Our second guest blog describes how a local enthusiast Martin, began his journey along the rocky road of geology.
For me it started at a young age, I used to get curios and excited at the site of exposed rocks. When I was out with my dad in the car, I used to look out the window at the red sand stones at Bridgnorth, or at the exposed limestone as we drove over Hurst Hill on the way to Sedgley. I wondered why they were there and not in my back garden?
The first fossil I ever found was in a wood close to my house, I was about 10 years old. I think it was a small sea shell fragment in a piece of red shale and I can’t for the life of me remember what happened to it. Fossil hunting was rather a hit and miss affair for a while as the places I tended to look for fossils didn’t have any fossils to find! Things did improve though when I was much older and by then married, with two holidays, the first to Weymouth and the second to my fantasy home town of Lyme Regis (just as soon as I win the lottery!). It was at this point that I began to look at books in order to direct me to the best fossil gathering rocks.
Another early age rock related obsession of mine stemmed from the first time I saw the bright multi coloured ropes and shiny ironmongery of the people who clambered all over them. I would sit in front of the TV watching famous rock climbers like Joe Brown and Chis Bonington and think ‘I wish I could do that’. I was lucky when a chance conversation with a new neighbour to the street where my wife and I were living in 1992 introduced me to a climbing club. This in turn introduced me to the rocky outcrops of the Peak District and North Wales.
When your nose is only 15cm away from a piece of rock as you try to find a way up it, you sometimes wonder about how it all got there. A massive change in our family circumstances in 2004 led to me having some extra time to myself in the evenings. This coupled with the Open University sponsored TV show Coast, and my climbing partners graduation from the same university led me to wonder if I could have a go, the subject was obvious. So here I am floundering halfway though an OU degree in Geosciences thinking that I haven’t really got the time to write this, but then the stuff I have learnt, I think that it’s a story worth telling.
By Martin McMeekin,
Willenhall, West Midlands
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