Jet set

The photograph shows a specimen of “jet” – although shown in it’s rough state below, jet can be polished like a gemstone, after which it takes on a deep black shine – this is where we get the phrase “Jet black”. Polished jet jewellery became very popular during the later part of the reign of [...]

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Geologists in the sand….

Sometimes reading a description of a geological process in a textbook just isn’t enough. Folding and faulting is one such case where it can be difficult to understand how movements in the plates that make up the surface of the earth can fold previously flat beds of rock into hills and mountains. At the Lickey [...]

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Olympic flame, olympic fossils?

The 2012 Olympic flame will travel through Dudley Canal Tunnel on 30th June as it travels around the UK. The Shropshire town of Much Wenlock is sometimes credited with inspiring the modern Olympic movement, so as the flame travels through the tunnel, there will be a less obvious geological connection to be made as well. [...]

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Kiln burn at Dudley

On 26th May, the Building Limes Forum will be hosting a lime burn at The Black Country Living Museum. The limestone for the burn will come from the Wren’s Nest, which was extensively quarried up to the late 1920′s, creating in the process many of the limestone caverns and canal tunnels which we see in [...]

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The language of the quarryman

At the same time that scientists were beginning to differentiate and name rock units, the quarrymen working deep in the mines underneath Wren’s Nest would have developed their own naming system for the rocks they encountered. Working by candlelight, their names would have been based on basic features and the look of the rock. Experienced [...]

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Dudley Bugs travelled the world….

…but where are they now? The fossils found in the Limestone at Dudley during the 18th and 19th centuries were so plentiful and so well preserved that specimens from Dudley have found their way into museum collections worldwide. At one time there were three fossil dealers operating from the town! I have personally spotted Dudley [...]

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The Barr Trilobite – a local celebrity

“This remarkable crustacean has been hitherto known in England as the Barr Trilobite, having been found at the Hay Head lime works, near the village and beacon of Barr in Staffordshire” The Silurian System, Roderick Murchison As new kinds of animals, both living and extinct, are discovered, scientists attempt to classify them according to their [...]

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Faking it? An unusual trilobite at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

A look through the Dr Fraser Collection reveals an unusual trilobite specimen – it is not quite like anything illustrated in any of the textbooks. Could it be a new species, lain undiscovered and undescribed for a century or more? Sadly not, but the real story behind the specimen is every bit as interesting. We [...]

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