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Wren's Nest And the Geo Meet

By Ashley Dace

Dudley had been calling for a while, the mix of geology and industrial sites act as a major magnet. So again I ventured out in the Birmingham direction, changing at new street station for a train to Tipton. After a short walk Wren's next was reached, this was the countries first geological NNR. The Wenlock limestone has been thrust up into an anticline (fold) before being heavily quarried in the mid 19th C. Some climbing found me a fossilised sea floor from the Silurian period. Lots of brachiopods, corals and crinoids. Wondering around there was plenty of evidence from the quarry, including lime kilns.
Further on the famous Dudley beach was evident, the ripples formed roughly 420 million years ago. There was also plenty of fossils about. A lady showed me a nice trilobite (I think a Calymene) but asked that I don't publish the picture.
SO9391 : Wren's Nest - Dudley Beach by Ashley Dace SO9391 : Wren's Nest - Coral by Ashley Dace SO9391 : Wren's Nest - Coral by Ashley Dace SO9391 : Wren's Nest - Lime Kilns by Ashley Dace SO9391 : Wren's Nest - Coral Reef by Ashley Dace SO9391 : Wren's Nest - NNR by Ashley Dace

Moving on my next target was the Black Country Living museum, plenty of interest including two mines, a Newcomen engine and other local industries. I was impressed by the quality of reconstruction.
SO9491 : Station Road Cottages by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Black Country Museum by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Chain Shop in Action by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Anchor Iron Works by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Canal Wharf by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Racecourse Colliery by Ashley Dace SO9491 : Racecourse Colliery by Ashley DaceSO9491 : Newcomen Steam Engine by Ashley Dace
I spent 2-3 hours in the museum, next was Netherton Tunnel which was about a mile or two away. This was along the Birmingham canal. The tunnel is very long and unlit, I took a few pictures but without a tripod most were binned. It seemed like an age walking through it, rather odd.
Coming out of the southern portal my eyes had to adjust before walking to the nearby Cobb's engine house. After a look around that and a climb of the spoil heap I ventured back into the gloom on my way home.
A little further on is Doulton's claypit which is on my list so I'll retrace my steps and do that another day (with a tripod). SO9588 : Cobb's Engine House by Ashley Dace SO9689 : Netherton Tunnel by Ashley DaceSO9588 : Netherton Canal Tunnel by Ashley Dace SO9690 : Netherton Tunnel by Ashley Dace SO9690 : Netherton Tunnel by Ashley Dace SO9690 : Tividale Aqueduct by Ashley Dace

Saturday was the Geo meet in Matlock Bath, after a quick run up from Leicester I met with the other geographers for a stroll up to the mining museum and back. After sampling the delights of Matlock Bath the group was joined by others for a drink and lunch in the Midland.
It was a great turnout with 13 geographers, the pub had a little trouble fitting us in!
A group photo was taken before me, Chris and Alan heading off for Wirksworth to photograph industrial sites. First of all something a bit different for us, trying to find Wirksworth church. Inside was an Anglo Saxon carving called T'owd Man, the earliest image of a miner in the world SK2853 : Wirksworth Church by Ashley Dace. A service was on so we abandoned that and decided to come back later. A short drive got us to Haarlem mill, an early Arkwrght mill. Sadly we couldn't get around all of the site due to security SK2852 : Haarlem Mill by Ashley Dace. Next was another mill around the corner, this has been converted to housing. An interesting mix of construction techniques. SK2852 : Ex Cotton Mill by Ashley Dace
Time was ticking, the service was finishing in the church. T'owd man was found in the south transept. SK2853 : T'owd Man by Ashley Dace A short distance away was Masson mills, a massive Arkwright cotton mill. The museum was excellent, showing working looms and spinning machines. Plenty of steam interest as well.
After finishing in there we said out goodbyes, I decided to walk the short distance to Cromford station. Passing the massive Cromford mill.
SK2957 : Masson Mills by Ashley Dace SK2957 : Jacquard Loom by Ashley Dace SK2957 : Masson Mills by Ashley Dace SK2957 : Spinning Mule by Ashley Dace SK2957 : River Derwent by Ashley Dace SK2957 : Steam Hammer by Ashley Dace SK2957 : Masson Mills Boiler Room by Ashley Dace
SK2956 : Cromford Mill - Offices by Ashley Dace SK2956 : Wheel Pit at Cromford by Ashley Dace SK2956 : Cromford First Mill by Ashley Dace

Sun, 27 Mar 2011 at 17:23
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