Friday, 30 November 2012

Staff raise thousands for Framework charity

The staff in our Keyworth HQ have once again voted to keep Framework the official charity of the office, already having raised over £2000 there seems no limit to their passion for fundraising. The latest effort is the publication of the Billy’s Basement Bakers Cookbook- this bunch of keen bakers provide staff with delicious cakes and treats all year round for a small donation.... now the bakers have collected their treasured recipies and made a cookbook that's ON SALE NOW! To order a copy and read more about the Bakers see the Framework Blog. Copies are also avaliable at both our Keyworth and Edinburgh offices.
Billy's Basement Bakers - named after the BGS William Smith Building
(Smith being a renowned 19th Century geologist) 

Not only is it Billy's Bakers that raise the cash it's individual staff and their families. One such example is TeamPatz made up of Dr Mike Patterson (our Chief Operating Officer ) and his daughter Tilly. Here's his email to staff thanking them for helping him and his daughter raise £184 (current total) for Framework's Big Sleep Out. 

"Dear all

I was in Malaysia two weeks and when I landed home it became apparent that my luggage had decided to spend a few extra days with a very nice suitcase from Thailand in Kuala Lumpur. This on its own was not a major issue, however on my journey back up from Heathrow I started to mentally note the things that I absolutely needed to find quickly in order to function normally again, such as a charger for my IPhone, an alarm clock, aftershave, face cream etc..... 

Last Thursday night was mine and my daughter’s second attempt at both raising money for the very worthy homeless charity Framework and at the same time enjoying a snug, comfortable and peaceful night sleeping out rough on the concrete floor of Belero Square in Nottingham....well we achieved 50% of that and the fact that we were sleeping out in temperatures down to -3deg C, on concrete should be a clue as to which half of the challenge, we didn't accomplish... Here's Tilly's story of our night sleeping rough. 

" We got there at 9.00pm,  dad was twitching as it was a bit late, and were handed some boxes and got to work. We started with bright eyes and bushy tails but finished building our den utterly exhausted. We were desperately in need of a coffee for dad and a hot chocolate with huge marshmallows for me. We walked around looking at other people's box contraptions and lots of them were much more extravagant than our basic hut. Some had fairy lights and one was, and I'm not joking, an actual castle. As we sat and watched people struggle and build it got colder and colder until eventually dad pulled out his fluffy moose hat, as I call it. We then went up to listen to a man talk about the difference we'd made in Nottingham and found out that Dino and Pete from Capital FM and the mayor and sheriff of Nottingham were there! Daddy got very excited and started tweeting. Finally, at around 11.30pm we snuggled down and tried to go to sleep. Dad got to sleep fairly quickly but I was up for ages as it was a bit, ok, very uncomfortable. When we woke up we started to pack away our house and we gathered all our stuff up and started to walk round to the bacon sandwich stand. Then we got a warm taxi to our nice, warm and dry house. Dad didn't have to go to work, but I had to go to school and was a bit dopey. The drive back to my house made me think that not everyone has the luxury of having a house. And although we did it for one night, for others that's their life. So, our uncomfortable, cold, loud and sleepless night out was completely worthwhile and really really fun".

Whilst I was not going to get any sleep, I had an opportunity to reflect on the real importance of the things that I had spent time fretting over that had stayed in Malaysia.... and how they really are insignificant relative to some of the hard, hard conditions that a really unfortunate and unseen few find themselves in. So I didn't have aftershave for a couple of days, or a phone charger and I had to use one of my Daughters Disney princess alarm clocks but, you know what, in the real big scheme of things this was such a very trivial thing to have been vexed by. 

I certainly didn't enjoy our experience as it was cold and really quite grim.... But, we will do it again next year, as Tilly said when she was asked why she was doing it "because we want to make a difference” and my number two daughter has signed up to join us too.....

