The Black Country Geological Society

The Black Country Geological Society (BCGS) is based in Dudley, West Midlands, England, in the heart of the Black Country where evidence suggests the world-changing Industrial Revolution commenced. The society as it is now, was formed in 1975 but was preceded by three antecedent geological societies through which we can trace our origins to 1842, making the BCGS one of the first geological societies in the world. Our members come from all backgrounds and include interested amateurs, professional geologists, teachers, and students of all ages. Our monthly indoor lecture meetings take place in Dudley throughout the winter months, in addition to regular field trips to sites of geological interest and voluntary conservation work. Our Newsletter is sent to members 6 times a year and back numbers may be downloaded from the Society’s website. The Society warmly welcomes new members, and the schedule is on the Society’s website. It is always advisable to check before attending in case of any unavoidable last minute changes.

The BCGS show off their stylish 3D specs

The Black Country Geological Society has a vast and exciting history with connections to some of the greatest geologists of their time such as, Sir Roderick Impey Murchison and Professor Charles Lapworth. A brief history of the society is listed below:

1842 – 1867. The Dudley and Midland Geological Society. A combination of local geological interest, mining and quarrying led to the founding of the earliest geological society in the Midlands. The Society started a local fossil collection encouraged by Sir Roderick Murchison who realised the importance of Dudley and the local rocks.

1880’s – 1912. The Society was reborn as the Dudley and Midland Geological and Scientific Society and Field Club, but later fell into decline as mining and extraction industries declined.

1956 – The world’s first geological reserve was founded at Wrens Nest and the local Council was encouraged to establish a permanent geological exhibition at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.

1975 – The Black Country Geological Society was formed by a group studying geology in extra-mural classes. The Society set out to raise the profile of geological awareness in the West Midlands and to document and conserve local geological sites.

The BCGS logo features the famous ‘Dudley Bug’ Calymene blumenbachii. This iconic trilobite is special to the Black Country, because it was historically collected from the local limestone mines and was present in Dudley’s former coat of arms. Sir Roderick Impey Murchison published a comprehensive work on the Silurian Period in Great Britain and elsewhere in 1839. His book, The Silurian System described the geology and fossils from the Palaeozoic and provided excellent illustrations of the fauna, of which 65% of his evidence was from Dudley. The illustrations were carefully hand drawn by Murchison’s wife, Lady Charlotte Murchison.

For membership enquiries please contact our treasurer on treasurer@bcgs.info

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