs                                          173.85

BACS                                                              376.00

                                                                                                        Printing                                                       40.40                                           


Scheduled                                                     413.00                         Room Hire                                                   80.00

Fossil Boxes                                               75.00                         Fossil Boxes                                               200.00          


                                                                                                           Meeting for Committee                               14.50

                                                                                                         Postage and Packing                                    3.85

                                                                                                         Refreshments & Hosting                             69.40

TOTAL                                                            864.00                                                                                           622.00


Excess of Income over Expenditure      242.00


OCTOBER 31ST 2022:  405.11 

NOVEMBER 1ST 2023:  647.11   

RESERVE ACCOUNT     1000.00                                                 

TVGS Field Frips 2023


16th Feb ’23 Evening Amble with John Nicklin on the west side of the Teme valley.

Great views from way up the hillside, close to the Silurian-Devonian transition (we did look for the Bishops Frome Formation). We then dropped down to the Apple tree Cafe at Pitlands for a most welcome refreshment break. John then led us round the hillside and down to a small but perfectly formed little quarry of Raglan Sandstone (definitiely not mudstone!) at Ham Farm.

1st Sept ’23 Field trip to South Malverns, organiser Kay Hughes, leader Peter Bridges, formerly planned for 14th July but postponed due to inclement weather.

Walk taking in the highly altered Malverns Complex rocks of Swinyard Quarry, a small exposure of Silurian rock on the top of the Malverns ridge at the ‘Silurian Pass’, and the amazing unconformity and Lower Silurian beds at Gullet Top Quarry.

16th Sept ‘23 Field trip to The Dowards, organiser Neil Raha, leader Jim Handley.

Visits to a spectacular succession Carboniferous formations found within the beautiful woodland setting of the Dowards overlooking the Wye Valley.

14 Oct ’23 Field trip to Penarth, organiser Hilary Hartman, leader Stephen Howe.

Great variety of rocks found in the towering sea-cliffs and wave-cut platforms at Penarth, showing the transition from subaerial Triassic mudstones to fully marine Jurassic Blue Lias.

Our thanks go to John for setting up these trips – time to think about some more.

Kay Hughes

November 2023


During the last twelve months we have enjoyed six meetings with invited speakers on a wide range of topics. All of these were held at the Martley Memorial Hall, with the speakers able to visit us in person.

Following the last AGM, Dr Susan Marriott explained some her research on the Old Red Sandstone, primarily along the coast of South Wales where it is very well exposed and a great deal can be learned about the rivers and floodplains where the rocks were formed. She and her husband, Prof Paul Wright, who came with her, have studied the rocks of South Wales extensively and would be willing to lead a TVGS field trip there.

In January, Dr David Hall took us to Yemen, explaining its complex geology as well as its political and cultural landscape. A field trip to the Somerset coast with David Hall could be a possibility for the future.

Prof Tim Atkinson visited us in February and shared his experience of tracing radioactive particles released into the sea at Dunreay in the north of Scotland; however diligently they sought and removed the particles from the beaches, the numbers never seemed to diminish! Tim was able to stay in the area the following day and enjoyed a visit to Shelsley Walsh Church and a very muddy but rewarding trek to Southstone Rock, where the transition from the Raglan Mudstone to the Bishops Frome Limestone was clearly exposed.

In March, our President Prof Ian Fairchild gave us an update on the Anthropocene. This time he introduced us to the proposed Golden Spike locations: diverse places around the world where clear changes in the geology could be used to indicate the onset of the Anthropocene.

The meeting in April had to be postponed to the following month, but in May, Dr Simon Drake introduced us to the geology of Skye and shared with us his work unravelling the complexities of a huge caldera and stumbling across a meteorite ejecta layer.

After a summer break, at our September meeting, Alan Richardson brought us up to date with his recent work in the Lickey Hills, where he has made some very interesting and quite different discoveries. He was keen to emphasize how new discoveries can be made with simple tools. We also included a discussion of the impact that the very sad loss of John Nicklin had made in the society and how  we might start to recover from that. In addition, we show-cased our own display of Martley geology and Margaret Rodway brought an excellent selection of minerals for us to learn about.

Unfortunately, our speaker for October had to cancel his visit at the last minute, so the meeting did not go ahead. We hope he may be able to visit us next year, since the topic is particularly relevant to the west midlands area.

Looking ahead, we have a full programme of speakers up to April 2024. We have some very recent geology, with Prof James Rose and “Britain’s earliest humans”, we have more about the behaviour of volcanoes from Dr Thomas Jones, formerly of Martley, we have Scotland’s Greatest Ice Age (not at all recent) with Prof Ian Fairchild and conclude with Chris Darmon who has visited several times before to much acclaim, but will need to visit us by zoom this time.

I am now  starting to think about speakers for next autumn. Several members have said they would prefer meetings that avoid travelling in the dark, so we will need to consider how this might be accommodated. One option is to change the time of meetings, however we do not want to exclude people who are working through the week. Weekends might perhaps be considered for some meetings perhaps. Alternatively we may need to develop our technical skills so that we can invite people to attend by zoom without the disruption this has caused when we have experimented with hybrid meetings in the past.

Kay Hughes, November 2023