Thank you 
Me and Tilly"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Photos from the Archives… The Geologists' Association 'Carreck Archive'

Field trips have always been an essential and fun part of geology, but what were field trips like 100 years ago? Now we know! A recent deposit to the BGS archives is the Geologists' Association (GA) 'Carreck Archive' ‒ an amazing collection of field trip photographs dating back to the 1890s. Named after Marjorie Carreck, a long time contributor of photographs and custodian of the collection, the collection consists of a series of photograph albums, loose photos and ephemera relating to the GA and their field trips. Scanning the photographs has just begun and the captions are being keyed by a small team of volunteers. All images will eventually be delivered through the BGS image service 'GeoScenic'. None are available just yet but we'll be updating you with the progress through this blog so stay tuned.

The GA were very active. Their short trips were focused around London and its environs, while the longer trips go to all parts of the UK as well as overseas.

Motor excursion in Surrey, June 6th 1914. Newlands Corner

Descending a Denehole at Hangman's Wood. 1908

The Geologists' Association were clearly adventurous, with photographs in one volume from Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Montenegro, Germany, Egypt, Canada, and the Atlantic Islands (Canary Isles, Madeira and Trinidad).

Josterdals Snowfield, Norway. H.W.M

New lava flow from Vesuvius. 1906.

Houses destroyed by volcanic dust, Vesuvius eruption. 1906
Here we are in November, at the close of the field season, so, let us reflect on the trips undertaken throughout the year… but 100 years ago! For 1912, the GA held a total of twenty-nine excursions. Twelve half-day, seven whole day, four long excursions and six museum visits. Photographs have been found for the following trips and we are sure more will be found as we go through the collection:

Excursion to Erith, March 30th 1912.
Excursion to Greenhithe, April 20th 1912.
Excursion to Clandon, May 11th 1912.
Excursion to Princes Risborough, May 18th 1912.
[Excursion to the North East of England, May 25-29th 1912].
Excursion to Claygate, June 15th 1912.
Excursion to Borstal, June 22nd 1912.
Excursion to Ewell, July 6th 1912.
Excursion to Henley, July 13th 1912.
Excursion to Reculvers, Herne Bay, July 20th 1912.
Excursion to Aylesbury, Hartwell and Stone, July 27th 1912.
Excursion to Mount Sorrel, August 29th 1912.

2865-2 Section in the Reading Beds – Nonsuch Pottery Clay Pit Excursion to Ewell, July 6th 1912. Note, no hard hats, only straw boaters
To finish here is a magnificent panorama of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx taken in 1913.

Gizeh Pyramids

 From Robert McIntosh, BGS Information Manager

(If you wish to contact the GA Archivist please email Jonathan Larwood )

Friday, 2 November 2012

London Calling!! Lets shake rattle and rock!

Remember Remember the 5th of November... Why?

Because Roger Musson is visiting London to do a book signing. He'll be sat in the BGS office (not only is it our Information Office but a great shop as well) based inside the Natural History Museum from 2-5pm. His new book MILLION DEATH QUAKE is great, i know because i read it last weekend. Here's the proof and a glimpse at the chapters!

Now i'm a fast reader and i did have a lot of time on my hands travelling nearly the length of the country but it's such a page turner i think anyone would find it difficult to put down. It's a quick fire jaunt through the history of seismology and although it didn't impart the full 30 years of Rogers career it did make me more aware of (and awed by) the fiery and fragile planet we live on. It's packed with funny anecdotes and glimpses back through time, it's a fascinating read....... so if i hadn't already had my book signed and quizzed Roger about some of the chapters I'd be coming along on Monday to meet him.

Rogers book will be on sale, you can buy it and get it signed if you want, or just ask Roger any burning questions you have about seismology. There will be members of the press getting interviews so if you don't see Roger at the stand please wait or ask me if he'll be long! I'll be easy to find, I'm the big ginger girl taking photos all the time! Hope to see you there, here's the details.....

Find us at the NHM
Turn right at Dippy in the central corridor and follow signs to the red zone. We're just right of the massive ammonite!
See you Monday