The British Micromount Society

The British Micromount Society is a national organisation, founded in 1981. The aims of the Society are to promote contact between micromounters in the UK and encourage the development of micromounting as a branch of mineralogy through the publication of a regular newsletter, occasional field meetings and symposia. The Society publishes the British Directory of Micromounters – now in its 10th Edition, and maintains a National Reference Collection of Micromounts, available for postal loan to members. The Society has also developed a range of Occasional Papers on topics of interest to amateur mineralogists. There are local groups in Norfolk, Sussex, West Midlands, Cornwall, The North West Group in Bolton, and the South East Group in London. These meet at regular intervals and all members are welcome to attend any of the branches. Details in the About link.

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John Ruskin and his mineral collection

The 40th Annual Symposium of the British Micromount Society has just finished, this year totally on the Zoom platform. The last talk was “John Ruskin and his mineral collection”, presented by Roy Starkey. Roy made mention of the extensive published works of John Rankin, some of which relates to rocks and minerals, and it is available as scanned pdf versions here.

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BMS Symposium 2021

The British Micromount Society’s 2021 Symposium is on this month. This one is the 40th and once again will be held on the Zoom platform due to Covid. The program is as follows: Friday 17th September.18.45 ‘Doors’ Open.19.00 -20.00 ‘Microminerals of Mont St. Hilaire’, Quintin Wight.20.00 -21.00 ’40 years of the BMS’, Roy Starkey.21.00 Social Evening – an invitation to show and tell – what have you been doing over the last year? Let other members know and see where you have been or what you’ve been up to. Saturday 18th September.08.30 Doors Open.09.00 -09.45 ‘Tsumeb’, Phil. Taylor.09.45- 10.30 ‘Broken Hill under the Microscope’, Steve Sorrell.10.30-10.50 Break.10.50 – 11.35 ‘Aris Quarry’, Michael Doel11.35 – 12.20 ‘The Chemistry of Lead and Copper Secondary Mineral Formation’, Frank Ince.12.20- 12.40 ‘Ten specimens that mean something to me’, David Ifold.12.40 – 13.00 ‘Ten specimens that mean something to me’, Susan Tyzack.13.00- 14.00 Lunch Break.14.00- 14.45 ‘Contemporary Fluorite Locations of Weardale’, Peter Briscoe.15.15-15.30 Break.15.30 – 16.30 ‘Michigan’s Keweenaw – Where Copper was King’, Paul Brandes.16.30- 17.30 ‘The Journey from an Unknown to a new Mineral’, Tony Kampf.17.30-19.00 Break.19.00 – 20.00 Quiz – Roy Starkey.20.00 -21.30 Social Evening. Sunday 19th September.08.45 Doors Open.09.00 – 10.00 ‘Devon Gems’, David Roe.10.00 -11.00 ‘John Ruskin and his mineral collection’, Roy Starkey.11.00-11.15 Coffee Break.11.15 British Micromount Society AGM followed by the results of the Photographic Competition and Society Awards. Photo: Scorodite from the Hemerdon Ball Mine, Plympton, Devon. Width of view 3.5mm. Steve Sorrell photo and specimen. Click on the […]

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Mines and Minerals of Cumbria

Martin Stolworthy presented his second session of the Mines and Minerals of Cumbria on today’s Micromount Club Zoom session. You can catch the first part here, and today’s second part here.

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Cornish Fluorite…

A lot of collectors like fluorite. Whether it be for the isometric (cubic) symmetry (for those that might be a little obsessive-compulsive 😁), the range of colours and zoning, the fluorescence, or for other reasons. This specimen is from Wheal Remfrey China Clay Pit, Saint Enoder, Cornwall, and has good colour and zoning with darker edges, but no fluorescence. I have not had the opportunity to collect in Cornwall although it is one of my favourite mineral-producing areas. I have only been there once. I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time on a family holiday, a long time before I became interested in minerals. But fortunately, I have been able to acquire some specimens from friends, this one from Richard Bell 15 or more years ago. Width of view 3.5mm. Stack of 55 images. Steve Sorrell specimen and photo. Click on the image below for a higher resolution version.

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BMS Newsletter Index

Trevor Devon has kindly started the task of creating an index of articles, authors, minerals and photographs in BMS Newsletters. As at June 2021, the index has been completed for issues 1 to 8, and 85 to 112, and can be found here.

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Microminerals and Social Media

There are a number of ways that you can share photos of your microminerals, or simply enjoy others’ posts, on Social Media. On Facebook, there is the British Micromount Collectors Group (set up for members of the BMS, then opened more widely), The Micromount Club, and Minerals of Slags if that is something you are interested in. If you aren’t that keen on Facebook, there is an alternative in MeWe. On this site, there is a mineral hub with groups set up for Micromounts, Specimen a Day, and Mineral of the Week, amongst others. In the latter, this week’s Mineral of the Week is olivenite, and this specimen from Wheal Gorland in Cornwall is one of the olivenite specimens posted. Click on the image for a higher resolution version.

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Caledonite on Cerussite, Red Gill, Cumbria

Ask my granddaughter and she will tell you that my favourite colour is blue. And what can be nicer than a blue caledonite, particularly when it is from a locality that I visited on a trip to the UK. This specimen was previously in the Bernie Day collection. Many society members would know Bernie from his trips over to the UK many years ago. It is a specimen of caledonite with cerussite and quartz from the Red Gill Mine, Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England. The width of view is a tiny 2.5mm, and the photo was created from a stack of 100 images. Now in my collection. Steve Sorrell

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Memorial Gathering to Celebrate the Life of Harry Critchley

Provisionally Sunday 1 August 2021 It is proposed to hold a short memorial gathering to celebrate the life of Harry Critchley, with reflection pieces by family and friends, subject to Covid restrictions being lifted. The gathering will take place around the Memorial Table, outside the library at Lady Manner’s School, Shutts Lane, Bakewell, DE45 1JA (home of the Bakewell Rock Exchange). Please bring an umbrella just in case!  Access to toilets in the school will be available. Christine will confirm the date and arrangements as soon as it is possible to do so, subject to Covid restrictions being lifted. If you would like to attend please contact Christine directly and she will keep you informed of final details nearer the time. More details about Harry’s life can be found in this Mindat article. Header photo © Phil Taylor.

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