1989

 
The Murchison Symposium, Dudley visit 7th April 1989
 
In recognition and celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Sir Roderick Murchison’s book ‘The Silurian System’, an international conference on the Silurian System was held at the University of Keele. After the formal lecture programme lasting 4½ days, there was a post-symposium programme of ‘Historical Excursions’ across Wales and the Welsh borderland to visit a number of localities made classic by Murchison’s studies. This concluded with about 100 participants from 15 countries (some as far afield as China, Australia, USSR and the USA) paying a visit to the Black Country Museum. The BCGS had the honour of helping to organise and participate in this part of the celebrations.
 
The highlight of the evening was a trip by canal narrow boat underground to the Singing Cavern in the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation, where a life-sized working model of Murchison impressed everyone with a brief exposition on the geology of the area. Then Mr John Thackray also gave an outline of Murchison’s visit to the area including the famous occasion in 1849 when, following a lecture to a large audience at Wren’s Nest, he was hailed as the ‘King of Siluria’. The following set of photos were all taken on the boat trip to and from the Singing Cavern.
 
See also BCGS Newsletter no.76.

Home » 1989-04 April
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Narrow boat passing through Lord Ward's tunnel. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Passing through Castle Mill basin with the Wren's Nest tunnel on the right. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Leaving Castle Mill basin and approaching the main Dudley tunnel entrance with the new tunnel in the final stage of construction on the left. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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View showing the exposure of the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation on the left and the new tunnel on the right. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Passing through the main Dudley tunnel towards the Cathedral Arch underground canal junction. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Inside Cathedral Arch with view of the blocked off branch tunnel that led to the Little Tess, Dark Cavern and other disused mines beneath Castle Hill. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Passing under Quarry Pit (an old construction shaft) showing oxide stained stalactite formations. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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View from inside Hurst's Cavern. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Assembling on the wharf in the Singing Cavern. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Mr John Thackray (Natural History Museum, London) delivering his speech. The life-sized working model of Sir Roderick Murchison can be seen in the top left hand corner. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Taking in the atmosphere of the vast cavern. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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On the narrow boat before the return journey. Alan Cutler (BCGS Chairman) standing 2nd from the right and Colin Knipe (facing the camera) 3rd from right. Photo by Peter Parkes.
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Two volunteers experience the art of 'legging' (propelling the boat by pushing on the sides of the tunnel with their feet). Looking on in the background (top right) are mining engineers Colin Knipe and Basil Poole with Spencer Mather in the foreground (2nd from left). Photo by Peter Parkes.