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Minerals from the North of England

I collected minerals in the North of England (Yorkshire, County Durham and Cumbria) in the early 1980s, sometimes in brilliant sunshine, but at other times in the gloom and rain. A wonderful diversity of mineral species occurs in the area. I long ago parted with specimens found then, but recently put this group together for old times' sake. It now includes examples from several earlier collections, representing a century and a half of collecting.

These earlier collectors include: Thomas B. Wilson (1807-1865), William W. Jefferis (1820-1906), John Frederick "Lord" Calvert (1825-1897), Charles Ottley Groom-Napier (1839-1894), Charles Otto Trechmann (1851-1917), Sir Arthur Russell (1878-1964), John S. Albanese (1898-1969), William (Bill) F. Davidson (1907-2002), Chas. W. Velte jr (1914-1987), Carlton Davis (1920-2003), Florence Mecke, Mick Sutcliffe (1941-2005), Richard W. Barstow (1947-1982), Scott J. Williams, Ray Clements, Howard Belsky, Ilse Wilke, Ben de Wit, Pearl Freeman, Lindsay Greenbank (1941- ) and Tony Nikischer (1949- ). There are some real characters in this group.

Some excellent histories of the northern England mining districts are provided at http://www.steetleyminerals.com ; in the Minerals of Northern England Issue of the UK Journal of Mines & Minerals (Number 22, 2002); and in "Minerals of Northern England" (2008) by Symes and Young. The Mineralogical Record's 2010 "Classic Minerals of Northern England" has some fine illustrations and interesting accounts of noted collectors.

One day I'll dig into some genealogy since I see that my great grandfather (Thomas Forster Brown, mining engineer, http://westgarthforster.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-court-dress-of-thomas-forster-brown.html?view=magazine ) had a son Westgarth Forster Brown (with first wife Helen Hicks) who attended a 1930 Garrigill ( http://westgarthforster.blogspot.com/?view=magazine ) dedication to a famous earlier Westgarth Forster (1772-1835). See: http://www.pbase.com/hajar/westgarth_forster That earlier Westgarth was a mining engineer who collated a major Carboniferous stratigraphic section for the north of England. He was my great-great-great uncle. He died on November 9th 1835 at Garrigill ( http://westgarthforster.blogspot.com/2014/11/westgarth-forster-fame-and-misfortune.html?view=magazine ). His fame came from the book "A Treatise on a Section of the Strata from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the Mountain of Cross Fell in Cumberland", the first edition of which was issued in 1809, and the second much expanded and celebrated edition being published in 1821. Nall's posthumous tribute to Westgarth Forster in the third edition (1883) reads as follows:

"Though nearly half a century has elapsed since the grave closed over Westgarth Forster's remains, his name still continues a household word amongst the people of Alston Moor; he lives in their minds as a clever, though somewhat eccentric man, different in many respects from the ordinary run of men. But it is not only among the Alstonians that his name lives; it is frequently heard in Weardale and Allendale. Local mining agents and local geologists are familiar with it; mining agents and geologists, who have a mining reputation which is more than local, still continue to quote him as an authority on mining and geological questions. His "Section of the Strata" is still the standard work on the geology of the two northern counties. It was never more highly prized by miners than it is now."

Forster's book is clearly not the first record of stratigraphic sections in the area, these being found in various old mine plans (Turner 1793, Sedgwick 1838, Hodge 1965). Sedgwick writes: "The elaborate section of the strata from Newcastle upn Tyne to Cross Fell, published by Mr. Westgarth Forster, is, I believe, partly compiled from various registers of the Lead-works which are conducted on Aldstone Moor, and in the higher parts of Weardale." Dunham & Johnson (1962) credit Forster as follows: "Westgarth Forster ... summarized a sequence worked out during many centuries of lead mining."

My great-great-great-great grandfather, the elder Westgarth (1738-1797), was known (Newcastle Chronicle, February 6th 1797) as “one of the best judges of lead-mines in the North of England” ( see http://westgarthforster.blogspot.com/2014/11/westgarth-forster-and-allenheads-mine.html?view=magazine ). The mining tradition continued for at least the next six generations and I see that Thomas Forster Brown and Westgarth Forster Brown (who's grandson Mark was a geologist too) were two of the directors of the Llangeinor Colliery Co. Ltd. Thomas was head of T. Forster Brown & Rees of Cardiff and was one of the recognized authorities on the geology of the South Wales coalfields (Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute, Volume 75). One of his other sons, Edward Otto Forster Brown (1881-1941), "in 1905 passed first in the examination for the First Class Colliery Manager's certificate" and later (1927) wrote a book on "Vertical Shaft Sinking". Thomas's son Cameron was killed by a German shell in France in 1916 ( http://www.pbase.com/hajar/image/143412839 ). His daughter Doris was a writer ( http://www.pbase.com/hajar/catherine_ives and http://westgarthforster.blogspot.com/2014/11/doris-smith-jan-and-cora-gordon-and.html?view=magazine ).
West Cumbria Minerals
West Cumbria Minerals
Lake District Minerals
Lake District Minerals
Caldbeck Fells Minerals
Caldbeck Fells Minerals
Cumbrian Calcites
Cumbrian Calcites
Alston Moor Minerals
Alston Moor Minerals
West Pennines Minerals
West Pennines Minerals
Shap Blue and Pink Quarries
Shap Blue and Pink Quarries
Durham Minerals
Durham Minerals
Yorkshire Minerals
Yorkshire Minerals
Derbyshire Minerals
Derbyshire Minerals
Northern England Mineral Localities
Northern England Mineral Localities
Labels and Literature
Labels and Literature